The legal challenge, filed in a federal court in Washington state, will be a defining cornerstone of the Biden administration’s pledge to curb the power of the nation’s largest tech companies.
The U.S. government is launching its most consequential attack on the dominance of Big Tech in Americans’ daily lives: a sweeping antitrust lawsuit targeting retail giant Amazon Inc.
The legal challenge, filed in a federal court in Washington state Tuesday, will be a defining cornerstone of the Biden administration’s pledge to curb the power of the nation’s largest tech companies, including Google, Facebook and Apple, which have been accused of running modern monopolies that don’t fit within the confines of antiquated antitrust laws.
The suit could have far-reaching implications for the way Americans shop, run their households, sell products, and run small and large businesses.
The Amazon case is the most ambitious gambit yet by the Federal Trade Commission to rein in the power of large tech companies and a potentially decisive test of new liberal antitrust theories taken up by the Biden administration. It is also a crucial moment for Lina Khan, the FTC’s hard-charging 34-year-old chair, who is at the vanguard of a rising cohort of progressive antitrust lawyers who increasingly populate key federal agencies.
In the past, Khan has specifically called for breaking up Amazon. If successful, the FTC suit could lead to a court-ordered restructuring of the $1.3 trillion empire.
The case challenges a host of Amazon’s business practices, including rules that the FTC says block lower prices on competing websites and policies the FTC believes force merchants to use Amazon’s logistics and advertising services.
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