Amazon has accused the Federal Trade Commission of harassing company founder Jeff Bezos and Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy, according to filing made public on Monday.
According to the filing, the FTC has been making “unduly burdensome” demands of Amazon as the regulator probes the tech behemoth’s subscription services. The FTC’s investigation is about whether services like Amazon Prime are violating consumer protection laws.
The filing made by Amazon seeks to quash the FTC’s civil investigative demands and has said that the antitrust agency’s requests are “unworkable for Amazon to discern the information staff demands and to respond in the timeframe allowed.”
In recent years, the FTC has been investigating the world’s largest online retailer for anticompetitive behaviour. With the appointment of the new chairwoman, Lina Khan, the investigations have begun again with renewed interest. Since Khan took office in June last year, she has shaken up the investigating teams, re-interviewed witnesses and has been asking questions about Amazon’s acquisitions. The company has argued that the FTC’s requests to get information from Bezos and Jassy could be obtained from testimonies and documents from current executives, according to a report from Business Insider.
The FTC has served 20 former and current employees of Amazon, the court filing shows. The current investigation began last year in March, with Amazon providing over 37,000 pages of documentation to the regulators. While the investigating team fell silent for months last year, it escalated the probe in April.
Most recently, Khan has put Amazon’s $1.7 billion buyout of Roomba makers, iRobot, on hold. Amazon purchased the robot vacuum maker in a buyout deal last week. iRobot has been in business since 2002 and had managed to corner 75% of the robot vacuum market. With the acquisition of the company, it seems like Amazon is trying to consolidate its own market share, especially since it release the home robot, Astro, last year.