FTC says Bezos, Amazon CEO must testify in Prime membership investigation

Jeff Bezos
FILE – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks during his news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Sept. 19, 2019. Bezos became the latest centibillionaire to launch a political fight on Twitter by denouncing a tweet by President Joe Biden about corporate taxes as “disinformation” and “misdirection.” The White House quickly retorted Monday, May 16, 2022, that Bezos “opposes an economic agenda for the middle class.” (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday ordered Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassy to testify in an investigation of the company’s Prime membership program.

Amazon had requested that the FTC cancel its subpoenas of Bezos and Jassy, arguing that the two executives would not have unique knowledge about Prime enrollment and cancellation, which are the focus of the FTC’s investigation. 

The commissioners rejected Amazon’s request, along with several others that sought to limit or quash the FTC’s demands as part of the investigation.

“Amazon provides no reason why the Commission must accept anything less than all the relevant testimony it can obtain from these two witnesses,” the commissioners said in Wednesday’s order.

The FTC first began investigating the Amazon Prime membership program in March 2021 over concerns that Amazon was enrolling customers in Prime without their “prior express informed consent” and did not provide customers with an easy way to stop the recurring charges.

Amazon complied with the FTC’s initial requests for information. However, the commission ramped up its investigation after a March article from Insider suggested that the company “knowingly tricked people” into signing up for Prime.

In June, the FTC requested more information from Amazon and asked several current and former Amazon employees, including Bezos and Jassy, to testify.

Tags Amazon Amazon Prime Andy Jassy Andy Jassy Federal Trade Commission FTC FTC Jeff Bezos Jeff Bezos Jeff Bezos
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