Amazon.com Inc. was sued by the attorney general for Washington, D.C., for allegedly engaging in anticompetitive practices that have raised prices for consumers.
The antitrust lawsuit, the first to target Amazon in the U.S., opens a new front in the campaign against major U.S. tech companies and is the sixth such case filed in the last year by state and federal officials. Yet even with the prospect of more action on the way against the industry in general and Amazon in particular, the retailer’s shares recovered from a decline Tuesday on the news and rose on the day.
Attorney General Karl Racine filed the Amazon case on his own for the district, rather than teaming with states, which is a common practice for attorneys general. He said he didn’t know whether states would join and hasn’t coordinated with the Federal Trade Commission, which Bloomberg has reported is investigating Amazon to determine whether the e-commerce giant is using its market power to hurt competition. Moreover, investors understand that monopoly cases typically play out for years and can be difficult to win. The Justice Department case against Google isn’t scheduled for trial until 2023.