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

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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 2022 Business Insider article suggested that the company “knowingly tricked people” into signing up for Prime.

In June 2022, the FTC requested more information from Amazon and asked several current and former Amazon employees, including Bezos and Jassy, to testify.

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