Amazon will reportedly fall below the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission following an agreement involving the FTC and the Department of Justice, reports The Washington Post. The move could bring elevated scrutiny for the retail giant, just just after the DOJ is reportedly preparing its personal case against Google.
The Post says that it is not promptly clear what plans the FTC has for Amazon, but notes that this “kind of arrangement brokered between the Justice Department and the FTC typically presages more serious antitrust scrutiny.” While the Post didn’t get comments from Amazon, the DOJ or FTC concerning the news, it spoke with former FTC chair Maureen Ohlhausen, who stated that if such discussions are underway, “that would indicate there’s a reason for that discussion, whether it’s a new interest, study, or investigation.”
The news comes just after reports broke on Friday evening that the DOJ is preparing an antitrust investigation into Google’s search organization. Those reports noted that the FTC launched its personal investigations against Google in 2011 (resulting in a civil penalty) and in 2013 (which was closed, and would take a back seat to the Justice Department this time about.
Calls for additional scrutiny more than the organization practices of the country’s main tech businesses has been steadily expanding in the final year — European regulators and prominent Democratic presidential candidates have created the case to break up businesses such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, citing their vast influence in the marketplace and their organization practices. In February, the FTC launched a new process force developed to investigate anti-competitive behavior amongst the tech giants inside the US technologies sector, even though it is also and has reportedly been seeking to level a multi-billion dollar fine against Facebook for its privacy practices.