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Watchdog accuses Amazon of cutting prices during the pandemic

While Amazon has repeatedly spoken out against price cuts, the focus has mainly been on third-party sellers. According to its own statements, Amazon has removed more than a million entries and blocked more than 10,000 accounts due to alleged price cuts. However, the report released this week includes several examples of “sold by Amazon” products that have seen their prices rise sharply.

In a statement to Engadget, an Amazon spokesman said:

As mentioned earlier, there is no room for price reductions on Amazon, and that includes products offered directly by Amazon. Our systems are designed to match or exceed the best available price among our competitors. When we discover a bug, we work quickly to fix it. Our teams continue to monitor our business 24/7 and have already removed over a million listings. Our customers expect low prices in our store, and we work hard every day to bring the best available price on hundreds of millions of products in our store to all customers.

In March, Amazon and the Justice Department asked consumers to report cases of price cuts. However, by May, some sellers found a way to use the “collectibles”

; label to evade the rules for price cuts. Last month, Germany launched an investigation into whether Amazon influenced prices during the pandemic.

As Public Citizen points out, the U.S. doesn’t have federal laws to cut prices, but the DoJ previously said that companies that set prices or set deals on PPE such as gloves or masks could be prosecuted under antitrust laws. As you may know, Amazon is already under pressure over possible antitrust abuses.

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