Amazon Accused Of Duping Consumers Into Prime Subscriptions By FTC: Reuters - (NASDAQ:AMZN)

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has accused Inc. AMZN of enrolling millions of consumers into its paid subscription service, Amazon Prime, without their consent and making it difficult for them to cancel, Reuters reports.

FTC’s Allegations

The FTC has filed a lawsuit against Amazon in federal court in Seattle, alleging that the company has used “manipulative, coercive or deceptive user-interface designs known as ‘dark patterns’ to trick consumers into enrolling in automatically renewing Prime subscriptions.” Amazon has refuted these claims, calling them “false on the facts and the law.”

Amazon Prime’s Impact

Amazon Prime, generating $25 billion in annual revenue, offers fast, free shipping on millions of items, various discounts, and access to movies, music, and television series, among other benefits. Prime members in the United States, who pay $139 per year, drive much of Amazon’s sales volume.

Amazon’s Response

Amazon has stated that customers love Prime and that it makes it clear and simple for customers to both sign up for or cancel their Prime membership. The company expressed concern over the FTC’s decision to announce the lawsuit without notice, amidst ongoing discussions with the FTC.

FTC’s Investigation

The FTC has been investigating sign-up and cancellation processes for the Prime program since March 2021. The complaint alleges that Amazon used a complex process, referred to as “Iliad Flow,” to make it difficult for consumers to cancel their Prime membership.

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