FTC sues Amazon over deceptive design tactics

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging that the company engaged in deceptive practices to sign up consumers for its Prime program and made it difficult for them to cancel. The FTC claims that Amazon violated the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act by using deceptive design tactics, known as dark patterns, to manipulate users into enrolling in Prime without their consent.

FTC Chair Lina Khan stated that Amazon “tricked and trapped people into recurring subscriptions without their consent, not only frustrating users but also costing them significant money.”

However, Amazon’s spokesperson, Heather Layman, denied the allegations, stating that the FTC’s claims are false both in terms of facts and the law. Layman emphasized that Amazon makes it clear and simple for customers to both sign up for and cancel their Prime membership, and they continuously listen to customer feedback to improve the customer experience.

The lawsuit highlights the ongoing scrutiny faced by large tech companies regarding their business practices and consumer protection. It will be interesting to see how the case unfolds and what impact it may have on Amazon’s operations and the broader e-commerce industry.

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