Amazon hit with two lawsuits over the Buy Box and the Prime Video ad fees

Amazon hit with two lawsuits over the Buy Box and the Prime Video ad fees
Running a giant, intergalactic corporation may be fun at times, but it also means you’ll spend a lot of time in courtrooms. Well, not you personally, but your lawyers.

Amazon, for example, has been hit with two more lawsuits these days – one is regarding its Buy Box feature, the other – the Prime Video ad fees.

Reuters reports that Amazon is being sued in a proposed U.S. class action accusing the giant of violating a consumer protection law by “steering hundreds of millions of shoppers to higher-priced items in order to earn extra fees”.

According to the filed complaint in a federal court in Seattle, Amazon's algorithm for choosing what to display in its “Buy Box” often obscures lower-priced options with faster delivery times. The complaint also states that shoppers go with Amazon's choices nearly 98% of the time by clicking the “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” buttons, often “falsely believing Amazon had found the best prices”, but, instead, the algorithm is said to “favor Amazon's own profits over consumer well-being”.

Amazon allegedly created the algorithm to benefit third-party sellers that participate in its Fulfillment By Amazon program and pay “hefty fees” for inventory storage, packing and shipping, returns and other services, the lawsuit said.

Amazon declined to comment.

The other lawsuit has to do with Amazon’s Prime Video ad fees – an Amazon Prime subscriber filed a class action lawsuit (via Fox Business). The plaintiff, a resident of California, has accused Amazon of engaging in deceptive advertising practices and violating consumer protection laws. This legal action stems from what is described as an "unfair" modification of the advertisement policy on Prime Video.

This lawsuit was filed roughly ten days following Amazon's decision to begin incorporating limited advertisements into the viewing experience of US subscribers. Furthermore, those wishing to maintain an ad-free service are now required to incur an additional monthly fee. To avoid ads, subscribers must pay an extra $2.99 each month.

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