Amazon Lawsuits

Amazon Lawsuits

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Amazon is constantly fighting lawsuits.  Their criminal and unethical activity is well-documented in the various lawsuits that have been brought against them.

Illegal Patents

One of Amazon’s practices is to create patents over purchasing behavior that is used by other companies.  Examples are the one-click purchase and the affiliate program, which surprisingly enough is now disallowed in many states.  In 2003, Amazon even tried patenting their discussion board format.  All of these are considered “illegal patents”; that is, they are not patentable products.

One-Click Patent (patent link)

One Click Patent – Copy (article download)

Amazon Boycott (article link)

Amazon Boycott – Copy (article download)

A short list of patents that never should’ve been granted (article link)

A shortlist of patents that should never have been granted (article download)

An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos (article link)

An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos – Copy (article download)

Discussion Board Patent (article link)

Discussion Board Patent – Copy (article download)

As a result of these unethical and illegal patents, other online retailers have to constantly pay fees to Amazon for using standard e-commerce practices.  This interferes with competitive commerce and is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.  It also censors complaints against Amazon for fear of crippling current e-commerce sites.  There is no free market as long as Amazon continues to patent the way the internet and e-commerce works.

Usurping Foreign Legal Requirements

When Amazon wanted to sell books in Canada, they didn’t want to go through legal channels.  Instead, Amazon bought the domain, hosted the Amazon.ca website in the United States and contracted with Canadian companies to fulfill those books.  This was how they evaded Canada’s legal requirements for operating in the country of Canada.

Amazon Circumventing Canadian Law (article link)

Amazon Circumvents Canadian Law – Copy (article download)

Forcing Publishers to Switch to Amazon’s BookSurge

In 2008, Amazon starting taking over the print-on-demand industry through its own company, BookSurge.  Thousands of books that had been previously offered for sale on Amazon suddenly had the BUY buttons removed.  Taking over an entire industry is being a monopoly, no matter how many ways Amazon re-words it.  Monopolies are illegal because they interfere with free markets and fair commerce.

Amazon Taking Over Print-On-Demand (article link)

BookSurge Debacle – Copy (article download)

Price Setting in the UK

In 2008, Amazon also attempted to prevent publishing companies from discounting their own titles on their own websites.  This is price collusion and is illegal in the US.  So of course Amazon attacked a UK publishing company, Hachette, and immediately began removing their titles for sale on Amazon’s UK site.  The UK Office of Fair Trade and Germany’s Federal Cartel Office began investigating Amazon until in 2013, Amazon finally backed off.  That didn’t last long since Amazon sued Hachette in 2014.

Agents Outraged at Amazon Attacking Hachette (article link)

Agents Outraged at Amazon Attacking Hachette – Copy (article download)

Office of Fair Trading Investigates Amazon (article link)

Office of Fair Trading Investigates Amazon – Copy (article download)

Price Collusion (article link)

Price Collusion – Copy (article download)

Tax Evasion in Japan

Amazon refused to pay corporate taxes owed to Japan until a court ruling forced them to pay $119 million in back taxes.

Amazon Owes $119 Million in Back Taxes to Japan (article link)

Amazon Ordered to Pay Back Taxes to Japan – Copy (article download)

Different Prices for Different Customers

Amazon customers were shocked to discover that when they deleted Amazon cookies on their computers, they were suddenly offered lower prices on the same merchandise they had in their Amazon carts.  Taking it a step further, other customers discovered they were charged more for the same product when logged in under a different family member’s account.  Amazon claimed it was a “price test”, but charging different customers different prices is illegal in the US.  It’s a form of discrimination and it’s called “differential pricing”.  Consumer groups found that Amazon practiced this differential pricing several times throughout the year 2000.  Newer accusations claim they’re still doing it, just smarter.  Now the cheaper prices show up until you log into your account and then the price jumps up.  Amazon claims this is due to price fluctuations and has nothing to do with differential pricing.  If it looks like a duck (differential pricing), acts like a duck (differential pricing), then it’s a duck (differential pricing).

Differential Pricing/Price Fixing on Amazon (article link)

Differential Pricing on Amazon – Copy (article download)

Jeff Bezos Admits to Differential Pricing (article link)

Jeff Bezos Admits to Differential Pricing – Copy (article download)

Differential Pricing on Amazon (article link)

Differential Pricing on Amazon CNET – Copy (article download)

Tax Evasion in the UK, Germany, France, and Luxembourg

In 2012, the UK (as part of the European Union) began legal actions against Amazon for tax evasion.  Amazon is also under investigation for tax evasion in China, Germany, France, Japan, and Luxembourg.

Amazon Not Paying Taxes in the UK (article link)

Amazon Not Paying Taxes in the UK – Copy (article download)

Amazon’s Tax Evasion Scheme in the UK (article link)

Amazons Tax Evasion Scheme in the UK – Copy (article download)

Amazon Hasn’t Paid UK Taxes in Three Years (article link)

Amazon Hasnt Paid UK Taxes in Three Years – Copy (article download)

Boycott Amazon Don’t Send Your Money to a Tax Haven (article link)

Boycott Amazon Don’t Send Money to a Tax Haven – Copy (article download)

Author Refuses Amazon Award (article link)

Author Refuses Amazon Award – Copy (article download)

Amazon Gets Millions in Govt Grants and Doesn’t Pay Taxes (article link)

Amazon Gets Millions in Govt Grants and Doesnt Pay Taxes – Copy (article download)

Stealing Govt Grant Money and Not Paying Taxes (article link)

Stealing Govt Grant Money and Not Paying Taxes – Copy (article download)

Encouraging Animal Abuse

In 2007 and 2008,  Amazon was sued for promoting animal abuse through the products they sell.  They were sued by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), among others.

HSUS Sues Amazon (article link)

HSUS Sues Amazon – Copy (article download)

Amazon Settles Out of Court in HSUS Lawsuit (article link)

Amazon Settles Out of Court in HSUS Lawsuit – Copy (article download)

PETA Rails Against Amazon (article link)

PETA Rails Against Amazon – Copy (article download)

Delisting Gay/Lesbian Titles

In 2009, Amazon was sued and boycotted for delisting titles that were geared toward homosexuals, transsexuals, transgender, and “politically liberal” individuals.  At the same time, Amazon was selling MP3 music which falsely accused a prominent football manager of being a child sex offender.

Gay Books Disappear from Amazon (article link)

Gay Books Disappear from Amazon – Copy (article download)

Only Self-Published Erotica Books Removed from Amazon (article link)

Amazon Targets Self-Published Books (article download)

Paying For, Encouraging, and Posting Fake Reviews

You read that title right.  Amazon is being sued for paying for fake reviews, encouraging fake reviews to be posted, and then posting them.  Even under the massive weight of all these lawsuits, Amazon refuses to remove fake reviews.  Insurance companies regularly employ actuaries who perform statistical calculations to determine whether it is cheaper to deny treatment to cancer patients and pay resulting lawsuits or cheaper to provide treatment.  For insurance companies, it’s cheaper to pay lawsuits because the patients die before the lawsuit is brought to court.  Using the same methodology, Amazon is is refusing to remove their fake reviews, i.e. they assume it is cheaper to pay resulting lawsuits than to change their bad habits.  Amazon earns enough money from fake reviews to more than cover the lawsuits which should be reason enough for anyone to avoid shopping at Amazon.

Authors Posting Fake Reviews (article link)

Authors Posting Fake Reviews PG1 – Copy (article download)

Authors Posting Fake Reviews PG2 – Copy (article download)

Study Shows Reviews Increase Sales Dramatically (article link)

Study Shows Reviews Increase Sales Dramatically – Copy (article download)

Author Trashes Competitors’ Books in Amazon Reviews (article link)

Author Trashes Competitors’ Books on Amazon (article download)

Publicists Leaving Fake Reviews for Clients on Amazon (article link)

Publicists Leaving Fake Reviews for Clients on Amazon (article download)

Fake Reviews the Norm on Amazon (article link)

Fake Reviews the Norm on Amazon – Copy (article download)

Amazon’s Fake Reviews (article link)

Amazons Fake Reviews – Copy (article download)

Amazon Offering Editors Glowing Reviews in Exchange for…Glowing Reviews (article link)

Publishers Swapping Fake Reviews on Amazon (article download)

CyberGangs Trashing Books on Amazon (article link)

Cybergangs Trashing Books on Amazon PG1 – Copy (article download)

Cybergangs Trashing Books on Amazon PG2 – Copy

Selling Offensive and Illegal Materials

These included Nazi t-shirts and pedophile guides.

Amazon Selling Nazi T-Shirts (article link)

Amazon Selling Nazi T-Shirts – Copy (article download)

Amazon Sells Pedophile Guide (article link)

Amazon Sells Pedophile Guide – Copy (article download)

Pedophile Guide Author Arrested (article link)

Pedophile Guide Author Arrested – Copy (article download)

Mistreatment of Workers

Extreme heat (in excess of 110 degrees F), illegal terminations for illness (or cancer), tagging with GPS devices, and being run over with golf carts and pallet tractors are just a few of the ways Amazon workers are mistreated.  These are the conditions outlined in multiple lawsuits against Amazon in about every state of the country.

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse in PA (article link)

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse – PG1 – Copy (article download)

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse – Page 2 – Copy (article download)

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse – Page 3 – Copy (article download)

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse – Page 4 – Copy (article download)

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse – Page 5 – Copy (article download)

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse – Page 6 – Copy (article download)

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse – Page 7 – Copy (article download)

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse – Page 8 – Copy (article download)

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse – Page 9 – Copy (article download)

Horrible Conditions for Amazon’s UK Workers (article link)

Horrible Conditions for Amazons UK Workers – Copy (article download)

Anger at Amazon Working Conditions (article link)

Anger at Amazon Working Conditions – Copy (article download)

Printing and Distributing Holocaust Denial Books

In 2013 Amazon was confronted by the World Jewish Congress for printing and distributing literature that promoted anti-Semitism, white supremacy, and denied the Holocaust ever happened.  These books were even shipped to countries where it is prohibited by law.

Amazon’s Holocaust Shame (article link)

Amazons Holocaust Shame – Copy (article download)

Amazon Holocaust Denial (article link)

Amazon Holocaust Denial – Copy (article download)

Amazon’s Monopoly Power is Hurting America

With Amazon’s purchase of the major newspaper, The Washington Post, it slowly began putting the country’s most notable writers on its payroll, stifling any criticism.  But the most noted writer at the New York Times had this to say of Amazon:

Amazon.com, the giant online retailer, has too much power, and it uses that power in ways that hurt America.

You might be tempted to say that this is just business — no different from Standard Oil, back in the days before it was broken up, refusing to ship oil via railroads that refused to grant it special discounts. But that is, of course, the point: The robber baron era ended when we as a nation decided that some business tactics were out of line. And the question is whether we want to go back on that decision.

Does Amazon really have robber-baron-type market power? When it comes to books, definitely. Amazon overwhelmingly dominates online book sales, with a market share comparable to Standard Oil’s share of the refined oil market when it was broken up in 1911.

So can we trust Amazon not to abuse that power? The Hachette dispute has settled that question: no, we can’t.

Don’t tell me that Amazon is giving consumers what they want, or that it has earned its position. What matters is whether it has too much power, and is abusing that power. Well, it does, and it is.

Amazon Hurts America (article link)

Amazon Hurts America – Copy (article download)

Amazon’s Monopsony is not OK (article link)

Amazons Monopsony is Not OK – Copy (article download)

And There’s More

There are too many lawsuits against Amazon to list them all here.

Amazon Lawsuits and Controversies (article link)

Amazon Lawsuits and Controversies (article download)

If you take a look at the US economy now and before Amazon rose to power, you’ll see a pattern, a very devastating pattern.  Amazon is hurting America.

 

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