US govt accuses Jeff Bezos’ Amazon of duping millions of consumers into enrolling in Prime

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The U.S. government has charged retail behemoth Amazon with signing up millions of customers without their permission for its paid subscription Amazon Prime program and making it difficult for them to quit.

Numerous savings, quick, free shipping on millions of goods, access to movies, music, and TV shows are just a few of the advantages of Amazon Prime. Amazon’s US Prime customers, who pay $139 annually, account for a large portion of its revenues. Over 200 million people worldwide are members of Prime.

The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Inc. (AMZN.O) on June 21 in federal court in Seattle, alleging that “Amazon has knowingly duped millions of consumers into unknowingly enrolling in Amazon Prime.”

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claimed that Amazon utilized “manipulative, coercive or deceptive user-interface designs known as ‘dark patterns’ to trick consumers into enrolling in automatically renewing Prime subscriptions.”

The FTC said Amazon generates $25 billion in revenue from Prime subscriptions annually and that “one of Amazon’s primary business goals – and the primary business goal of Prime – is increasing subscriber numbers.”

According to the lawsuit, Amazon revised its canceling procedure in April as a result of intense FTC pressure, but that “violations are ongoing.”

Since March 2021, the FTC has been looking at how people join and leave the Prime program.

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

According to the lawsuit, consumers who wanted to cancel Prime encountered many procedures before they could do so.

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