Amazon responds after Arizona AG files lawsuits against online giant

Officials with Amazon have issued a response after the Arizona Attorney General's Office announced that they are suing the online giant.

In a statement issued on May 15, the AG's Office accused Amazon of "unfair and deceptive business practices under the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act and the Arizona Uniform State Antitrust Act."

"Amazon's anti-competitive and monopolistic practices have artificially inflated prices for Arizona consumers and harmed smaller third-party retailers that rely on its platform," Attorney General Mayes wrote.

Two lawsuits were filed, with the first one focusing on the cancellation process for Amazon Prime.

"Amazon’s cancellation process allegedly required users to navigate a complicated and manipulative interface with skewed wording, confusing choices, and repeated nudging. Such methods, known as ‘dark patterns,’ exploit cognitive biases to influence and manipulate consumer choices," a portion of the statement reads.

The second lawsuit targets an Amazon algorithm that "determines which offer for a given product is made available via the "Buy Now" or "Add to Cart" buttons."

"The lawsuit claims the Buy Box algorithm is actually biased toward offers that maximize Amazon’s profits, often favoring its own products or those of Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) sellers over better non-FBA options," the statement reads.

Online retail giant "surprised and disappointed"

(Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

A spokesperson for Amazon said the company is "surprised and disappointed" by the cases, while also accusing the state's AG of initiating the lawsuits "without reviewing a single document from Amazon."

The full statement reads:

"We are surprised and disappointed by these cases, which the Arizona Attorney General initiated without reviewing a single document from Amazon, resulting in a fundamental misunderstanding and mischaracterization of how Amazon’s businesses work.  

Prime’s sign-up and cancellation processes are clear and simple by design, meeting a high bar for customer satisfaction well above legal requirements. Customers sign up for Prime because it’s an incredible service and a great value, and they can cancel their Prime membership with a few clicks from the home page. 

These suits would force Amazon to engage in practices that actually harm consumers and the many businesses that sell in our store—such as having to feature higher prices."