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Court Should Dismiss FTC’s Claim Against Amazon Subscriptions, NetChoice Brief Argues

SEATTLE—Last month, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging it uses “unfair methods” for enabling subscriptions and cancellations. Yet in doing so, the FTC is asking the court to hold Amazon liable for conduct that does not actually violate any law, and in reality greatly benefits consumers. This is disturbing: a legitimate democratic system must be governed by the rule of law, not arbitrary whims of government officials.

NetChoice filed a brief yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington with the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and Chamber of Progress supporting Amazon’s motion to dismiss this case. 

Our amicus curiae brief makes two key points:

  1. The standards under which the FTC wishes to hold Amazon liable are not actually codified in any statute or regulation, meaning that Amazon is not violating any law on the books. This introduces instability to the regulatory code and undermines confidence in the legal system.
  2. The FTC’s complaint is an attempt to punish Amazon for its ongoing efforts to improve the consumer experience.

“The FTC is trying to initiate claims against Amazon that are untethered from any actual law on the books. This has serious implications for both innovators and consumers—legal action based on government whims, rather than the rule of law, will erode confidence in the nation’s executive agencies. For this reason, we ask the Court to grant Amazon’s motion to dismiss,” said Nicole Saad Bembridge, NetChoice Associate Director of Litigation. 

As we explain in our brief, “the digital economy is the greatest engine for economic growth in perhaps a century.” And like any other industry, it “depends on regulatory certainty and a stable legal rubric in order to succeed, innovate, and grow.” 

Read NetChoice’s full brief with CCIA and Chamber of Progress here

Please contact Krista Chavez at with inquiries.