Amazon accused of deceptive pricing, group demands halt to Whole Foods deal


Amazon’s $13.7 billion obtain of Entire Foodstuff should really be put on keep until Amazon ends its “deceptive pricing practices,” a client team has demanded in a grievance to federal regulators.

Customer Watchdog claims the e-commerce giant uses inflated “reference prices” subsequent to real price ranges on merchandise advertisements, deceptive on the internet consumers into wondering they are on the lookout at a improved deal than what is basically on offer you.

The reference price ranges “have no basis in truth,” Customer Watchdog charged in its July six letter to the Federal Trade Fee and Section of Justice.

“Amazon is not competing on the basis of price tag in a way that would profit buyers. Somewhat, it is competing deceptively by saying a discounted from an entirely bogus price tag,” the team claimed.

“In virtually 4 in 10 cases, Amazon never ever appeared to demand the former price tag from which it claimed to be discounting.”

Amazon termed Customer Watchdog’s grievance “misleading.”

“We are obsessed with maintaining shopper believe in, and get the job done tricky to present significant reference price ranges,” a company spokesperson explained.

“We use a variety of programs to validate reference price ranges presented by companies, distributors and sellers in opposition to real price ranges not too long ago identified throughout Amazon and other retailers.”

The Entire Foodstuff deal would extend Amazon’s access, likely allowing it to extend its pricing methods — and the company can’t be trusted, the team instructed.

“Amazon must not be authorized to increase these misleading practices to a whole new pool of unsuspecting clients,” the letter to regulators said.

“We simply call on you to block the proposed obtain of Entire Foodstuff until Amazon formally consents to cease its misleading, unfair and anti-competitive pricing.”

This is the next operate Customer Watchdog has taken at Amazon around the allegedly deceptive price ranges. In March, it questioned California’s Attorney Standard, together with the FTC, to probe the firm’s pricing practices. That desire adopted a $1 million great in opposition to Amazon by Canada around Amazon’s use of reference price ranges.


Photo: Packages journey down a conveyor belt before becoming scanned and a shipping and delivery tackle is hooked up at the Amazon achievement centre in Tracy in 2016. (Doug Duran/Bay Space News Group)


Tags: amazon, Customer Watchdog, misleading pricing, Section of Justice, DOJ, e-commerce, Federal Trade Fee, FTC, reference price ranges, buying