Representatives of Amazon.com are set to meet next week with Federal Trade Commission officials, a person familiar with the plans said, in the latest sign that the agency is close to bringing an antitrust complaint against the online retail giant.
The Amazon representatives will meet individually with each of the FTC Commissioners during the week of Monday Aug. 14, the person said.
The person referred to the plans as a last-rites meeting, often one of the final steps before either a lawsuit or a settlement is filed.
If the commission does sue Amazon, it would mark a signature moment in the tenure of FTC Chair Lina Khan, who built her career in part by arguing in a widely read academic paper that Amazon had amassed too much market power and that antitrust law had failed to restrain it.
The commission in recent years has been examining Amazon practices including whether it favors its own products over competitors’ on its platforms and how it treats outside sellers on Amazon.com, according to some of the people familiar with the matter. The FTC also has been scrutinizing the company’s Amazon Prime subscription service’s bundling practices, some of the people said.
Exactly which aspects of the business the FTC would target in a potential Amazon lawsuit couldn’t be learned.
The lawsuit could challenge an array of the tech giant’s business practices as anticompetitive.