FTC sues Amazon for signing users up for Prime without consent

The FTC alleges that Amazon also sabotaged users' efforts to cancel their membership.


We’ve seen government organizations repeatedly take action some of the world’s biggest companies this year as they look to rein in unethical and anti-competitive practices. Amazon is the latest trillion dollar corporation to draw the ire of regulators, as the FTC has announced it's suing the retail and entertainment empire for manipulating users into signing up for its Prime service and sabotaging their efforts to cancel.

The announcement came from a news release on the official website for the Federal Trade Commission. According to the organization, Amazon has spent years enrolling users into its subscription service Amazon Prime, without their consent. The FTC also states that Amazon made a concerted effort to prevent users from canceling their subscriptions, refusing to make changes to the process that would have made it easier for consumers to end their subscriptions.

The Amazon logo on the exterior of a warehouse.

“Amazon tricked and trapped people into recurring subscriptions without their consent, not only frustrating users but also costing them significant money,” said FTC Chair Lina M. Khan. “These manipulative tactics harm consumers and law-abiding businesses alike. The FTC will continue to vigorously protect Americans from 'dark patterns' and other unfair or deceptive practices in digital markets.”

Amazon Prime is a subscription service paid monthly or annually that provides users with faster ship times, exclusive deals, access to the Prime Video streaming service, and more. It’s grown to be a core tenet of Amazon’s business model and is marketed through various sale events and promotions throughout the year.

The FTC has been quite involved in the affairs of major entertainment companies as of late. Earlier this month, the organization announced that it would be filing an injunction to block Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard. As we await future updates on the FTC suing Amazon, stay with us here on Shacknews.

News Editor

Donovan is a young journalist from Maryland, who likes to game. His oldest gaming memory is playing Pajama Sam on his mom's desktop during weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 were some of the most influential titles in awakening his love for video games. After interning for Shacknews throughout college, Donovan graduated from Bowie State University in 2020 with a major in broadcast journalism and joined the team full-time. He is a huge Scream nerd and film fanatic that will talk with you about movies and games all day. You can follow him on twitter @Donimals_

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola