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FTC Takes Enforcement Action Against Amazon Over Prime

West Palm Beach Business Litigation Attorney 2023-01-26 16-48-30

On June 21st, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced proposed enforcement action against Amazon related to alleged deceptive and unfair commercial conduct related to its Prime subscription service. Here, our West Palm Beach FDUTPA lawyers discuss the charges and the proposed FTC enforcement action against Amazon.

FTC: Amazon Engaged in Deceptive and Unfair Commercial Practices 

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) initiated legal proceedings against Amazon.com, Inc. The federal agency accuses the company of engaging in deceptive practices to enroll customers into its Prime subscription service without their informed consent. Among other things, the complaint contends that the tech giant used “dark patterns”—those being manipulative and/or deceptive user-interface designs—to ensnare millions of people into the Prime program which automatically renews. Beyond that, the FTC claims that Amazon deliberately made it cumbersome for subscribers to cancel their Prime memberships by implementing a convoluted cancellation process.

The FTC complaint emphasizes the point that Amazon was cognizant of the non-consensual enrollment issue and the overly-burdensome cancellation process. However, the FTC contends that the company did not take substantive steps to address these issues until they were faced with the FTC investigation. The complaint also suggests that Amazon’s leadership was reluctant to make changes that could have simplified the cancellation process as these changes were seen to negatively impact their financial performance.

 The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act Lets Consumers to Take Direct Action 

In Florida, consumers do not have to rely on federal or state regulators to take legal action against a company engaged in improper commercial practices. The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) is a valuable instrument that empowers consumers to take direct legal action against businesses engaging in deceptive or unfair practices. Here are some key points that consumers in Florida should understand:

  • Consumer Empowerment: FDUTPA gives consumers the power to sue companies that employ dishonest or unjust methods, without waiting for government agencies to take action. The law contains a private right of action that lets consumers sue
  • Financial Compensation: Successful plaintiffs are entitled to monetary damages. This may include the return of funds lost due to the deceptive practice and, in some cases, additional compensation. The FDUTPA allows the recovery of “actual losses.”
  • Attorney’s Fees (Some Cases): Consumers who win their case can also be awarded attorney’s fees, encouraging legal representation and leveling the playing field against large corporations. Though, attorneys’ fees are not guaranteed. They are granted by Florida courts on a discretionary basis.
  • Class Action Lawsuits Possible: FDUTPA allows for class-action lawsuits, enabling a group of consumers who have suffered similar harms to join together in legal action.

Consult With Our FDUTPA Attorney for Immediate Help

At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our West Palm Beach commercial litigation attorney represents clients in the full range of FDUTPA cases. We provide solutions-forward legal representation. Contact us now for your fully private initial legal consultation. With our law offices in West Palm Beach and Miami, we handle deceptive and unfair commercial practices cases throughout Southeast Florida.



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