Strategic Organizing Center Issues Complaint to FTC Against Amazon for Unlawful Deception

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The Strategic Organizing Center (SOC) submitted a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission "alleging [Amazon] is unlawfully deceiving millions of consumers." According to the complaint, Amazon is doing so by "failing to 'clearly and conspicuously' disclose which of its search engine results are paid advertisements rather than 'organic' search results." SOC stated it has conducted an analysis of over 130,000 Amazon product search results and found that the company was "substantially or entirely out of compliance with all the FTC's specific guidelines for the visual identification of online advertisements on search engine pages intended to ensure that consumers are able to distinguish advertisements from organic search results." The study by SOC also found that one-quarter of all search results were third-party advertisements, which they said adds to the level of consumer harm. "Amazon is clearly violating the proscription on consumer deception under Section 5 of the FTC Act," says the complaint. "Accordingly, SOC requests that the [FTC] investigate Amazon’s deceptive advertising practices and take swift and forceful action to halt these consumer abuses."

SOC Complaint to the FTC Against Amazon, Inc. for Unlawful Deception Under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act