Two Amazon customers have taken to the courts, accusing the retail giant of manipulating prices to its advantage via its Buy Box feature.
The lawsuit, filed in Washington, revolves around the potential misleading nature of Amazon’s algorithm for choosing what to display in its Buy Box when shoppers search for products.
Often, this spot is reserved for Amazon itself or third-party vendors enrolled in Amazon’s Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program.
While Buy Box may look like a simple design feature, it is alleged to be used as an anti-competitive weapon, with expensive items seemingly overshadowing better prices from other sellers, which are tucked away beneath the primary recommendation.
Critics point out that this prioritises Amazon’s profits over consumer savings.
The lawsuit has far-reaching implications as sellers not participating in the FBA program, despite offering lower prices, find their products less visible, and potentially miss out on crucial sales.
It has sparked a debate on fair competition and the transparency of online retail practices.