amazon has been accused of intentionally redirect to users of your online store towards more expensive items to earn extra income. In a class action lawsuit before the federal court in Seattle, United States, the company founded by Jeff Bezos was denounced for violating consumer protection legislation in this country.
Amazon’s algorithm hides cheaper options, with faster delivery times, when choosing what to display in its “Buy Box,” says the lawsuit cited by Reuters. The complainants maintain that Shoppers choose the options suggested by the store 98% of the timefalsely believing that these are the cheapest products.
The algorithm would benefit those who participate in the program Fulfillment By Amazon. This is a plan that allows external sellers to outsource the logistics management offered by the virtual store. It is in Amazon’s interest that These sellers have more sales because they tend to pay “high rates” for various services, says the complaint filed by two California residents. Among them, inventory storage, product packaging, shipping and returns management.
“While apparently identifying the selection that consumers would make if they considered all available offers, Amazon’s ‘Buy Box’ algorithm deceptively favors Amazon’s own profits over consumer well-being,” the whistleblowers claim. Consequently, they ask for compensation for the grievances suffered since 2016.
Amazon’s algorithm and its other complaints
Amazon, which sells more than one billion items, He has been accused several times of favoring his interests with unfair tactics. In 2020, for example, the virtual store hid products from its competitors who could make shipments faster than what their system offered. Amazon acknowledged that this was happening, but argued that it was a system failure, it revealed at the time. Recode.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also accused Amazon last year of using a secret algorithm to systematically increase the prices of its products. The company created a secret algorithm whose internal code name is «Project Nessie». In this way, the retailer identified which products it could increase the price of and which, it assumed, other stores would copy.
Amazon began testing this system in 2010 and used it until at least 2019. In April 2018 alone, the company used this method to set prices on more than eight million purchased items. The strategy, in general, allowed him to win more than a billion dollars, the FTC reported. The commission noted that this was one of several illegal measures that Amazon has implemented to increase its profits.
Amazon acknowledged the existence of the algorithm. But company spokesman Tim Doyle said at the time that the FTC “mischaracterized” the tool. He maintained that The algorithm served to prevent prices from becoming “so low as to be unsustainable.” Doyle assured that the system was no longer used.