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Technology The FTC has reportedly opened a probe into Amazon's cloud business

16:00  05 december  2019
16:00  05 december  2019 Source:   engadget.com

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The US Federal Trade Commission is expanding the scope of its Amazon probe to include its cloud business , according to Bloomberg. The FTC may be looking into whether Amazon is favoring the companies that work with it exclusively and is punishing rivals that work with its cloud competitors.

Of the three areas where the FTC is reportedly investigating Amazon ' s business practices, its probe of the links between Amazon ' s direct e-commerce and marketplace practices is perhaps the one to pay the most attention to.

The US Federal Trade Commission is expanding the scope of its Amazon probe to include its cloud business, according to Bloomberg. In addition to looking into the company's e-commerce business, investigators have reportedly started asking the software companies Amazon works with about Web Services' practices to figure out it's been harming competition or violating any antitrust laws.

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Amazon Web Services has been providing most of the company's operating income over the past four years. It didn't meet analyst expectations in the third quarter of 2019, and its growth seems to be slowing down a bit, but it still posted $9 billion in sales.

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Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons arrives for a news conference at the Federal Trade Kenneth Corbin has been covering public policy as a working journalist for more than a decade, filing dispatches from Washington, New York, New Orleans, Baltimore and.

Amazon is already being probed by FTC officials over its business practices in retail and cloud computing, according to reports from several outlets. The Department of Justice and the House Judiciary Committee have both opened broad antitrust reviews of Big Tech.

The FTC refused to confirm the investigation. As Bloomberg notes, though, AWS sells various products on top of its basic offerings, such as databases and machine-learning tools, competing with software companies selling similar products. It also works with some of those software companies, which, in turn, may also be working with other cloud providers. The FTC may be looking into whether Amazon is favoring the companies that work with it exclusively and is punishing rivals that work with its cloud competitors. Of course, that's just a possible angle, and the investigation may not lead to a fine if the FTC finds that AWS is acting completely above board.

Bloomberg

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