The Antitrust Alphabet: Amazon, Buy Box, and Competition

2024Technology Law

Nathaniel DeMelis

Eighty-three percent of sales made on come from the “Buy Box” system. This website feature has come under increased scrutiny in the State of California and the United Kingdom. Both jurisdictions have sued Amazon, citing that Amazon’s Buy Box is anticompetitive and harms consumers at large. This Article considers the parallel lawsuits Amazon is facing and examines the different antitrust enforcement mechanisms and policy motivations in both California and the United Kingdom. Ultimately, this Article suggests that the California courts will find the Buy Box to be anticompetitive, due largely to their willingness to diverge from the federal consumer-welfare standard. Courts in the United Kingdom will likely reach the same conclusion because of the country’s longstanding lack of rigid enforcement standards. Both California and Federal Antitrust Law should adopt the United Kingdom’s anticompetition framework to maximize consumer benefit.

Read Full Text Here