Amazon founder Jeff Bezos arrives for his meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the British diplomatic residence on September 20, 2021 in New York City.

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The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday evening rejected Amazon’s offer to exclude CEO Andy Jassy and founder Jeff Bezos from testifying in an investigation into the retail giant’s Prime program.

In an order written by Republican Commissioner Christine Wilson and made public on the FTC’s website, the agency ruled that Amazon had not sufficiently proven that its timeline for executive testimony would be unduly burdensome. Still, the agency allowed more preparation time before testifying.

“Amazon provides no reason why the Commission should accept anything less than all relevant testimony it can obtain from these two witnesses,” the order reads.

Amazon filed a lawsuit in August, saying the FTC’s requests for information and testimony were too broad and burdensome. Amazon even accused FTC staff of harassing Bezos and Jassy for their participation.

Amazon said the FTC “made matters worse” when it informed the company in June that the agency was expanding the scope of its investigation to include other subscription programs, including Audible, Amazon Music, Kindle Unlimited and Subscribe & Save, according to the August file. .

The FTC has been investigating Amazon’s Prime program sign-up and cancellation processes since March 2021. The agency is investigating whether Amazon tricks users into signing up for Prime, while failing to provide a easy way to cancel and avoid recurring charges.

The Prime membership program, which costs $139 a year and includes perks like free shipping, now has some 200 million subscribers worldwide.

Amazon said last month that it had so far complied with FTC requests, producing some 37,000 pages of documents.

Amazon navigated an awkward relationship with the FTC under chairman Lina Khan, who rose to prominence as a law student when she published “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” in the Yale Law Journal in 2017. The company called for Khan’s recusal from antitrust investigations into his company, citing his past criticism of his power.

Amazon won some concessions from the FTC, such as a limitation on “catch-all” information requests, which the commission said it would change. The FTC also established a protocol for scheduling future hearings and clarified that witnesses should be broadly allowed to choose their own attorney, barring certain disputes.

“We are disappointed but not surprised that the FTC has largely declined to rule against itself, but we are pleased that the agency has backed its broadest demands and will allow witnesses to choose their own attorneys,” said one. Amazon spokesperson in a statement. “Amazon has cooperated with the FTC throughout the investigation and has already produced tens of thousands of pages of documents. We are committed to engaging constructively with FTC staff, but we remain concerned that the latest requests are too broad and unnecessarily burdensome, and we will explore all our possibilities.”

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