Amazon was hit with a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday, alleging that the popular online retailer has employed deceptive tactics to entice millions of users into signing up for Amazon Prime.
According to the lawsuit, Amazon utilized manipulative and coercive user interface designs, commonly referred to as 'dark patterns,' in order to mislead consumers into subscribing to automatically-renewing Prime memberships. Additionally, the FTC accuses the company of intentionally creating obstacles to canceling Prime subscriptions, aiming to retain subscribers against their will.
In response to the lawsuit, Amazon, currently boasting 200 million paid Prime subscribers, issued a statement expressing concern over the FTC's decision to file the lawsuit without prior notice during ongoing discussions with FTC staff. Amazon believes that this lack of customary engagement is deeply disappointing but remains optimistic about presenting their case in court and establishing the truth with regards to the facts, context, and legal aspects of the matter.