Amazon and Tesla sue in California court

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Lawyers in California want to rein in two large tech companies for allegedly hurting consumers.

A pair of lawsuits were filed Wednesday, one alleging Amazon is illegally inflating prices and another accusing Tesla of misleading customers about the effectiveness of its self-driving technology.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed suit against Amazon in the San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday, saying the e-commerce giant engaged in anti-competitive contract practices that increased prices for California consumers.

The state’s legal filing essentially says the e-commerce giant is using its market dominance to damage the ability of third-party merchants to lower prices on non-Amazon websites, including their own.

If the merchant fails to comply, they could be subject to sanctions by Amazon, such as removing the “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” features and ultimately suspending their ability to sell on the platform, according to the lawsuit. This raises prices for consumers and hurts competition, the filing said.

“Because other ecommerce platforms are unable to compete on price, consumers are turning to Amazon as a one-stop shop for all their purchases,” Bonta said in a statement. “The reality is, many of the products we buy online would be cheaper if market forces weren’t limited.”

Bonta’s bid to chase Amazon mirrors another case brought by Washington, DC, which was later dismissed by a judge. Earlier this year, Washington state won a $2.25 million settlement against the company over price fixing.

Bonta’s lawsuit claims, among other things, damages to compensate consumers. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Another lawsuit filed Wednesday against the electric car market Tesla in California’s Northern District is seeking class action status for what it characterized as years of “misleading and deceptive statements” regarding the company’s self-driving technology. .

The lawsuit follows similar allegations by California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which has filed two complaints with the state’s Office of Administrative Hearings, alleging that the automaker has compromised the ability of Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technologies. exaggerated his website. The DMV’s documents were cited in the class action lawsuit filed Wednesday as evidence of Tesla’s deception.

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Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The electric car maker is also under investigation by federal regulators, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is investigating whether using Tesla’s Autopilot system increases the risk of accidents.

The named plaintiff in the class action complaint, Briggs Matsko, purchased a 2018 Tesla Model X and paid an additional $5,000 for the company’s Enhanced Autopilot system. Matsko said, among other things, that based on the company’s statements, he believed that the technology he bought would soon be fully self-driving in all situations. Four years later, that has not happened.

The complaint accuses the company and its leadership of continuing to make false promises “to generate media attention, mislead consumers into believing it has unparalleled advanced technology, and establish itself as a leading player in the burgeoning market for electric vehicles. ”

For relief, the plaintiff is seeking to prevent Tesla from continuing its “misleading and deceptive marketing,” refunds for the money paid for technology that was never delivered, and damages.

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