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Amazon’s Bezos, Jassy Can be Forced to Testify in FTC Probe

(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. lost a bid to exclude top executives including billionaire founder Jeff Bezos and Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy from having to testify in a Federal Trade Commission probe.

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The company filed a petition with the FTC last month, arguing that the agency’s information and interview requests were “unduly burdensome.”

In an order published late on Wednesday, the FTC rejected that request, saying the two executives could be interviewed as part of a probe, though it extended the time period for when sworn testimony could occur.

“Amazon provides no reason why the Commission must accept anything less than all the relevant testimony it can obtain from these two witnesses,” the FTC said in its decision.

Amazon Accuses FTC of Harassing Bezos in ‘Burdensome’ Probe

Amazon said in a statement that it was “disappointed” by the FTC’s order and will “explore all our options.”

“We are committed to engaging constructively with FTC staff, but we remain concerned that the latest requests are overly broad and needlessly burdensome,” the company said.

The FTC, which has both antitrust and consumer protection mandates, has been investigating Amazon for potential anticompetitive conduct for several years. The agency opened an investigation into Amazon Prime last year, investigating whether the subscription service may have violated consumer protection laws.

The Biden administration has stepped up antitrust enforcement as a keystone of its economic policy, seeking to reverse what antitrust officials view as decades of lax oversight over corporate consolidation and market power.

(Updates to add Amazon comment from fifth paragraph)

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