(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration asked a judge to revive a lawsuit by Washington, D.C., accusing Amazon.com Inc. of anticompetitive behavior.
The suit was dismissed on March 18 after a Superior Court judge held there was no evidence to support allegations that Amazon’s contracts with merchants inflated prices for consumers. But the U.S. Justice Department said in a court filing Wednesday that the ruling improperly “blended” two areas of analysis that are crucial for establishing such claims.
“If left uncorrected, the court’s ruling could jeopardize the enforcement of antitrust law by improperly raising the bar on plaintiffs challenging anticompetitive contractual restraints in the District of Columbia,” the Justice Department, which isn’t a party to the suit, said in the filing.
Attorney General Karl Racine sued Amazon last year, alleging the online retailer encourages higher-than-necessary consumer prices through policies that guarantee the tech giant a minimum profit on each item sold, while discouraging merchants on the site from offering their products at lower prices elsewhere.
Racine has also asked to the court to reconsider its dismissal.
“The antitrust laws and facts are on our side and we are determined to continue standing up for D.C. consumers,” Racine said in a statement on Thursday. “Amazon illegally uses its market power to prevent sellers from lowering their prices on other platforms -- including their own.”
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