Big Tech Can’t Stop Telling On Itself


An old Mac System 6 folder, titled Mens Rea. It contains a file called PREMEDIATED_MURDER_FINAL.DOC as well as UNTITLED-1.DOC, UNTITLED-1.DOC copy, UNTITLED-1.DOC FINAL and UNTITLED-1.DOC FINAL-1.

In July, the Federal Trade Commission announced a complaint against Amazon over the ways the company has tricked customers into subscribing to its paid Prime service. The Commission argues that Amazon discovered that its customers were accidentally signing up for Prime and were unhappy about it, and that the company nevertheless decided not to fix this confusion because it was making too much money from these accidental signups. To make things worse, Amazon deliberately made it harder to cancel Prime, and celebrated that the new, more complex process resulted in fewer cancellations.

This is historic. Prior to the current administration, the FTC had been in a 40 year decline: underfunded and timid. But the new chair, Lina M. Khan, has brought a muscular, take-no-prisoners approach, working in close coordination with her peers at the DoJ antitrust division and with other agencies to reawaken their long-dormant regulatory powers.

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