A court on Friday dismissed what was considered the first government lawsuit in the United States on the grounds that Amazon had violated antitrust laws.
Judge Hiram E. Puig-Lugo of the District of Columbia Superior Court granted Amazon’s request to dismiss the complaint, filed last year by Karl Racine, the district attorney general, according to court records. The file does not state the reason for the dismissal.
The lawsuit focused on how Amazon treats merchants who use its website to sell products. According to the lawsuit, Amazon forced them to sell their wares on its site at the lowest price they charged elsewhere on the internet or at an entirely lower price. That caused traders to increase prices across the board, the suit argued.
A spokeswoman for Mr Racine’s office said that “the Superior Court misunderstood this” and that the office “considered our legal options”. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Regulators, legislators and law enforcement agencies have tried to rein in the power of the biggest tech companies. The federal government has sued Google over its power in the search industry and has sued Facebook over allegations that it stamped out competition by buying start-ups that could have challenged its dominance.
But the tech giants have continued to grow. Microsoft said in January it would buy video game studio Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion. And Amazon said Thursday it had completed the purchase of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio — which owns part of the James Bond franchise — after European regulators approved the deal.