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Amazon hides cheaper items with faster delivery, lawsuit alleges

Amazon hides cheaper items with faster delivery, lawsuit alleges

Enlarge (credit: AdrianHancu | iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus)

Amazon rigged its platform to “routinely” push an overwhelming majority of customers to pay more for items that could’ve been purchased at lower costs with equal or faster delivery times, a class-action lawsuit has alleged.

The lawsuit claims that a biased algorithm drives Amazon’s “Buy Box,” which appears on an item’s page and prompts shoppers to “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart.” According to customers suing, nearly 98 percent of Amazon sales are of items featured in the Buy Box, because customers allegedly “reasonably” believe that featured items offer the best deal on the platform.

“But they are often wrong,” the complaint said, claiming that instead, Amazon features items from its own retailers and sellers that participate in Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), both of which pay Amazon higher fees and gain secret perks like appearing in the Buy Box.

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