Posted September 09, 2018 11:10:50In a letter sent to Amazon today, the U.S. Department of Commerce said the company has failed to respond to an investigation into its “misleading” statements regarding the safety and effectiveness of its popular Kindle e-reader.
The letter, sent by Acting Assistant Secretary for Commerce for Industry, Technology, and Consumer Protection William J. Durbin, says Amazon is using “frivolous and false” claims to “create an impression” that its products pose a higher risk to consumers.
Durbin’s letter said that, after reviewing “at least three cases involving product safety issues” involving Amazon’s Kindle ereader, including one in the last year, the department has “identified and is working with Amazon to resolve” those claims.
In addition to the allegations of misleading statements, the letter says Amazon has not yet responded to a request for comment.
A spokesman for Amazon declined to comment.
Amazon has been the subject of several investigations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state and local authorities, as well as by the Justice Department.
Last year, a federal judge in New York City ruled that Amazon had engaged in deceptive marketing practices, and that the company must disclose to consumers whether its e-readers are safe to use.
The company has appealed that ruling, arguing that the FTC and other legal bodies can’t compel the disclosure under antitrust laws.
Last month, the FTC’s chief enforcement officer, Mary Jo White, said that the agency would be issuing a formal complaint in the coming weeks to Amazon over the allegations, which have prompted the company to remove its Kindle ereaders from its website.
Amazon’s move comes just days after the White House announced a $1 billion settlement with Apple in a dispute over the design of the company’s popular iPad line. “
We have a strong record of working closely with regulators around the country to address their concerns, including in the wake of the deadly anthrax attacks, and we are confident that the new investigation into these safety issues will be thorough and thorough-going,” the company added.
Amazon’s move comes just days after the White House announced a $1 billion settlement with Apple in a dispute over the design of the company’s popular iPad line.
The government has also sued several major retailers, including Target, Overstock, and Home Depot, over allegations of predatory pricing.
The letter to the company comes at a time when Amazon is also facing an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Bureau of the U-S.
attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The investigation is focused on the company and its Amazon-owned e-commerce business.
Last September, the Justice Departments Department sent a letter to Walmart saying that the online retail giant had deceived customers about the risks of its eBooks and DVDs.
The DOJ accused Walmart of selling counterfeit products that consumers were misled into believing were authentic and offered customers refunds for products that they did not purchase.
The letter also accused Walmart, over time, of selling millions of fraudulent eBooks to consumers and misleading them about the likelihood of counterfeit products.
In October, the SEC accused Amazon of misleading consumers about its Kindle Fire tablets, which it said were safe to charge for.
The complaint said that Amazon knew that the tablets were more susceptible to theft than the traditional paperback versions of the books, but the company did not inform customers.
The investigation is separate from an ongoing investigation into the safety issues associated with the Kindle, and is part of an ongoing probe into the e-book market.
In that case, the DOJ accused Amazon and other retailers of misleading customers about e-books that are actually no longer available for purchase.