Reports: Amazon under scrutiny by California, Washington

California Connection

TOPSHOT – Chief Executive Officer of Amazon Jeff Bezos (L) and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez pose for a picture during their visit at the Taj Mahal in Agra on January 21, 2020. (Photo by Pawan Sharma / AFP) / ALTERNATE CROP (Photo by PAWAN SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — State officials in California and Washington are reviewing Amazon’s business practices to determine whether the company is violating any laws with respect to the independent merchants that sell goods on its site, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that California is examining the retail giant’s business practices, focusing partly on how Amazon treats independent sellers on its platform.

Also on Friday, The New York Times reported that state investigators in Washington are reviewing Amazon’s handling of third-party sellers on its platform.

The reports cited unnamed persons familiar with the matter.

The inquiries come amid heightened government scrutiny into big technology companies and their impact on competition and consumers.

The U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are pursuing antitrust probes into Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple.

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