WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that Amazon would pay $61.7 million fine over its failure to pay Amazon Flex drivers the full amount of tips they received from customers over more than two years. Amazon ended the practice in 2019 only once it became aware of the federal investigation of its practices. Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“This is extraordinary and egregious behavior. One of the world’s largest companies, under the control of the richest person on the planet, allegedly deceived its contract workers so it could pocket millions of tip income they were owed. To put this in perspective, since the start of the pandemic, Jeff Bezos’s wealth increased by more than 1,000 times the total Amazon wrongly denied to its delivery workers. How greedy can Amazon and Bezos get?
“As important as this FTC action is, it should compel us to look at the bigger picture. Amazon is, literally, out of control. Given its size and market dominance, the company increasingly functions as an essential service to consumers and businesses. Yet it is free from the sorts of restraints that are imposed on utilities or even financial service providers.
“As much as we need the government to penalize Amazon for the kinds of abuses highlighted today, we also need much more far-reaching anti-monopoly and regulatory solutions. We can’t have fairness in the economy – or in our democracy – with this much concentrated power.”