Judge assigned to US antitrust case against Amazon recuses himself


(Reuters) – The judge assigned to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Amazon.com has recused himself from the case, according to a court document filed on Wednesday.

Senior Judge John Coughenour was assigned to the case on Tuesday, when the antitrust lawsuit was filed against Amazon in federal court in Seattle. Coughenour, an appointee of Republican former President Ronald Reagan, did not cite a reason for dropping off the case in the court filing.

The case has been re-assigned to U.S. District Judge John Chun based on rotation, according to the document.

Chun was nominated by President Joe Biden last year. He was previously a judge for the Washington State Court of Appeals.

The FTC in its lawsuit accused Amazon of abusing its power in the retail market as an ecommerce giant by unfairly giving preference to its own products and punishing merchants that want to sell products for lower prices on other platforms.

Amazon is facing a series of similar but smaller private consumer cases filed in recent years that are pending in the same U.S. federal court with Judge Ricardo Martinez and the FTC has argued its case should be assigned to the same judge to avoid duplication or conflict.

(Reporting by Abhirup Roy and Mike Scarcella; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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