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Amazon’s secret pricing scheme made it an extra $1 billion, FTC says

Illustration of Amazon’s logo on a black, orange, and tan background.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Amazon’s secret pricing algorithm, codenamed “Project Nessie,” may have generated the company more than $1 billion in extra profits, according to new details released Thursday from the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust case against the e-commerce giant.

In September, the FTC and more than a dozen state attorneys general sued Amazon, claiming that the company operates an illegal monopoly. Among other claims, the complaint says that Amazon buried listings offered at lower prices from other retailers and charged sellers steep fees in order to inflate product prices.

The existence of Project Nessie was first revealed in a previously redacted version of the complaint. Nessie was allegedly an algorithm that would increase the price of…

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