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The judge says Amazon must face a lawsuit in California alleging its prices are too high

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AMZN $102.86 0.86 0.84

A judge has rejected Inc’s attempt to dismiss a California antitrust lawsuit that accuses the online retailer of illegally forcing merchants to accept policies that make consumers pay artificially high prices.

San Francisco Superior Court Justice Ethan Schulman said California adequately alleged that Amazon’s policies “had the anticompetitive effect of raising prices in competing retail markets as well as on third-party sellers’ websites.”

On Friday, Amazon declined to comment on the March 30 decision.

California Attorney General Rob Ponta sued Amazon in Seattle last September.

He accused the retailer of threatening to cut off merchants or deny them access to the “buy box” — where shoppers can click “add to cart” or “buy now” — if they offered lower prices over competitors such as Costco, eBay, Target, Walmart, and even their web.

The lawsuit sought to prevent Amazon from enforcing policies that prevent goods from being sold cheaper elsewhere, and to pay damages and penalties.

“There is no shortage of evidence that the ‘everything store’ costs consumers more for almost everything.” Punta said in a statement.

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