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Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Amazon will pay more than $61.7 million to settle charges from the Federal Trade Commission that it did not pay drivers in the Amazon Flex delivery service their full share of tips over a two and a half year period.

The big picture: Amazon faces a rising chorus of accusations that it underpays and overworks its warehouse workers and delivery drivers.

What's happening: The FTC filed an administrative complaint against Amazon and Amazon Logistics, which the agency says told Amazon Flex delivery drivers and customers that the drivers would be paid the full amount of any tips added to a delivery.

  • "Rather than passing along 100 percent of customers’ tips to drivers, as it had promised to do, Amazon used the money itself," Daniel Kaufman, Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a release.
  • "Our action today returns to drivers the tens of millions of dollars in tips that Amazon misappropriated, and requires Amazon to get drivers’ permission before changing its treatment of tips in the future."

Details: The agency says it received hundreds of driver complaints after Amazon changed its pay plan without notifying drivers, and did not stop until the company became aware of the FTC investigation in 2019.

  • FTC commissioners voted unanimously to approve the consent decree Amazon enters as a result of the settlement.

The other side: "While we disagree that the historical way we reported pay to drivers was unclear, we added additional clarity in 2019 and are pleased to put this matter behind us," an Amazon spokesperson said.

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull — CDC director says COVID-19 messaging should have been clearer — Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines.
  2. Vaccines: Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — America's vaccination drive runs out of gas.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  5. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  6. Variant tracker

Mayors feel powerless to reduce homelessness

Expand chart
Recreated from 2021 Menino Survey of Mayors; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

America's mayors know their constituents hold them accountable for homelessness, but many don't feel they have the tools or power to fix things, a brand new survey says.

Why it matters: While homelessness has become more acute during the pandemic, city leaders say they lack the money, staff or political support needed to make a meaningful difference.

Ina Fried, author of Login
3 hours ago - Technology

Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard

Microsoft

Microsoft announced Tuesday it plans to acquire video game giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash.

Why it matters: The move comes as Activision Blizzard has faced a wave of accusations of workplace harassment.