Jul 21, 2017

Amazon is under investigation for inflating its prices

Peter Wynn Thompson / AP

The Federal Trade Commission is looking into claims that Amazon was deceptive about its pricing discounts, reports Reuters, citing a source close to the investigation. The probe, which was spurred by a complaint from the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, is part of the FTC's review of Amazon's agreement to acquire Whole Foods.

In a letter to the FTC, the group alleged that Amazon had been inflating the list prices on roughly 46% of its products, making Amazon's prices look like a bargain. As a result, Consumer Watchdog asked the FTC to stop Amazon from purchasing Whole Foods while the deceptive pricing continued. Amazon hit back and said the conclusions the Consumer Watchdog reached from its analysis are "flat out wrong."

Why it matters: Critics argue that Amazon's agreement to buy Whole Foods would give the e-commerce giant an unfair advantage over competitors. While there isn't an obvious antitrust angle for blocking the acquisition, other red flags raised by critics, like this one, could slow down the review.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 766,336 — Total deaths: 36,873 — Total recoveries: 160,001.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 153,246 — Total deaths: 2,828 — Total recoveries: 5,545.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Rep. Nydia Velázquez diagnosed with "presumed" coronavirus infection.
  4. State updates: Virginia and Maryland issued stay-at-home orders to residents, joining 28 other states — Florida megachurch pastor arrested for refusing to call off mass services.
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Cuomo: Engaging in politics during coronavirus crisis is "anti-American"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a Monday press briefing that he won't get into a political tussle with President Trump — calling it "counterproductive" and "anti-American" — as his state deals with the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country.

The backdrop: Trump said during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" earlier Monday that Cuomo has received high polling numbers during the outbreak because New York has received federal aid.

Maryland and Virginia issue coronavirus stay-at-home orders

Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued stay-at-home orders on Monday, with exceptions for residents engaged in essential services, including health care and government functions.

The big picture: The states are the latest to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

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