Sweetwater business owner pleads guilty to setting DVD prices on Amazon Marketplace

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) – Business owner Sweetwater has pleaded guilty to setting prices for DVDs and Blu-ray discs on the Amazon Marketplace.

According to court documents filed with the United States District Court in Knoxville, David Camp and his co-conspirators engaged in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition from May 2018 until at least October 29, 2019. In doing so, the group won somewhere. between $ 500,000 and $ 1 million.

Amazon Marketplace allows third-party vendors to sell new or used products alongside Amazon’s own offerings. Camp and others have agreed to increase and maintain prices in their online stores, a violation of Sherman Law.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division says consumers deserve the benefits of competitive pricing, whether in a traditional store or online.

“By their actions, the defendant and his co-conspirators have denied DVD and Blu-ray disc buyers free and open competition, and instead line their own pockets,” said Powers.

Camp is the first person to be charged and the first person to plead guilty in the ongoing investigation. A criminal offense under the Sherman Law carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a criminal fine of $ 1 million for individuals.

The maximum fine may be increased to double the gain from the crime or double the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of these amounts is greater than the maximum fine provided by law.

“Honest and competitive product pricing allows consumers to purchase products at fair market value, providing an overall benefit to the individual customer and the market as a whole,” said William F. Sweeney Jr., Deputy Director from New York Field of the FBI. Desk. “Partnering with competitors to price products at higher rates than necessary takes away that protection for consumers – it’s also illegal, whether it happens on an online platform or in a transaction. face to face.

“Today’s guilty plea should remind other like-minded people that they will eventually have to answer for this type of behavior.”

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