Amazon’s Push to Arbitrate Pricing Claims Checks Out

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By Perry Cooper

Amazon.com properly moved a customer suit over deceptive pricing practices out of court, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in an unpublished opinion ( Wiseley v. Amazon.com, Inc. , 2017 BL 331366, 9th Cir., No. 15-56799, unpublished 9/19/17 ).

The website gives customers a “reasonable opportunity to understand” that they will be bound by additional terms, including an arbitration clause, when they buy something on the website, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held Sept. 19.

Courts are increasingly allowing companies to bind users to arbitration by hyperlinking to terms of use and including a notice that hitting “buy” constitutes agreement.

Allen Wiseley filed a class action against Amazon alleging its sales tactics violate California consumer law. “Amazon coaxes millions of Internet browsers into becoming buyers by touting imaginary discounts and false product valuations,” he said.

Judges William A. Fletcher, Sandra Segal Ikuta, and Sarah Evans Barker, sitting by designation from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, served on the panel.

Finkelstein & Krinsk LLP represented the customers.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP represented Amazon.

To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at pcooper@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at spatrick@bna.com

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