(The Hill) – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered Amazon and eight other large retailers to send information to the regulatory agency about supply chain disruption factors and the steps they have taken to mitigate the disruptions.
The four members of the FTC voted unanimously Monday to launch the inquiry into the supply chain disruption, leaving the companies 45 days from the date they receive the order to respond.
“Supply chain disruptions are upending the provision and delivery of a wide array of goods, ranging from computer chips and medicines to meat and lumber. I am hopeful the FTC’s new 6(b) study will shed light on market conditions and business practices that may have worsened these disruptions or led to asymmetric effects,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a statement. “The FTC has a long history of pursuing market studies to deepen our understanding of economic conditions and business conduct, and we should continue to make nimble and timely use of these information-gathering tools and authorities.”
Along with Amazon, the agency’s probe orders Walmart, Kroger, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Associated Wholesale Grocers, McLane Co., Procter & Gamble, Tyson Foods, and Kraft Heinz to send information to the agency.
The orders will ask the companies to detail primary factors that disrupt their ability to obtain, transport, and distribute products as well as the impact the disruptions are having on delayed and canceled orders and costs and prices.
The order also calls for the companies to detail the steps they are taking to alleviate disruptions and how they allocate products among stores when they are in short supply.
The FTC is asking the companies to provide internal documents about supply chain disruptions, including the strategies related to supply chains, pricing, marketing, costs, profit margins, sale volumes, and the selection of suppliers and brands.
The FTC voted unanimously Monday despite a 2-2 party split on the board. President Biden’s nominee to fill an open spot that would give Democrats the edge, Alvaro Bedoya, has yet to be confirmed by the Senate.
Former Democratic Commissioner Rohit Chopra left the agency during Khan’s term as chair for a role leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.