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Class Action: Amazon Misled Prime Subscribers By Changing Terms to Integrate Ads into Streaming Content – Legal Reader

Attorneys for the propose class say that Amazon deceived consumers by promoting its “commercial-free” platform, only to pivot toward an advertisement-centered streaming model in 2023.

A proposed class action lawsuit accuses Amazon of misleading Prime subscribers by charging them an additional fee to stream movies and television shows without any advertisements.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the lawsuit was filed late last week in a California-based federal court. It claims that Amazon violated state law and effectively breached its contract with consumers by changing the terms of over 100 million subscriptions, pivoting from default packages without advertisements to default packages with regular commercials and interruptions.
Amazon, adds the Reporter, announced plans its plan to adopt an advertising-centric model in 2023. After making the change in January, Amazon quickly became the largest advertisement-supported streaming service nationwide.
Although Amazon users still have the option of watching movies and television series without ads, they must pay an additional $2.99 per month to upgrade their subscriptions.
Now, attorneys for the prospective class say that, when Amazon changed its terms, it also altered the plans of consumers who had already purchased annual subscriptions—subscriptions that may have been purchased and predicated on the belief that content could be viewed without any ad-related interference.
“[…] Plaintiff and class members’ reasonable expectations were not met,” the lawsuit said. Instead of receiving a subscription that included ad-free streaming of tv shows and movies, they received something worth less.”
Furthermore, the complaint notes that Amazon spent years advertising its Prime Video service as “commercial-free” before making a sudden about-face.
“They cannot enjoy ad-free streaming unless they pay an extra $2.99/month,” the lawsuit alleges. “Thus, Amazon’s false advertisements harm consumers by depriving them of the reasonable expectations to which they are entitled.”
“Subscribers must now pay extra to get something they already paid for,” it adds, criticizing Amazon’s strategy as patently “unfair.”
“Reasonable consumers, who rely on Amazon to provide accurate and truthful information about its services, cannot reasonably avoid this injury,” attorneys wrote. “And Amazon’s actions offer no countervailing benefits—misrepresenting its service harms both consumers and honest competition.”
The lawsuit seeks at least $5 million in damages, alongside a court order prohibiting Amazon from engaging in deceptive conduct with respect to Prime subscribers who signed up for the service before December 28, 2023.
The Hollywood Reporter observes that this is but the latest complaint against Amazon’s streaming practices. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission filed its own claim against Amazon, saying that the company deceived consumers by making it unreasonably difficult for them to cancel their subscriptions.
Amazon Hit With Class-Action Lawsuit Over Prime Video Ads
Amazon Prime Video Ad Tier Sparks Class Action Lawsuit From Subscribers

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