The following statement can be attributed to Chris Mohr, President, Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA).

“The FTC’s lawsuit against Amazon is reflective of its general shift away from its core mission of protecting consumer welfare.  Tiering offerings is a common practice in a whole host of industries, from cable to cell phones to all kinds of subscriptions. In its complaint, the FTC takes the striking position that the government may penalize a prominently placed “no thanks” button despite the fact that there is no allegation that the terms of signup (or the benefits) are misleading.  And to the extent that a concern exists about unsubscribing, it takes more clicks – seven – to comment on the FTC’s lawsuit than to unsubscribe from Prime – six.

The FTC’s approach raises serious issues about First Amendment-protected commercial speech and the scope of its statutory authority.  SIIA is concerned that the agency is losing its way.