Amazon Lawsuit Dismissed, Private 5G Network for DoD, $232M in Ohio Broadband Grants

The suit accused Amazon of violating laws by using third-party sellers’ data to help sell its own products.

Amazon Lawsuit Dismissed, Private 5G Network for DoD, $232M in Ohio Broadband Grants
Photo of Jeff Bezos in 2018, used with permission.

March 21, 2022 – A lawsuit that accused Amazon of violating antitrust laws when it allegedly used third-party sellers’ data to help increase the sales of its own products was dismissed on Friday.

Judge Hiram Puig-Lugo of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia granted Amazon’s motion to dismiss, which was filed in October of last year. The lawsuit was filed in September by D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, who – with other attorneys general – filed a deceptive and unfair practices suit against Google earlier this year.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for the Office of the Attorney General said that they “believe that the Superior Court got this wrong, and its oral ruling did not seem to consider the detailed allegations in the complaint and a recent decision of a federal court to allow a nearly identical lawsuit to move forward.”

In its motion to dismiss, Amazon said that one of its “core business objectives in serving its customers is to have a reputation for low prices, and Amazon works constantly to maintain that reputation by offering competitively priced products in its store…The District’s case, if allowed to proceed, would undermine this pro-consumer approach.”

The ruling comes after bipartisan House Judiciary members wrote to the Department of Justice alleging Amazon obstructed the committee’s “extensive investigation into competition in digital markets,” which took place last Congress.

Hughes to deploy private 5G network for Department of Defense

Hughes Network System announced that the Department of Defense awarded it an $18 million contract to deploy a standalone 5G network at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island in Washington state, according to a Monday press release.

Hughes, which provides broadband services and equipment, will connect the base with a secure 5G network – utilizing spectrum from Dish Network – to support operations, maintenance and flight traffic management.

Rajeev Gopal, vice president of advanced programs at Hughes, said in the release that “over the course of this three-year project, we will demonstrate for the U.S. Department of Defense how 5G infrastructure from Hughes – including a packet processing core, radio access, edge cloud, security and network management – can power the resilient networking necessary to transform base operations.”

Ohio announces $232 million in broadband grants

On Friday, Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted announced new broadband expansion projects, including over $232 million in grants, that will make affordable, high-speed internet available to nearly 100,000 households in Ohio that currently don’t have access to reliable internet connectivity.

The BroadbandOhio program awarded grants to 11 internet service providers as part of the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program.

The “funding will be used to cover the ‘broadband funding gap’ associated with 33 broadband expansion projects impacting 31 counties,” according to the press release.

Husted said that these “awards will help our local private- and public-sector partners expand high-speed, affordable internet in areas of Ohio that are currently unserved or underserved.

“You can’t be part of the modern economy, education system and health care system without access to broadband – it is a necessity,” Husted said. “This effort will help connect hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who have been left behind until now.”

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