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Amazon Prime Video Class Action Lawsuit – Root Conflict and Latest Updates!

Amazon is being sued in a class-action lawsuit for adding ads to Prime Video, upsetting customers who expected an ad-free experience. The lawsuit, filed by Wilbert Napoleon from California, alleges false advertising and deceptive practices.

Amazon Prime Video Class Action Lawsuit

Amazon is facing a class-action lawsuit over its decision to show ads on Prime Video. The lawsuit accuses Amazon of false advertising and deceptive practices because Prime Video now serves commercials by default. 

The lawsuit claims that Amazon misled customers by advertising Prime Video as ad-free, but then changed the terms to include ads by default, requiring users to pay an additional $2.99 per month to watch without ads. 

The lawsuit was filed on February 9, 2024  against Amazon seeking unspecified damages, punitive damages, and an injunction due to alleged deceptive conduct. Amazon began displaying ads in Prime Video content, including the United States, on Jan 29, 2024.

The Root of the Conflict in the Amazon Prime Video Lawsuit

In December 2023, Amazon introduced an ad-supported tier for Prime Video, costing $2.99 less than the standard subscription. Existing Prime members, however, still encountered ads unless they upgraded to the pricier ad-free option.

This sparked outrage among users who subscribed believing Prime Video offered solely ad-free content. Their argument centres on:

Breach of Contract:

  • Plaintiffs argue that their existing Prime subscriptions implicitly guaranteed ad-free viewing. 
  • Adding ads now creates a breach of contract, as the service they signed up for has changed mid-stride. 
  • This hinges on how Amazon’s terms of service are interpreted – did they foresee and allow for such modifications?

False Advertising:

  • Accusations point towards past marketing efforts highlighting Prime Video’s ad-free nature.This, they argue, created legitimate consumer expectations of an uninterrupted viewing experience. 
  • The court will assess whether advertising practices were misleading or simply reflected a “choice” offered to new subscribers.

Shifting Business Landscape: 

  • Amazon maintains the new tier simply provides an additional, cost-conscious option.
  • They emphasise that existing Prime benefits remain untouched. This defence highlights the dynamic nature of streaming services, where platforms adapt to evolving business models and audience preferences.

Unfair Business Practices:

  • Critics see the move as prioritising profit over established trust. 
  • They argue that introducing hidden costs within the seemingly bundled Prime membership is unfair and lacks transparency. 

Amazon Prime Video Class Action Lawsuit

Amazon Prime Video Class Action Lawsuit Timeline

Class action lawsuits can be lengthy and complex, often taking months or even years to resolve. Here’s what we know about the current stage and potential next steps:

Current Stage:

  • The lawsuit was filed in February 2024 in Washington state and similar ones have emerged in California.
  • The court will first decide whether to certify the case as a class action, meaning it represents a larger group of affected individuals. This process can take several months.
  • If certified, the discovery phase will begin, involving exchanging evidence and potentially depositions from both sides.

Potential Next Steps:

  • After discovery, the parties may attempt to reach a settlement agreement outside of court. This is common in many class action cases.
  • If no settlement is reached, the case will proceed to trial, which could take several months or even years to conclude.
  • After the trial, the judge will issue a ruling, which could be appealed by either side.

Factors Affecting the Timeline of Amazon Prime Video Class Action Lawsuit 

Here are some of the factors affecting the timeline of amazon prime video class action lawsuit:

  • Complexity of Legal Issues: This case involves analysing contract terms, consumer protection laws, and potentially precedent-setting legal arguments. 
  • Size of the Class: Certifying a case as a class action makes handling evidence and individual claims more complex, possibly causing delays.
  • Judge’s Workload and Schedule: Each judge manages a docket of different cases, and their availability to schedule hearings, motions, and trials will impact the overall timeline.
  • Discovery Phase: Delays in obtaining evidence or scheduling depositions can prolong the process.
  • Settlement Negotiations: The willingness to negotiate and the complexity of reaching a mutually agreeable settlement can significantly impact the timeline.
  • Appeals: If either party disagrees with the court’s ruling, they may appeal to a higher court, adding additional time and legal procedures.

Amazon Prime Video Class Action Lawsuit Amount

Here have been recent developments in the  class action lawsuit:

New Information:

  • Amended Complaint: On November 15, 2024, the lead plaintiff filed an amended complaint, seeking $5 million in damages on behalf of the proposed class.
  • News Articles: Several news outlets now mention the $5 million figure, including Variety, Bloomberg Law, and Law360.

Important:

  • This $5 million figure represents the proposed damages, not a guaranteed award.
  • The final determination of damages will depend on the court’s decision after considering evidence and arguments presented by both sides.
  • The amended complaint also seeks additional relief, such as an injunction requiring Amazon to remove the ad-supported tier or offer refunds to affected users.

 

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