Amazon advertising fake deals, Consumer Watchdog study claims

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (KABC) -- Amazon is the online retailer many people choose to get their goods, but a new study from Consumer Watchdog claims the retail giant sometimes advertises a bogus list price.

Consumer Watchdog's John Simpson said other retailers were not advertising Amazon's higher list price of $1,599.99 for a camera being sold on the site. Their prices for the camera were the same as Amazon's sale price of $1,498. The group said that was the case on 1,000 of the 4,000 prices they checked.

In a statement, Amazon said: "We validate list prices against actual prices recently found across Amazon and other retailers, and we eliminate List Price when we believe it isn't relevant to our customers."

Consumer Watchdog researchers said they believe Amazon is engaging in false advertising and has petitioned the state attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate.

"I have dealt with the FTC from time to time in that past. I've never gotten a response back from them that fast. (I) sent it yesterday, got a response today, so I'm hoping they're really on this," Simpson said.

Amazon called the Consumer Watchdog report "misleading."

Editorial Note: A previous version of this report stated other retailers were not advertising Amazon's higher list price of $1,498. This has been corrected to $1,599.99. Also, the report stated Amazon's sale price of the camera was $101. This has been corrected to $1,498.
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