Is Amazon being sued for Prime Video ads? (What you need to know)

There's a class action lawsuit against Amazon for its Prime Video ads. What are the grounds, and could this bring a change back to having an ad-free experience?
In this photo illustration a Prime Video logo seen displayed...
In this photo illustration a Prime Video logo seen displayed... / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Amazon may end up wishing it never decided to make its default tier of Prime Video an ad-supported one. There’s a proposed lawsuit against the company for misleading consumers.

The proposed lawsuit is a class action one, filed in the federal court in California. The lawsuit claims that Amazon breached its contract and violated the state consumer protection laws by bringing in the ads to the regular tier.

What could this mean for subscribers? This will depend on how it all plays out.

Why is there a class action lawsuit against Amazon?

Amazon isn’t the first streamer to bring in an ad-supported tier. We’ve seen the likes of Netflix and Max do the same. And yet, they haven’t been sued for the decision. Why would Amazon suddenly face it?

This comes from the fact that Amazon made the already-lowest tier the new ad-supported one. Other companies opted to bring in a lower tier and then has slowly started to phase some of the others out. The lawsuit claims that Amazon has baited and switched its lowest tier.

For years, subscribers have paid the standard rate to get an ad-free experienced. Suddenly, users have to pay $2.99 per month more if they want to keep that experience. Those who had paid for an annual membership believing to get the ad-free experience the whole time lost that. They have to pay extra despite being in the year service they paid for, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The claims include, but are not limited to:

Breach of contract
False Advertising
Unfair competition

What does the lawsuit want from Amazon?

The proposed class action lawsuit seeks at least $5 million. There is also a request that Amazon is barred from doing anything else deceptive.

The money in class action lawsuits tend to be distributed to people involved in it, and this could include all Prime Video subscribers in California. The terms aren’t clear just yet as there is still a while to go to get this to court.

This is not the first time Amazon has been sued, though. The Federal Trade Commission sued the company just last year for the way Amazon gets people to sign up to Prime and then makes it difficult to cancel.

Back in 2020, Amazon was also sued for unfair competition and false advertising over the way it reserved the right to end access to content that was purchased through Prime Video. However, in this case, the proposed class action was dismissed as Amazon argued the content could become unavailable due to licensing restrictions.

It will be interesting to see what happens in this upcoming case.

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