Amazon Sellers Plead Guilty to DVD Price-Fixing

U.S. Justice Department seal

The Justice Department was instrumental in taking down a trio of Amazon sellers who were trying to fix the price of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs.

Morris Sutton, Emmanuel Hourizadeh and Raymond Nouvahian have pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to fix (first raise, then maintain) the prices of the videos they sold on their Amazon storefronts, dating back to November 2017 and continuing through October 2019. The Justice Department Antitrust Division’s Chicago office prosecuted the case.

Their crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine, though that can increase two twice their ill-gotten gains or twice the loss suffered by their victims if either is greater than $1 million.

Sentencing will be up to a U.S. District Court judge.

“Price-fixing schemes chip away at the benefits afforded to us by a fair market system,” Michael J. Driscoll, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York Field Office, said. “Artificially inflating prices to avoid giving consumers a choice, for the sole purpose of benefitting those involved in the fraudulent scheme, is a violation of federal law. These guilty pleas should serve as a warning to other like-minded criminals.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.