This week, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are looking into whether Amazon is engaging in deceptive or unfair business practices by marketing its treadmill product to consumers as an alternative to treadmills.
The FTC and DOJ have launched a preliminary investigation into whether the company is promoting the treadmill as a way of reducing the amount of time people spend walking on the road, as opposed to an alternative or supplement to walking.
If the investigation finds the company’s marketing practices are deceptive, the FTC could impose civil penalties, as well as an unspecified fine.
In the past, the FTC has also taken enforcement action against companies like Nike for advertising as an option to buy a running shoe, which is prohibited by federal law.
In a blog post published on Monday, the commission said the FTC would “work with our partners on a wide range of cases, including those involving the marketing of products for exercise.”
In a statement, Amazon said it is committed to its commitment to consumer protection.
“Amazon is committed that our treadmill products are safe, effective, and convenient to use,” the statement said.
“We have made extensive improvements to the products we sell and the way we sell them to address these concerns, and we will continue to address the concerns.”
“We’ve been working closely with the FTC to determine how we can improve the performance of our products, and as we continue to do so, we are committed to being a leader in the industry to protect consumers and their health,” Amazon added.
This article has been updated to clarify the FTC’s position on the treadmill and additional information about the FTC investigation.