Yes, I know, another lawsuit involving Amazon. But unlike many others’ past lawsuits, I struggle to see what Amazon is doing wrong. The complaint accuses Amazon of setting up the “Buy Now” button so users pay more than they should. Let’s see what this lawsuit is about, and why Amazon may be acting in most customers’ best interest.

First, what exactly is the “Buy Now”? If you’ve never used it, the “Buy Now” button on Amazon streamlines the shopping experience by allowing customers to bypass the shopping cart and head straight to checkout. This feature uses pre-saved account details to strongly reduce friction and expedite the purchase process for quick and decisive transactions.

When an Amazon product has multiple sellers, an algorithm picks one seller to “win the Buy Box” and get the sale when the customer hits the “buy now” button. The lawsuit claims that 98% of Amazon’s sales are from products in its Buy Box, but customers could potentially find better deals if they explored offers by other sellers.

This is where I disagree with the lawsuit. First, the section with other sellers isn’t exactly hidden on the page. It is, in fact, right below the Buy Box on the desktop website. Then, there is the idea that Amazon does not always show the customer the best deal. But what is the best deal? Is it necessarily the lowest price? I doubt most customers would rather save a few pennies but purchase from a seller with a bad reputation and with a three weeks delay for shipping. Pricing seems to be the main criteria for Buy Box attribution, but there is more than that: Amazon also considers the delivery timeframe, seller’s performance, items’ conditions, customer feedback, and more. Does Amazon maximizes their own net profit? Probably. But they don’t just give the Buy Box to sellers that brings them the most money. Otherwise, the highest prices would win it, so referral fees paid would be higher.

While getting enough data to analyze the Buy Box attribution process would be difficult, I looked at two listings that I think are good examples of how Amazon shows what might be the best deal considering more than just pricing.

At the end of the day, each customer has a different view of what the best deal is. For everyday commodities or non-urgent items, customers may prefer lower prices over fast shipping. Conversely, for urgent needs or last-minute gifts, many customers are willing to pay more for faster delivery. Maybe someday AI will analyze customers’ buying patterns and show them a personalized option. But for now, I think the lawsuit is wrong by focusing only on pricing.