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Amazon Prime Day

You are not born an Amazon Prime subscriber.

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UPDATE 6/23/23: The FTC this week filed a lawsuit against Amazon accusing it of using manipulative design features called “dark patterns” to trick millions of consumers into enrolling in Prime and then making it difficult for consumers to cancel their auto-renewing memberships. Our original article follows.

With wall-to-wall media coverage of Amazon Prime Day, it may not seem obvious to all that the deals are for Prime members only – or that the outlets posting stories about Prime Day deals may also benefit financially from the two-day shopping event that starts today.

Take, for example, this article on the technology blog Engadget. The article, which was sent in by a reader, carries the headline “Amazon makes ‘Mass Effect Legendary Edition’ and over 30 other games free for Prime Day.”

But the “free” games “cannot be obtained without payment,” the reader noted. Indeed, the last sentence of the article states: “You can download all the aforementioned games for free if you’re a Prime subscriber.” (Emphasis added.)

Earlier this year, the cost of Amazon Prime increased for the first time since 2018, from $12.99 to $14.99 a month.

Affiliate links

Like many of the outlets posting stories about Prime Day deals, including USA Today and the New York Times, Engadget discloses that its article may contain affiliate links and if you end up purchasing a product through an affiliate link, that may earn the site a commission.

The law requires that such disclosures be clear and conspicuous so that consumers understand the nature of the review. USA Today and Engadget make their affiliate links disclosures directly above where the articles begin, while The Times makes its disclosure above the headline where consumers anxious to start reading about Prime Day deals may be less likely to see it.

Find more of our coverage on Amazon Prime here.


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