Amazon’s Prime Video recently introduced advertisements that cannot be avoided unless members pay an extra $3 per month to bypass them. This move, which made Prime Video one of the most expensive entertainment streaming services out there, upset a number of people and has now prompted a group to propose a class-action lawsuit against the giant.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a proposed class-action lawsuit filed in California federal court included claims of breach of contract and a breaking of consumer protection laws. Whereas some services like Netflix and Disney+ have introduced dedicated tiers of their streaming services with advertisements, Amazon introduced ads for the existing plan. As mentioned, the only way to bypass them is to spend $3 more.
Amazon announced its plans for the ads in 2023 and then rolled out the changes in January.
The lawsuit said the plan is “unfair” and makes subscribers “pay extra to get something they already paid for.” The filing also says Amazon marketed Prime Video for years as being “commercial-free.” This “harms both consumers and honest competition,” the lawsuit said.
“For years, people purchased and renewed their Amazon Prime subscriptions believing that they would include ad-free streaming,” a line from the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit seeks a trial by jury, at least $5 million, and for the court to prevent Amazon from conducting further “deceptive” business practices.
Prime membership costs $15/month, but that scales to $18/month to avoid ads. For comparison, Max’s ad-free option costs $16/month and Netflix’s ad-free tier costs $15.50/month.
Prime Video is known for acclaimed series like The Marvelous Ms. Maisel and The Boys, along with movies like the Nike film Air and the Oscar-winning movies Sound of Metal and Manchester by the Sea. Prime Video will host the upcoming adaptations of Fallout and God of War.