Alen Baghdasarian v. Amazon.com, Inc.

Baghdasarian v. Amazon.com, Inc. No. 10-55012.

D.C. No. 2:05-cv-08060-AG-CT.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. November 20, 2011.


Case Details

Alen Baghdasarian v. Amazon.comPlaintiff Alen Baghdasarian appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Amazon.com, Inc. Baghdasarian argues that the district court incorrectly found that there was no genuine issue at hand as to whether he established reliance as required by California’s Unfair Competition Law regarding his purchases made through the Amazon marketplace.

The Unfair Competition Law states that the plaintiff must show that they “lost money or property as a result of” the business practice or act in question.

Plaintiff’s Argument

  • Baghdasarian testified that his decision to purchase books through the Marketplace was driven by total cost and security, factors that are unrelated to Amazon’s alleged misrepresentation.
  • He also testified that even if he had been aware of Amazon’s practices with regard to the shipping and handling fee, he would not have been deterred from making the purchases.
  • Although Baghdasarian asserts he believed and relied upon Amazon’s representations regarding the shipping and handling fee, no evidence indicates that those representations were an “immediate cause” or “substantial factor” in his decision to purchase books through the Marketplace.

Defendant’s Argument

  • No genuine fact exists as to whether Baghdasarian relied upon Amazon’s policy regarding its shipping and handling fee.
  • Given Baghdasarian’s testimony that in making his purchasing decisions he shops comparatively to pay the lowest cost, including shipping, the existence of a hidden “holdback fee” in Amazon’s price was not a factor that could have affected his decision to purchase on the Marketplace.

Summary and Conclusion

The Court of Appeals maintains the district court’s conclusion that Baghdasarian cannot show plausible evidence to make a case against Amazon.com.