Amazon warns merchants about antitrust bills in Congress

Platform News: Amazon packages

Amazon has warned some merchants selling via its marketplace that antitrust proposals in the US Congress might hurt their business, a company spokesperson said.

In June, the US House Committee on the Judiciary approved legislation that would make companies like Amazon decide between running a platform and competing on it. The antitrust bills have garnered bipartisan support, representing Washington’s most serious challenge yet to big technology firms’ power over online markets.

Recently, an Amazon program manager for public policy emailed a merchant to say of the proposals, “We are concerned that they could potentially have significant negative effects on small and medium-sized businesses like yours that sell in our store.”

The staffer then requested to have a phone conversation, according to the email, which was posted online by the e-commerce blog and advisory EcomCrew. Amazon confirmed the authenticity of the message.

When asked if the company had entreated merchants to help it lobby against the legislation, Amazon said its email spoke for itself. The spokesperson also said the outreach reflected a limited engagement with sellers, with whom it communicates regularly across different topics.

In a prior statement, Amazon said the antitrust legislation would make it harder for merchants to make a living and reduce price competition, likely hurting consumers.

Related Article:
EU throws new rule book at tech giants in competition search

CNBC earlier reported news of the correspondence on Wednesday.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘Amazon warns merchants about antitrust bills in Congress‘ article. Automatic translation from English to a growing list of languages via Google AI Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco and Nandita Bose in Washington. Editing by Matthew Lewis.

You can stay on top of all the latest developments across the platform economy, find solutions to your key challenges and gain access to our problem-solving toolkit and proprietary databases by becoming a member of our growing community. For a limited time, our subscription plans start from just $16 per month. What are you waiting for?

Share this Article