Only by doing business as usual, Amazon has achieved a political rarity: association President Trump's interests with those of two frequent foils, Democratic Challenger Elizabeth Warren and the EU.
Since winning the White House in 2016, Trump has accused the Seattle-based ecommerce giant of paying insufficient taxes and exploiting the US postal service while promising his administration would investigate antitrust complaints.
Warren, a Massachusetts senator and a frequent target for Trump's tweets, has said she will break Amazon, partly because it is competing with its own customers.
Now, the European Commission, the regional trade block administration, is starting its own investigation into Amazon's practice of selling some of the same products as the dealers using their e-commerce platform.
The dual role of marketplace and retailer gives Amazon the opportunity to turn business customers' own d Ata towards them, the regulators said. The company's deal with retail customers allows Amazon to analyze and use the data obtained by monitoring platform activity, and preliminary commission troubleshooting indicates that the company exploits competitive knowledge.
"European consumers are increasingly shopping online," says Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, top European antitrust regulator. "E-commerce has strengthened the retail competition and led to more choices and better prices. We need to ensure that large online platforms do not eliminate these benefits through competitive competition."
The survey, which Bank of America analyst Justin Post can last for as long as two years, comes at a key moment for the company. Growing reviews from US regulators have been reinforced by the presidential campaign in 2020, where a wide range of democratic candidates have pledged support for liberal goals from raising the minimum wage to expand consumer protection.
"My administration will make major structural changes in the technology sector to promote more competition ̵
. Too much power, in fact, almost half of all e-commerce goes through Amazon. My administration will make major structural changes in the technology sector to promote more competition, including breaking up Amazon, Facebook and Google. #BreakUpBigTech  pic.twitter.com/SIqJohvyvf
– Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren)
July 15, 2019
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission agreed to share oversight of Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook between them, and last week, the Federal Trade Commission supported $ 5 billion with Facebook Facebook Privacy Complaints .
In 2018, the EU Commission fined $ 5.1 billion for competitive practices, an amount that seems huge compared to the $ 103 billion available funds such as Mountain View, the California-based company at the time. It also encouraged the company to stop problematic behaviors which included forcing phonemakers who used the company's open Android operating system to install Google Search and Google Chrome apps on devices to connect to the app on Google Play.
Amazon, founded by billionaire Jezz Bezos, who also owns Washington Post faces similar dangers. Europe can take steps from honoring the company to forcing changes in its business, including a breakdown, according to Fitch Ratings, a corporate debt analysis company.
Trump himself told CNBC in an interview just weeks earlier that "there is something going on in terms of monopoly," referring to the number of European regulatory measures against major US technology companies, including Amazon and Apple. "We should do what they do," the president said.
For Amazon in particular, the e-commerce firm has rejected claims that it exploits customers or competes unfairly. An Amazon player emphasized this position earlier this week when he came up with tech standouts for Facebook, Apple and Google to ask questions from the antitrust committee about their compliance with US competition laws.
Amazon faces stiff rivalry in retail, an industry "as old as human experience," said Nate Sutton, the company's associated general advisor for competition. The success depends on third-party sellers whose sales are growing faster than the Amazon.
"Amazon supports these sellers because we have a strong incentive to do so," he said. "The wide range and price competition that these sellers bring to our stores is attractive to our customers. Our sales partners deliver the vast majority of new products in our stores."
It's not the whole story, said Stacy Mitchell, co. Director of the Department of Local Self-Reliance, a 45-year-old community interest group. Many small businesses that have their own e-commerce site have been forced to sell products on Amazon because it is a go-to site for online stores: the company received over half of $ 510 billion in online retail spending last year, up from just one in 2014 .
It was the experience of Gazelle Sports, a sportswear store in Michigan that turned to Amazon after a steady stream of online stores generated through positive Google and Yelp reviews began to fluctuate.
"Almost every manufacturer and retailer of consumer goods in America faces the same problem," Mitchell told the panel. "In order to reach more than half of the online market, they have to sell through a platform run by one of their most aggressive and formidable competitors. This is a bitter pill. That means delivering to Amazon its customers' relationships, product expertise, and a significant Decline in their revenues. "
Democrats, who say that Amazon and others have benefited from salmon regulation, which would fuel the growth of the Internet and related businesses in the mid-1990s, were also skeptical.
There is a growing consensus among venture capitalists and start-up that there is a killing zone around Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple that prevents new startups from entering the market, rep. David Cicilline, Rhode Island Democrat Chairman of the Subcommittee. "The combination of high network effects, high cost costs and the self-enhancing benefits of data can result in a" winner taking every "market that shields the dominant companies."
While Amazon has a market value of $ 974 billion, making it one of the world's largest companies, its size doesn't make it a bad guy, rep. Jim Sensen burner, the top Republican on the antitrust panel. He urged lawmakers to take a "fair and balanced" approach, much as his GOP counterparts suggested during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Facebook's crypto contest.
"We should not rush to change the antitrust law or break up companies at the congress fiat based on false notions that it is large is necessarily bad, or that everything that a large company does, is supposed to be competitive," says Sensenbrenner Businesses are often big, he said, "just by offering a better service or product than the other companies on the market."