On June 1, 2022, Amazon lambasted a bill in Congress barring tech giants from giving preference to their businesses on their websites, saying it unfairly singles the retailer out while not subjecting rivals to similar regulations. Media outlets have reported that the Senate could vote on the bill as early as this month. The measure passed the Senate Judiciary Committee despite lobbying from top high profiles like Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook. It also gave the House Judiciary Committee last year. So the article contains Amazon Uttered Unfairly Targeted by U.S. Antitrust Bill.
However, Amazon said that the bill “jeopardizes two things American consumers love most about Amazon: the vast selection and low prices made possible by opening our store to third-party selling partners, and the promise of fast, free shipping through Amazon Prime.” In addition, it argued that the bill only targets one retailer, Amazon, by requiring a market demand of at least $550bn to qualify for regulation and that rivals like Walmart, Target, and CVS were excluded.
It added, “In 2021, Walmart had annual revenues of $559 billion, nearly $90 billion more than Amazon. But Walmart is excluded despite being a large retailer that allows small businesses to sell in its online marketplace.”
Senators Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley, who co-sponsored the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, say the measure is necessary to protect small businesses. The bill has received the backing of small business groups such as the Main Street Alliance and Small Business Rising. However, Amazon argued the bill could harm the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that sell goods on its website as its significant fines for violations. Also it would make it difficult to justify the risk of Amazon offering a marketplace in which selling partners can participate.
What’s more, the bill would mandate “Amazon allow other logistics providers to fulfill Prime orders” and could make it “potentially impossible in practice, for Amazon and our selling partners to offer products with Prime’s” free two-day shipping. Big tech firms, including Meta Platforms Inc’s Facebook and Apple, have been under pressure in Congress amid allegations they have abused their outsized market power. A long list of bills have been proposed to rein them in, but none have become law.
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