Congress is currently considering antitrust legislation that would curb the power of large tech companies. For example, the Ending Platform Monopolies Act would allow the federal government to prevent companies from operating a dominant online platform while operating a business that creates a conflict of interest. This type of reform could affect giant companies such as Amazon, which provides a major marketplace for third-party sellers while offering its own brands through the same site. Over time, the third-party seller marketplace on Amazon has surpassed Amazon’s own retail sales.
In response to the proposed federal laws, Amazon contacted some of its sellers to offer a phone meeting with members of its public policy team. More dramatically, Amazon has launched a website at supportsmallsellers.us to provide information about the proposed laws. Sellers can use this site to sign up for more information from the Amazon public policy team, and they may be able to reach out to politicians about the legislation directly. Thus, the website provides not only a passive resource for sellers but also an active vehicle to articulate their needs and concerns.
Amazon has warned sellers that the proposed antitrust laws could undermine their businesses on the Amazon marketplace, reducing their access to customers and their revenue. Thus, Amazon hopes to persuade Congress to revise the bills, and it seeks to integrate the objections of sellers into its arguments. Amazon also has noted that the US Chamber of Commerce and other major trade groups oppose the bills in their current form. However, the House Judiciary Committee approved the bills earlier this summer. They await further action in Congress.
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