The New York Times: Opinion | “The Flaw in the Case Against Amazon”

Washington, D.C. (10/02/2023) – A new piece by The New York Times technology columnist Farhad Manjoo outlines the basic, fundamental flaws in the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) lawsuit against Amazon, a company that provides services and products that Americans love. The piece highlights the current robust competition in the retail sector and describes how the FTC’s lawsuit would hurt American consumers and small businesses that prefer the products and services Amazon provides. 

“…In order to characterize Amazon’s share of American retail as a monopoly, the plaintiffs define its market in a way that excludes just about every other retailer, online or offline…

“‘…I think most competition scholars would say that the F.T.C. needs to go to the competition optometrist to get a new prescription,’ David Balto, a former policy official in the F.T.C.’s bureau of competition, told me of the way the agency is defining Amazon’s market. ‘They’re suffering from significant myopia…’

“‘…Do most people think that shopping in a Walmart store is a fundamentally distinct experience from shopping on Amazon — to the point where they wouldn’t ever take out their phone in Walmart to check what the price of something is on Amazon?’ [Sean Sullivan, a professor at the University of Iowa College of Law] asked. If not, he said, Amazon’s relevant market should include everything that Walmart and Target sell, not just what they sell online…

“…Amazon’s place in the big picture of retail is nowhere as dominant. And shoehorning definitions isn’t going to make it so.”

To read the full article, click here.

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