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BeckyDem

(8,361 posts)
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 08:53 AM Jul 2023

Amazon to be broken up? FTC's Lina Khan to reportedly file landmark antitrust lawsuit



Pranav Dixit
Updated Jul 27, 2023, 10:38 AM IST

The Lina Khan-led Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States is reportedly in the final stages of preparing a substantial antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, a move that could potentially lead to the dismantling of certain parts of the e-commerce giant.

Sources close to the matter, as reported by Politico, indicate that the lawsuit is expected to be filed as early as August and is likely to address a wide range of Amazon's business practices that have raised concerns about anti-competitive behaviour.


The scope of the lawsuit may have far-reaching consequences, potentially resulting in a court-ordered restructuring of Amazon's massive $1.3 trillion empire. The FTC has been conducting a lengthy investigation into Amazon, focusing on various potential claims, including allegations similar to existing cases where the company has been accused of imposing rules that require third-party retailers to offer their lowest prices exclusively on Amazon's platform.

Among the primary areas of focus for the forthcoming lawsuit are Amazon Prime and the practices that the FTC considers to be detrimental to fair competition. One major concern is that the bundled services offered through Amazon Prime are being exploited to illegally solidify the company's market power.

https://www.businesstoday.in/technology/news/story/amazon-to-be-broken-up-ftcs-lina-khan-to-reportedly-file-landmark-antitrust-lawsuit-391445-2023-07-27



( Love to Lina!! )
52 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Amazon to be broken up? FTC's Lina Khan to reportedly file landmark antitrust lawsuit (Original Post) BeckyDem Jul 2023 OP
About time Fullduplexxx Jul 2023 #1
imposing rules that require third-party retailers to offer their lowest prices exclusively on Amazon jimfields33 Jul 2023 #13
Yea everyone should just be forced to make stuff you want for free Fullduplexxx Jul 2023 #22
No one is forcing that at all SickOfTheOnePct Jul 2023 #26
I wouldn't complain jimfields33 Jul 2023 #27
Yea, stand that sucker up and knock it down! Towlie Jul 2023 #28
Agreed Zeitghost Jul 2023 #37
So did Walmart A HERETIC I AM Jul 2023 #44
That's a public policy decision/problem Zeitghost Jul 2023 #46
Amazon and Walmart are using their market power to destroy the working class A HERETIC I AM Jul 2023 #50
We don't have buggy whip makers anymore Zeitghost Jul 2023 #52
Finally. Autumn Jul 2023 #2
good news, hope this happens Celerity Jul 2023 #3
Bust the Trust. multigraincracker Jul 2023 #4
Not sure how I feel about that. Happy Hoosier Jul 2023 #5
Breaking up a monopoly does not eliminate the service. Scrivener7 Jul 2023 #6
Nah, it just means I need to go to 4 or five different places.... Happy Hoosier Jul 2023 #8
No it doesn't. Scrivener7 Jul 2023 #9
Correct. Celerity Jul 2023 #12
Agreed snowybirdie Jul 2023 #7
Exactly. sarcasmo Jul 2023 #10
You don't need Amazon to do any of that. Amazon continuously tries to gaslight and convince people Celerity Jul 2023 #11
They are the best game in town. jimfields33 Jul 2023 #14
False dilemma. They need to be broken up. I'm sure that people will be just fine without their Celerity Jul 2023 #17
I guess we can agree to disagree. jimfields33 Jul 2023 #18
But there is no one else comparable snowybirdie Jul 2023 #19
The American consumer market is extraordinarily adaptive. It not only will never be dependent on Celerity Jul 2023 #20
What are the alternatives? Happy Hoosier Jul 2023 #29
Another false dilemma. There are hundreds of thousands (millions?) of e-commerce sites. I am sure Celerity Jul 2023 #30
You TOTALLY are missing the point. Happy Hoosier Jul 2023 #31
No I am not. I am anti monopolistic, anti negative systemic manipulation, & anti regulatory capture. Celerity Jul 2023 #38
And yet Zeitghost Jul 2023 #41
Amazon is most definitely a market controlling/influencing force, a malevolent one at the end of the Celerity Jul 2023 #43
The savings on gas Retrograde Jul 2023 #39
One possibility would be separating Amazon prime video BannonsLiver Jul 2023 #23
Not sure why that is really an issue.... Happy Hoosier Jul 2023 #32
Well if you pay for prime and get prime video as part of the INCLUDED COST in the bundle BannonsLiver Jul 2023 #48
Amazon's done a bang-up job convincing a lot of people they're the only game in town. Torchlight Jul 2023 #15
Exactly, and she is awesome. n/t BeckyDem Jul 2023 #16
Is there another game in town? Happy Hoosier Jul 2023 #33
If there's no real competition w/ Amazon as you imply, then Ms. Khan's reponse seems relevant Torchlight Jul 2023 #34
Can you point stupid ole me in the right direction? Happy Hoosier Jul 2023 #35
I tend to give greater weight of concern to anti-competitive practices than Torchlight Jul 2023 #36
That's interesting SickOfTheOnePct Jul 2023 #47
As Long As Microsoft Lives RobinA Jul 2023 #21
And inthewind21 Jul 2023 #51
That sucks n/t SickOfTheOnePct Jul 2023 #24
Whatever happens, Jeff Bezos will continue to make money FakeNoose Jul 2023 #25
I haven't bought anything on Amazon in ages. LiberalFighter Jul 2023 #40
Amazon NowISeetheLight Jul 2023 #42
Meh. Elessar Zappa Jul 2023 #45
Prime allows for me to spend less time in public around irritating people BannonsLiver Jul 2023 #49

jimfields33

(16,749 posts)
13. imposing rules that require third-party retailers to offer their lowest prices exclusively on Amazon
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 10:26 AM
Jul 2023

Yeah. Anything that helps the general public must go. So now higher prices? Since when is that good?

Zeitghost

(3,978 posts)
37. Agreed
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 03:15 PM
Jul 2023

The FTC should be looking out for consumers, not corporations who can't compete. Amazon is using their market power to lower prices, not raise them.

A HERETIC I AM

(24,414 posts)
44. So did Walmart
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 03:53 PM
Jul 2023

And their efforts forced numerous manufacturers to offshore production in order to meet price demands and sell at Walmart.


Let us never forget that the American business model is based on cheap labor, be that labor here in the states at the lowest POSSIBLE wage and benefits or 3rd world labor with ZERO protections.

Zeitghost

(3,978 posts)
46. That's a public policy decision/problem
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 03:57 PM
Jul 2023

Not an Amazon or Wal Mart issue.

Everyone plays by the same import rules, Amazon and Wal Mart have played more efficiently and brought those savings to consumers.

If Amazon or Wal Mart were using their market power to raise prices, I would be concerned.

A HERETIC I AM

(24,414 posts)
50. Amazon and Walmart are using their market power to destroy the working class
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 04:45 PM
Jul 2023

Have you noticed how many new commercial buildings are going up with dozens of truck dock doors?

That’s where all the retail jobs are going.

All the jobs that were at the mall are gone and are being replaced by automated warehouse/distribution centers that are going up as fast as retail outlets are being shuttered.



The transformation of retail is happening right before our eyes and the American people are going to cheer it on all the way to the poorhouse.

Zeitghost

(3,978 posts)
52. We don't have buggy whip makers anymore
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 06:09 PM
Jul 2023

And yet we do just fine. Paying less for consumer goods raises everyone's standard of living.

Happy Hoosier

(7,633 posts)
5. Not sure how I feel about that.
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 09:21 AM
Jul 2023

On the one hand, giant megacorps swallowing everything is bad. On another,m I really like not having to spend hours fiding what I need on the internet. Also, I like Amazon Prime. It saves me money.

Happy Hoosier

(7,633 posts)
8. Nah, it just means I need to go to 4 or five different places....
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 09:25 AM
Jul 2023

... manage 4 or 5 different accounts with different passwords, and billing.

Like I said.... mixed feelings. I want the competetion. I don't want the hassle.

snowybirdie

(5,306 posts)
7. Agreed
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 09:25 AM
Jul 2023

Meeting our shopping needs is so easy with Prime. Seniors don't need to drive or walk all around to purchase anything for themselves or loved ones. Won't be happy if this goes away

Celerity

(44,586 posts)
11. You don't need Amazon to do any of that. Amazon continuously tries to gaslight and convince people
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 10:00 AM
Jul 2023

that they are the only real game in town, that they are the only ones who can deliver a 'fair' deal.

The price for all this:

Amazon wants (and already has in many cases) incredible, market-altering systemic control, with a constant striving for quasi monopolies across many sectors.

jimfields33

(16,749 posts)
14. They are the best game in town.
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 10:30 AM
Jul 2023

Ok maybe prices might be higher for some products you can get elsewhere. But going to order 10 items at one site, sure beats going to ten sites to order the same ten items. Plus free delivery and saving the planet used to be a priority with less driving.

Celerity

(44,586 posts)
17. False dilemma. They need to be broken up. I'm sure that people will be just fine without their
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 10:41 AM
Jul 2023

ever-growing monopolistic tendencies and system-distorting brute force scales of economy.

You do not need an Amazon-sized beast set loose in the china closet of commerce to have an efficacious consumer ecosphere.

snowybirdie

(5,306 posts)
19. But there is no one else comparable
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 10:45 AM
Jul 2023

If someone else steps into the market, many will change. However, when bones and joints hurt and walking is difficult, Amazon is noe the best game in town. That's reality.

Celerity

(44,586 posts)
20. The American consumer market is extraordinarily adaptive. It not only will never be dependent on
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 10:57 AM
Jul 2023

monopoly-striving forces in order to properly function, it is a necessity to that proper functioning that those forces always be put down as much as possible.

Also you said:

Amazon is noe the best game in town. That's reality.


I am sure one can find, without an unreasonable amount of effort, evidence that would counter that statement in a multiplicity of instances.

It is not 'Amazon or bust'. That style argument was what Theodore Roosevelt faced when he assumed his role as trust buster right after the fin de siècle.

Happy Hoosier

(7,633 posts)
29. What are the alternatives?
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 01:05 PM
Jul 2023

Seriously, other than Amazon, where can I and be reasonably assured I can find what I want without having to place 5 separate orders and pay shipping for every one.

The attraction for me is that if I need something relatively unusual, I know I hop on to Amazon, have a number of alternatives to choose from, and then have it hand 2-3 days later.

I am genuiniely asking.... who else can do that?

I'm all for alternatives. But it's a big ask to get people to do something less convenient and more expensive. There has to be an actual benefit.

Celerity

(44,586 posts)
30. Another false dilemma. There are hundreds of thousands (millions?) of e-commerce sites. I am sure
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 01:37 PM
Jul 2023

you would get on just fine if Amazon poofed entirely (and it won't) tomorrow. When I lived in the US I spent tens of thousands of dollars online and somehow managed to get on quite well without much reliance on Amazon.

You also are seemingly failing to take into account that a partial dismantling of Amazon will create opportunities for a myriad number of new, smaller, more agile players in the market.

That is the essence of what well-regulated market capitalism is. Monopolistic, market-manipulative behaviour, combined with regulatory capture is antithetical to that.

It is simply not necessary to allow monopolistic and manipulative behavior to have an efficient, affordable, and more competitively fair e-commerce ecosystem.

Hat's off (ruefully) to Amazon for embedding a 'too big to breakup' mentality and self-perceived dependence on one company in so many, even on a left to centre left board.

Happy Hoosier

(7,633 posts)
31. You TOTALLY are missing the point.
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 02:54 PM
Jul 2023

It is NOT a false diemma and I think you know it.

Ther reason Amazon is successful is precisely because it offers "one stop shop" covneience.

Like I said, I don't wanna have to Google every item I want and then sift through all the returns to see what they have.

I don't want to place 5 different oders with 5 different shops, paying shipping 5 times and getting 5 boxes (which is also not great for the environment).

Amazon succeeds precuisely because it is big. You didn't offer an alternative to that. You basically just said "nuh-uh!"

Celerity

(44,586 posts)
38. No I am not. I am anti monopolistic, anti negative systemic manipulation, & anti regulatory capture.
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 03:18 PM
Jul 2023

Amazon is a malevolent actor when it comes to the outcomes of its interlocks within those fundamental socio-economic, socio-political arenas and concepts.

I fully support the Biden administration's attempting to taking a clearing axe to that firm's ever-expanding dense, dark woods and nebulous, intertwined webs of influence.

Zeitghost

(3,978 posts)
41. And yet
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 03:24 PM
Jul 2023

They continue to bring me the products I want directly to my door in a day or two max at cheaper prices than I can find elsewhere.

The FTC needs to focus on those who control the market and use it to drive up prices, not those driving them down just to protect companies who can not compete.

Celerity

(44,586 posts)
43. Amazon is most definitely a market controlling/influencing force, a malevolent one at the end of the
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 03:48 PM
Jul 2023

day IMHO, along with many other big tech actors.

The Biden administration's FTC agrees with this and I fully support them.

Who doesn't agree, amongst others?

Jim Jordan harassing and intimidating Federal Trade Commission employees

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100218123950

snip


Republicans attack FTC chair and big tech critic Lina Khan at House hearing

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jul/13/lina-khan-hearing-ftc-chair-republican-regulations-meta-google

snip

The FTC’s list of battles with big tech companies is growing.

Hours earlier on Thursday, Twitter – which now legally goes by X Corp – asked a federal court to terminate a 2011 settlement with the FTC that placed restrictions on its user data and privacy practices. Khan noted Twitter voluntarily entered into that agreement.

Also on Thursday, the Washington Post reported the FTC opened an investigation into OpenAI on whether its chatbot, ChatGPT, is harmful to consumers. A spokesperson for the FTC would not comment on the OpenAI investigation but Khan said during the hearing that “it has been publicly reported”.

In 2017, Khan, now 34, gained fame for an academic article she wrote as a law student at Yale that used Amazon’s business practices to explain gaps in US antitrust policy. Biden announced he intended to nominate the antitrust researcher to head the FTC in March 2021. She was sworn in that June.

“Chair Khan has delivered results for families, consumers, workers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs,” the White House spokesperson Michael Kikukawa said in a statement.

Retrograde

(10,245 posts)
39. The savings on gas
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 03:20 PM
Jul 2023

not to mention wear and tear on the vehicle and me - are my main reason for shopping at Amazon. I have an unusual shoe size, and the only place around here that carries the brand that fits is over 40 miles away. I can get them through Amazon, though, and they keep track of the styles I like so that when a pair wears out I can replace them. Same with some other commodities that would require visits to several places if I had to buy them at smaller stores. OTOH, there are some things I will not buy at Amazon because I want to see the item for myself. And I'm leery of smaller dealers selling through them: some are OK, others not so good.

Amazon took advantage of a market niche that was just starting in the late 90s. Maybe it was luck, maybe it was genius on Bezos' part, but they've managed to keep a lot of their customers reasonably satisfied. Their search engine still sucks, though.


BannonsLiver

(16,699 posts)
23. One possibility would be separating Amazon prime video
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 12:12 PM
Jul 2023

That would likely be a separate fee if the FTC is successful. Of course nobody knows how it will shake out if it is broken up. I know some people in the thread, Cut and Paste, and others, think they know, but none of us really know.

Happy Hoosier

(7,633 posts)
32. Not sure why that is really an issue....
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 02:56 PM
Jul 2023

.... there is no shortage of competition in the online streaming world.

BannonsLiver

(16,699 posts)
48. Well if you pay for prime and get prime video as part of the INCLUDED COST in the bundle
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 04:10 PM
Jul 2023

Then it IS an issue.

Torchlight

(3,686 posts)
15. Amazon's done a bang-up job convincing a lot of people they're the only game in town.
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 10:31 AM
Jul 2023

I gotta admit a bit of gratitude on my part that Chairperson Khan is ignoring the candy-coated sentiment and instead focusing on doing her job.

Happy Hoosier

(7,633 posts)
33. Is there another game in town?
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 02:58 PM
Jul 2023

I keep hearing that there are real alternatives. There are certainly some specialty shops. But is there a one-stop-shop that really competes with Amazon?

Torchlight

(3,686 posts)
34. If there's no real competition w/ Amazon as you imply, then Ms. Khan's reponse seems relevant
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 03:02 PM
Jul 2023

as well as timely.

Though given a few easy and breezy minutes on the internet, I imagine anyone with the will can locate the same replacement/alternative we did.

Happy Hoosier

(7,633 posts)
35. Can you point stupid ole me in the right direction?
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 03:09 PM
Jul 2023

I've looked for alternatives that can come close.... and I haven't found anything that is genuince competitions. Am I dumb? Amd I just missing it?

And while the fact that Amazon doesn;t really have competition might be a problem, I'm not at all of a fan of making on the online consumer's experience worse for the sake of... what? The idea behind [reventing monopolies is to ensure consumers aren't getting shafted. but Amazon's model pretty much demands they maintain a downward pressure on prices.

What kinfd of break-up are we envisioning, and how would it actually benefit consumers? I'm not being snarky. I am genuiniely curious what the play is here.

Torchlight

(3,686 posts)
36. I tend to give greater weight of concern to anti-competitive practices than
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 03:13 PM
Jul 2023

I do to consumer convenience and apathy.




As to the end goal, I'd be fascinated to learn of any objective findings presented!

SickOfTheOnePct

(7,290 posts)
47. That's interesting
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 03:59 PM
Jul 2023

I’m truly curious as to what is the end game in the way you look at it?

That is to say, your concern isn’t the consumer but what you see as anti-competitive practices. But isn’t the concern for anti-competitive practices based on concern for consumers?

Just genuinely trying to understand what I’m missing .

NowISeetheLight

(3,943 posts)
42. Amazon
Thu Jul 27, 2023, 03:32 PM
Jul 2023

I have an Amazon habit. I still shop brick and mortar stores when I know they'll have it in stock. One thing I do really like is when I need something different. A certain cable I can't find at Walmart or Target for example. I could go to Vendor A, order it, pay shipping, then wait a week or longer, and spend more. Or go to Amazon, get it next day or the day after, pay less, it's great

Amazon shouldn't be able to require vendors sell to no one else at cheaper prices. That's anticompetitive.

A lot if stores (like Best Buy) will price match. I do make use of that and have had them match the Amazon price. Usually it isn't a huge difference. When I build my computers I do shop NewEgg also. Sometimes they're cheaper than Amazon.

One huge thing I love about Amazon is the ease of returns.

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