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Home / News / Business / Amazon should be broken up, small-merchant coalition says

Amazon should be broken up, small-merchant coalition says

by latimes.com
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By MATT DAY

A new coalition of small-business organizations is urging policymakers to break up Amazon.com Inc.

Small Business Rising, on Tuesday laid out a set of goals aimed at reinvigorating U.S. antitrust enforcement. A call to separate Amazon’s own retail business from the marketplace that hosts third-party sellers.

Convened in part by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. A small-business advocacy group and a longtime critic of Amazon’s market power. The coalition is likely to ramp up the pressure on the world’s largest web retailer. Amazon has thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic as homebound shoppers stormed online.

The coalition comprises more than 20 organizations, including the American Booksellers Assn. The Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding and the National Grocers Assn., which represent more than 60,000 independent businesses.

“Small businesses are in crisis,” said Stacy Mitchell, the institute’s co-director. She said the pandemic-fueled economic turmoil and the commanding presence of dominant firms such as Amazon helped inform the coalition’s goals.

“As one bookseller said to me, ‘It says COVID on the death certificate, but the underlying condition was Amazon.’”

“Small businesses are in crisis,” said Stacy Mitchell, the institute’s co-director. She said the pandemic-fueled economic turmoil and the commanding presence of dominant firms such as Amazon helped inform the coalition’s goals. “As one bookseller said to me, ‘It says COVID on the death certificate, but the underlying condition was Amazon.”

The group also is calling for changes to antitrust laws that would empower regulators to stamp out anti-competitive tactics, as well as stricter review of mergers among big industry players.

Policymakers around the world have scrutinized Amazon’s practice of competing with the independent sellers who now account for most sales on its web store. Critics say Amazon treats sellers as disposable and beholden to its fees and other demands. The company also has been accused of using seller data to inform the design of its own products[…]

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