Since last year we come covering in Linux Addicts the investigations that the European and American governments carry out against the practices of the big technology companies. I even ventured the opinion that their strong alignment in favor of the inauguration of Joe Biden and the banning of Donald Trump was going to work against them. Politicians discovered the enormous power that technology companies have and it is already known that politicians firmly believe that power belongs to the people and must be managed by the capable hands of their representatives (them).
As if to agree with me A lawsuit for monopolistic practices was filed in no less than the capital of the United States. Washington, District of Columbia.
The plaintiff is none other than the District of Columbia itself, a municipal corporation empowered to sue and be sued in its capacity as local government for the territory that constitutes the permanent seat of government of the United States. Your highest legal representative (who files the lawsuit) is the Attorney General.
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Columbia sues Amazon. The accusation
The writing describes Amazon as the world's leading online retail platform. The accusers estimate that the company dominates between 50 and 70% of the market for online retail sales while other competitors such as Ebay or WalMart do not exceed 5%. Annual visits to the site are 2.6 billion and 74% of consumers go directly there when they decide to buy a product. Meanwhile, 66% see Amazon as the first place to start looking.
Up to here, there would be nothing to object. We could affirm that the service or the products are better than those of its competitors, but the prosecution does not agree.
In passing they point to Jeff Bezos' decision to increase the participation of different markets until dominating them, sacrificing short-term profitability. Then they begin to list what they consider to be anti-competitive practices.
First, Amazon operates as an online retailer of its own private label products. or wholesale products from other suppliers or manufacturers. In second place, Amazon provides access to its online retail platform for a fee to third parties so they can sell their own products to consumers. There are more than two million of these sellers, which represent approximately 60% of the value of the products sold on the platform.
Amazon offers two plans to sellers- A sales charge of $ 0.99 or a flat monthly fee of $ 39.99. Additionally, the platform offers to take care of the management of the shipment of the product and the collection in exchange for an additional charge.
The prosecution maintains that eThe algorithm that selects the best offer (which is more prominently displayed on the site and is the one with the most sales) is manipulated to benefit those sellers who generate higher profits for Amazon ignoring the most convenient offers to the consumer.
Another thing that is objected to in the lawsuit is the obligation that imposes on sellers to offer equal or lower prices that of the seller's own website or that of other platforms. Hence, it is impossible for independent sellers to pass on the savings achieved by lower prices on other platforms to consumers.
As if that wasn't enough, it seems that too the Bezos guys get out of hand with the fees they charge independent sellers.
It is estimated that by including the optional shipment processing service, sellers (and ultimately consumers) end up paying up to 45% on a 15% basis. Neither of the two most important competitors are much smaller, even adding delivery management services.
Request to court
What the prosecution requests from the court is the following:
- Ban Amazon from continuing its anti-competitive conduct.
- Take, if necessary, the necessary measures to achieve the previous point.
- Appoint an overseer to ensure compliance with the necessary measures.
- Establish adequate compensation to the District of Columbia as a plaintiff.
- Assemble a jury to determine the guilt of the accused.