business news in context, analysis with attitude

Interesting story from Reuters about Amazon is "lambasting" a bill before the US Senate that would prevent "tech giants from giving preference to their own businesses on their websites."

Amazon's position is that the bill - that rare piece bipartisan piece of legislation that is called the American Innovation and Choice Online Act - "jeopardizes two of the things American consumers love most about Amazon: the vast selection and low prices made possible by opening our store to third-party selling partners, and the promise of fast, free shipping through Amazon Prime."

But even more than that, Amazon says, the bill excludes companies like Walmart and Target that are comparable in size but with smaller online sales.

In addition, Reuters writes, "Amazon argued the bill could harm the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that sell goods on its website as its large fines for violations 'would make it difficult to justify the risk of Amazon offering a marketplace in which selling partners can participate'."

The story notes that Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), "who co-sponsored the measure called the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, say the measure is necessary to protect small businesses. The bill has received the backing of small business groups such as the Main Street Alliance and Small Business Rising."

KC's View:

I continue to maintain that if Amazon cannot give preference to its own products online, then bricks-and-mortar retailers ought to be prevented from giving their private label items preferred positioning on store shelves.  What's good for the goose…