Report: Amazon is damaging competition, SMEs and consumer choice

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According to a new report, Amazon is undermining competition, small businesses and workers, as well as reducing economic opportunity and consumer choice.

So says the US Institute for Local Self-Reliance. ILSR Co-Director Stacy Mitchell writes: “Our analysis suggests that Amazon represents nothing less than a new wave of economic dislocation and loss of local ownership following the earlier collapse of manufacturing and small businesses that devastated so many regions of the country.”

You can download the report called Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities.

They say that Amazon now takes nearly $1 in every $2 that Americans spend online. They note that Amazon (and presumably its 3P merchant) sells more books, toys, and soon, clothing and consumer electronics than any retailer off and online. The report claims that Amazon has eliminated about 149k more jobs in retail than it has created in its warehouses.

Another attack the report makes on Amazon is that they are also getting considerable US government grants and subsidies to develop its fulfilment infrastructure. As the ILSR says: “Cities and states have helped finance Amazon’s expansion. The report finds that Amazon has pocketed at least $613 million in public subsidies for its fulfillment facilities since 2005, and more than half of the 77 large facilities it built between 2005 and 2014 have been subsidized by taxpayers.”

10 Responses

  1. Buyers wanting goods cheap and quick – what exactly is the downside for the consumer of them choosing to spend half their online money at Amazon?

  2. Retail does nothng to add to gross domestic product. If those who lose their jobs in retail move into an expanding manufacturing environment and make things rather than sell things then that builds wealth for the economy rather than eroding it. So a loss of unproductive retail jobs is a good thing as long as manufacturing can take up the slack.

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