Captains of Industry Rally Against Amazon & Google in Antitrust Case
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The Retail Industry Leaders Association, whose members include Best Buy, Walmart, and Target, are confronting the sales hegemony of Amazon and Google. The retail groups wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission in furtherance of the U.S. antitrust investigation of the tech giants.
The Justice Department is investigating Google and, potentially, Apple. The Federal Trade Commission is running antitrust investigations of Amazon and Facebook.
Specifically, the big retailers want the FTC and the Justice Department to examine potential harm to consumers – not only related to pricing but also concerning the capacity of Big Tech to frame the consumer’s view of products and pricing. In other words, it might not matter how Amazon and similar corporations set prices if they can limit the prices a given user is likely to see.
Restraints and Fines
The retail association says it has no complaint about the competition from tech firms. It does say that this competition should play out “on a fair and level playing field.”
Amazon points out that its market share is less than 4 percent of retail sales in the United States. Nevertheless, raising data privacy concerns and noting the lack of transparency in advertising through social media, the retail association insists that Google and Amazon are manipulating markets and consumers. Big Tech companies have faced restraints and fines as governments of several countries have held them responsible for manipulative practices in the past.
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