Does Amazon, which is one of many, many eCommerce / Commerce shops come
even close to dominating an industry as Facebook for instance has dominated
On Wed, 30 Oct 2019, 08:08 Ali Hussein via kictanet, <
> Relevant in this day of Dominance and Market Failures.
> Not since the heydays of General Motors in the early and mid years of the
> 20th Century has a company stood over the industry like a colossal. In many
> ways Amazon is the New General Motors.
> Regulators and Policy Makers are circling. Globally, led first by the
> European Union and now the Americans. On can probably say that the American
> Government has been generally ambivalent to these issues until early this
> year when arguably first shot was fired by Makan Delrahim, the head of the
> Ant-Trust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice., when he said of Tech
> \” They should think very seriously about their conduct, if you\’re one of
> the big guys, you should be careful to make sure you don\’t snuff out
> competitors because you think that\’s good for your business. That not what
> free markets really mean, and we\’re going to come down on you like a ton of
> bricks if that\’s what you do.\”
> This long article by The New Yorker
> <www-newyorker-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/10/21/is-amazon-unstoppable/amp> exemplifies
> the conundrum of Capitalism today. At what point does success become
> poisonous? What is good and what is bad? Where do we draw the line?
> Regulators are coalescing around the Four \’Cs\’.
> 1. *Concentration*: “The bigger a tech company becomes, the more they can
> bully, so we need to put hard caps on how big companies like that can grow,
> on what they can acquire.” said an FTC <www.ftc.gov/> official.
> 2.* Conflict*. According to Rohit Chopra
> <www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/biographies/rohit-chopra>, the second “C”
> is the conflict of interest that comes from “both controlling the pipe and
> selling the oil.” Chopra, who agreed to speak only about antitrust
> generally and not about Amazon specifically, explained, “If you do both,
> you will structure your marketplace in a way that ultimately is
> self-dealing, and you will use the data from those who sell on your
> marketplace to benefit yourself.” There’s a long history of the government
> forcing industries to separate distribution and sales; for years, movie
> studios have generally been prohibited from owning movie theatres.
> Unfortunately too often Amazon has been accused of this sin. Too often.
> 3.* Contracts*. The next area of concern is contracts. Big tech companies
> often make highly restrictive deals with smaller venders. Amazon retains a
> contractual right to hold sellers’ revenues for long periods after a sale
> and imposes limits on what data sellers can share with other companies.
> Another F.T.C. commissioner, Rebecca Kelly Slaughter
> said, “There are a lot of terms that go into boilerplate contracts that
> consumers or workers don’t really have an opportunity to negotiate. It is
> absolutely appropriate for us to be thinking about banning those.”
> 4. *Complexity*. Lastly, regulators worry about the complexity of current
> antitrust law. “You really have to be an expert, or hire an expert
> attorney, if you feel like one of these companies is acting
> inappropriately,” an F.T.C. official said. “The law only works when it is
> simple enough for the little guy to bring an action on their own.”
> It is recommended reading to all business people, policymakers, activists
> and regulators.
> *Ali Hussein*
> Tel: +254 713 601113
> Twitter: @AliHKassim
> Skype: abu-jomo
> LinkedIn: ke.linkedin.com/in/alihkassim
> Any information of a personal nature expressed in this email are purely
> mine and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of the
> organizations that I work with.
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