The biggest threat to Amazon is likely to be action by government regulatory bodies rather than actions by competitors.
Amazon — like other tech giants like Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Meta’s Facebook and Apple Inc. — faces regulatory scrutiny on several fronts. In Amazon’s case, much of the current attention focuses on allegations that Amazon copies best-selling items of merchants selling on its websites and offers them under its own brands. Amazon ranks No. 1 in the Top 500. Apple ranks No. 3, behind Walmart.
The Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives asked the Justice Department in March 2022 to investigate Amazon and some of its executives on charges that they have withheld information about Amazon’s use of third-party seller data or lied to the committee about the topic. Meanwhile, the European Union in April 2022 opened a formal investigation into whether Amazon’s treatment of merchants on its platform violates EU antitrust rules.
Amazon did win one round in court in March 2022, when a federal judge threw out a lawsuit brought by the attorney general of Washington, D.C., claiming that Amazon’s policies illegally raised prices for consumers.
But a victory in one lawsuit is hardly likely to protect Amazon from future legal assaults. Amazon’s great success in dominating ecommerce in Europe as well as North America makes it a big target for regulators who no doubt will continue to put pressure on the ecommerce giant for years to come.
Complicating matters for the ecommerce goliath is the recent success of a unionization effort at one of its warehouses on Staten Island in New York City.
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