July 27, 2020

Jeff Bezos to Testify before House Subcommittee

Amazon’s B2B marketplace is “rigged,” the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) wrote in a letter to the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law.

The NAW is urging the subcommittee to take a deep review of Amazon’s “monopolistic mistreatment of third-party sellers.” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will testify before the subcommittee on Monday, July 27. The testimony comes following several recent reports about Amazon’s alleged anti-competitive practices on its B2C and B2B ecommerce marketplace. “Unchecked, Amazon’s dominance threatens to cripple the highly competitive B2B system which exists in our country,” the NAW wrote. “Wholesaler-distributors – most of them small and medium-size businesses – will quite literally be driven out of existence, leaving customers with fewer alternatives and less choice.”

The NAW letter includes examples from several NAW members that have been affected by Amazon’s competitive practices, including the alleged misuse of third-party seller data, steering customers to Amazon’s own private-label products, and the manipulation of search algorithms.

“Small businesses that depend upon Amazon for access to their markets, including many of our members, fear retribution by Amazon if they speak up,” the NAW told the subcommittee. “They are relying upon you and your colleagues to curb Amazon’s stranglehold on them.”

The full NAW letter may be read here.