Just days after presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren went on a tangent about her plan to take down major tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, the e-commerce giant made a major revision to its third party selling policy.
On Monday, Amazon eliminated its rule that kept U.S. third party merchants from listing their products for cheaper outside of Amazon’s marketplace due to pressure to investigate their antitrust laws. And sellers seem pretty happy about it.
Dani Nadel of Feedvisor said the greater e-commerce landscape will become much more dynamic thanks to the change. He mentioned that brands and sellers now have more freedom to diversify their pricing strategy to create a more competitive space with pricing that is more appealing to consumers.
But this isn’t a new concept. Amazon actually made this same move 6 years ago in the U.K. and Germany after facing similar investigations over there. Lately though, the pressure has been on for Amazon to follow suit in the U.S.
In addition to catching heat from Elizabeth Warren, Amazon faced criticism from Senator Richard Blumenthal who wrote a letter to the FTC Commission Chairman back in December saying “I am deeply concerned that the price parity provisions in Amazon's contracts with third party sellers could stifle market competition and artificially inflate prices on consumer goods that millions of Americans are planning to buy this holiday season.”
After the news broke, he responded by saying that the DOJ and FTC must begin aggressively investigating Big Tech’s potential antitrust violations and take necessary enforcement actions to deter more harmful behavior.
Though Amazon declined to comment on the matter, it’s likely that they wanted to get out of the line fire before things got ugly. One can only imagine though that somewhere Elizabeth Warren and Richard Blumenthal are smiling as their plans to level the playing field begin to come to fruition.