Online shopping has never been easier than it is with Jeff Bezos’ genius e-commerce platform, Amazon. The multinational corporation offers lines of products beyond conceivability, at seemingly low prices, and with almost instantaneous delivery services. Amazon has stepped outside the barriers of retail, aiming to also tackle digital streaming and data storage. The limits appear to be nonexistent for this innovative enterprise; the company has perfected the art of catering to the consumer, ensuring every possible Amazon branded product made is convenient and affordable— what’s not to love? A lot, actually.
Although appearing beneficial to the individual, with its low prices and efficient distribution system, Amazon is, on a large scale, ultimately disrupting the economy and subverting society. The platform is credited with a significant portion of online purchases, becoming a dominant force in the market and, therefore, stifling competition. Antitrust laws were established to combat monopolistic tendencies and to oversee the conduct of businesses; however, the laissez-faire philosophy has become increasingly prominent in modern economics, with interference becoming necessary only when consumer welfare is threatened rather than actively monitoring the maintenance of healthy competition, allowing for modern, Internet-based companies to avoid intervention from antitrust authorities. Amazon, specifically, has succeeded in dodging government supervision using the reduction of prices to divert attention away from their anti-competitive framework.
The work of lawyer Lina M. Khan in “The Yale Law Journal” to expose the illegal behaviors of Amazon and comprise an argument regarding the need to recognize inadequacies in current principles of government policies has contributed to her presence in the Federal Trade Commission. Her convictions have led the government to sue Amazon, pertaining to accusations surrounding the defiance of antitrust law. Though Bezos and other company executives have denied the allegations, Khan holds firm in her belief that Amazon is a main prohibitor in achieving a truly competitive market. Regardless of the determination of the lawsuit, the structural unfairness of the company has gone mainstream; the general public has become aware of the potential harms of such a dominating force in the economy.
Overall, Amazon has become an impressive influence in the modern marketplace. Although its predatory pricing and tactical limitations of competing businesses are the foundation of its increasing dominance, lack of government intervention and societal consciousness has similarly played a role. Now that light has been shed on the graveness of the situation, there is no longer an excuse for contributing to this internet-based monopoly. Society itself must play its part in preserving the economic rights of the people, allowing for equal opportunity, necessary competition, and the disempowerment of corrupt corporations. It’s time to take down Amazon.