Jason Boyce, CEO of Avenue7Media weighs in on Amazon’s artificially high prices in this article published by Bloomberg Law. California sued Amazon.com Inc., saying the company forces third-party merchants to agree to policies that lead to “artificially high prices” for consumers.
State Attorney General Rob Bonta on Wednesday announced the antitrust suit challenging Amazon merchant agreements that bar sellers from offering lower prices on other sites and impose stiff penalties if they do. He said the agreements block competition from other online retailers, resulting in inflated fees for merchants and higher prices for consumers.
“Amazon coerces merchants into agreements that keep prices artificially high, knowing full-well that they can’t afford to say no,” Bonta said in a statement. The suit, filed in state court in San Francisco, seeks an order blocking Amazon from continuing to engage in anticompetitive behavior and compensation for California consumers.
The suit comes three years after Bloomberg reported that the company’s pricing policies were forcing sellers to raise their prices on competing sites like Walmart Inc. because if they offered lower prices on other sites Amazon would bury their products in search results.
Jason Boyce, CEO of Avenue7Media, which helps about 100 small businesses sell products online, said the California suit was a welcome development. He said many merchants avoid putting their products on competing sites out of fear of hurting their sales on Amazon, where they do most of their business.
“Amazon’s practices, in my opinion, raise prices across the entire internet,” Boyce said. “It hurts small businesses and hurts consumers. The only one that doesn’t get hurt is Amazon.”
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