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1/ Before tomorrow's #BigTechBarons hearing, I'm going to run down some of the lowlights from my chapter in Monopolized on Amazon, and some areas where lawmakers could question Jeff Bezos tomorrow. Also buy Monopolized!

2/ The story of "Crazy Harry," a florist in Orlando, gives a good sense of how Amazon monetizes its seller partners but also leaves them in the wind to die
Amazon's revenue from third-party sellers is 4 times what they get from their own retail sales. This idea that they constantly skew the site to favor their own products is just wrong. They make more money being landlords than manufacturers.
But Amazon takes its cut no matter who the seller is, so they don't really care about their partners. And sellers sign a mandatory arbitration agreement so they have no recourse but Amazon's private law.
As a result, the marketplace runs the way a big city might if all the cops left. It’s an experiment in digital Darwinism, where anything goes to muscle out the other guy. Sabotage is everywhere.
Counterfeiting is a particular scourge, made worse by the fact that Amazon commingles inventory, so a seller can buy its *own products* and get fake versions delivered to them.
Amazon doesn't want to police their marketplace. "If they're proactive, they're creating liability," one insider told me. They are totally unmanageable by design.
Rampant counterfeiting is also a form of control, as sellers must join Amazon or drop prices to stop the fakes. Amazon recruits Chinese sellers and ships from there directly, the home of most knockoffs. It's a form of control.
Then there's the suspension, the craziest part of the third party seller experience.
And this is my favorite story in the book.
There's a lot more in there, from the appeals process to Amazon's own use of direct counterfeiting to predatory pricing. There are an endless amount of ways that Amazon exploits its partners and exerts control. Hopefully the hearing will get into that.
Check out Monopolized for more on this and a host of other industries.

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