There is a rising concerns among lawmakers in the United States about the increasing of e-commerce company Amazon’s influence over consumers even as the company attempts to relentlessly pursue its objectives of growth and profits in e-retail, cloud computing, advertising and consumer devices.
However, faced with such a situation, it appears that Amazon is trying to present a pleasant face instead of fiercely opposing such attempts of scrutiny in the past.
Following an investigation request by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn, a company policy which did not allow retailers working with it to offer lower prices for their products on other platforms was removed by Amazon in March. And after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., called out its abusive business practices, the company also scaled down a number of its most aggressive promotion tactics last month. And after sever criticisms by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt by the working conditions of the company, Amazon raised its minimum wage of $15 an hour late last year.
And the efforts of an increasing number of US cities and states pushing implementation of laws hat mandate all retail stores to allow purchase of the unbanked, Amazon confirmed to the media that it would soon begin accepting cash at the Amazon Go cashierless stores. Analysts said that all of these efforts and measures taken by Amazon are an attempt to be company to become more likable amidst rising concerns of business policies of tech companies that reduces competitiveness.
“I believe Amazon has made the connection between likability and immunity from regulation,” said NYU business professor Scott Galloway, author of “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.”
According to Galloway, who is known to be a critic of Amazon, the company, through its effort to soften its image, is trying to tell regulators, “Don’t break us up.”
Amazon needs to be split up because of its highly competitive nature, Galloway has argued.
While policy and law makers in Europe have increased their scrutiny over the tech industry, the same demands as Galloway are being made by politicians from both sides of the divide in the US for a number of tech based companies such as Google and Facebook in addition to Amazon. President Trump, in an interview to Axios has said that the allegations of antitrust violations by Amazon are being looked into by his administration. Trump has openly spoken against Amazon and its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos on multiple occasions.
According to Kartik Hosanagar, a business professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Amazon is taking “preemptive action” because it is aware of what’s coming its way.
“This is a good strategy by Amazon to address these comments early before one of the candidates makes Amazon the poster child of what they refer to as the problems with Big Tech,” Hosanagar said.
No comments were available from Amazon.
(Adapted from NBCNews.com)