It’s big. It’s successful! It has greatly enhanced the average consumer’s life with its low prices and fast shipping. And now, Amazon must be broken up because…why?
Amazon just purchased Whole Foods. This means it’s going into direct competition with Wal-Mart. I saw it written somewhere that Amazon is trying to become Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart is trying to become Amazon. Wal-Mart is the big box retail store trying to increase its share of the online market. Amazon is the online market trying to increase its share of retail sales.
Amazon offers low prices. If you go into any retail store and see an item you like, chances are you can find it on Amazon for cheaper. And, you can have it delivered to your doorstep in two days, for free, if you’re an Amazon Prime customer. Grocery shopping is different. We’re not there yet. There were some online attempts that crashed-and-burned during the Dot-Com Bust. A handful of small online grocery order-and-delivery companies rose up out of that tumultuous period, but the shift to mainstream grocery delivery hasn’t begun yet.
But now the handwriting is on the wall: Amazon’s aggressive price competition is about to invade the halls of traditional grocery chains like Kroger and Publix. And liberals are screaming.
For some reason. That they really can’t explain, except that it’s just what liberals do when large firms offer great deals to consumers while simultaneously putting other established, but less efficient competitors out of business. Consider what this blogger has written:
“Amazon just bought Whole Foods,” my friend texted me seconds after the announcement of the proposed acquisition. “It’s over. The world.”
This unease is widespread, and has raised new calls for breaking up Jeff Bezos’s impending monopoly by force. Surely the company, which now generates 30% of all online and offline retail sales growth in the United States, and already controls 40% of internet cloud services, has reached too far.
So, the argument so far: Amazon should be broken up (by the government) because it has reached too far. But what does that really mean? I think it has something to do with saving the planet. He continues:
Whatever you may think of Jeff Bezos, and whether or not antitrust regulations can justifiably be applied to a company whose expansion doesn’t raise but actually lowers costs for end consumers, may be beside the point. Many of us get that something is amiss, but are ourselves so deeply enmeshed in the logic of last century’s version of free-market industrial capitalism that we can’t quite bring ourselves to call this out for the threat it poses to our markets, our economy, and even our planet.