Amazon reportedly warns sellers of harm from congressional antitrust bills – CNET

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Laws aimed at regulating Amazon will hurt small and medium businesses, the e-commerce giant reportedly warned merchants in emails.

Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

Amazon is raising alarms about a group of bills moving through Congress, warning a group of companies that sell on the retail giant’s marketplace that the proposed legislation could hurt them. According to CNBC, the companies were urged to get in touch with policy experts working for Amazon to learn more.

“We are concerned that they could potentially have significant negative effects on small and medium-sized businesses like yours that sell in our store,” the company reportedly said in the emails. 

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment. The company confirmed the emails to CNBC, telling the news organization it has received inquiries from sellers since lawmakers introduced a package of legislation aimed at regulating big tech companies like Amazon.

The emails come as major tech companies face the prospect of increased antitrust regulation on several fronts, including the antitrust bills introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. Two of the bills could directly affect Amazon’s relationship with third-party sellers by restricting them from requiring merchants to buy Amazon products to improve search results or otherwise receive access to the company’s marketplace. 

Additionally, the US Federal Trade Commission is now chaired by Lina Khan, an antitrust reformer who has written extensively on how laws meant to promote competition should be applied more broadly to the tech sector. Amazon and Facebook have both filed requests that Khan be recused from ongoing investigations into their businesses’ practices.

Third-party sales brought in more revenue for Amazon than the company’s own retail efforts in the quarter that ended in June, according to filings with the SEC, making it a significant part of the company’s business.

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