Amazon said in a Wednesday (June 1) blog post that an antitrust bill making its way through Congress that bans tech giants from giving their own businesses preferential treatment on their own websites unfairly targets the online retailer, explaining it goes easier on some of its rivals.
The U.S. Senate could vote on the proposal later in June, according to several media outlets, after it passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January and the House Judiciary Committee last year. Apple CEO Tim Cook was among the Big Tech executives lobbying against the regulations.
Amazon said in the post that the bill “jeopardizes two of the things American consumers love most about Amazon: the vast selection and low prices made possible by opening our store to third-party selling partners, and the promise of fast, free shipping through Amazon Prime.”
The company argued that legislation should be equitable for all large retailers.
“Oddly, and inappropriately, this legislation is targeted at only one U.S. retailer — Amazon,” the post stated. “This has been accomplished by requiring a market value of at least $550 billion to qualify for regulation. We don’t believe this threshold to be unintentional; but rather, targeted and intentional.”
The company said the requirement of a market value of at least $550 billion eliminates Walmart, Target and CVS among others for regulation.
“In 2021, Walmart had annual revenues of $559 billion, nearly $90 billion more than Amazon,” according to the post. “…But Walmart is excluded despite also being a large retailer that allows small businesses to sell in its online marketplace.”
Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Grassley, who co-sponsored the so-called American Innovation and Choice Online Act, said it’s necessary to protect small businesses, Reuters reported. It has support from small business groups including as the Main Street Alliance and Small Business Rising.
Meanwhile, Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Peter Welch introduced the Digital Platform Commission Act of 2022 in the Senate and the House respectively in May. This bill, if approved, would establish a new five-person commission tasked with protecting consumers in the age of Big Tech.
Read more: Bill Would Create New US Big Tech Regulator
The bill takes ideas from other bills introduced in the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom. The commission could designate certain platforms as “Systemically Important Digital Platforms” (SIDP) based on certain criteria like revenue or users — similar to the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and to the Digital Markets Act recently approved in Europe.