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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jun 16, 2017

Press Release: Regulators Should Block Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/press-release-amazon-whole-foods/

The Deal Would Lessen Competition and Allow Amazon to Expand Its Dominance of Online Commerce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday June 16, 2017
Contact: Nick Stumo-Langer, stumolanger@ilsr.org612-844-1330

In response to Amazon’s announced acquisition of Whole Foods, Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) and co-author of Amazon’s Stranglehold, made the following statement:

“Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods raises significant anti-competitive issues that should be deeply concerning to federal antitrust regulators and the public. This deal would allow Amazon to leverage the Whole Foods chain in ways that would expand its monopoly power in online commerce, including by integrating these locations into its rapidly growing logistics and delivery network. And it would give Amazon, which already sells more clothing, books, toys, and consumer electronics than any other retailer, a substantial share of an even bigger consumer goods category, groceries. Regulators should block this acquisition.”

ILSR’s recent report Amazon’s Stranglehold traced Amazon’s rapidly expanding reach and its impacts.  The report found:

  • Amazon is monopolizing online retail — Amazon captured $1 of every $2 Americans spent online last year. That’s up from 30% of online sales just three years ago. Many competing retailers and brands must now rely on Amazon’s platform, and submit to its terms, if they want to reach the market. As the report documents, Amazon has a history of exploiting its role as a platform for its competitors to increase its own direct retail sales and market power.
  • Both Prime and Echo are strategies for locking in consumers and ensuring they don’t shop anywhere else — Half of all U.S. households are subscribed to Prime, and belonging to Prime dramatically decreases comparison shopping.  Today, 55% of all online shopping searches start directly on Amazon. The spread of Echo and Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, will almost certainly drive this figure higher, making it virtually impossible for competitors to challenge Amazon’s dominance.
  • Amazon already leads in several major consumer categories — Amazon sells more books and toys than any retailer, online or off, and is on track to become the leading seller of apparel and consumer electronics this year.
  • Amazon’s building a vast logistics network to control package delivery — In the last year, Amazon doubled the number of warehouse facilities in its U.S. distribution network, and is building a delivery system that can challenge UPS and FedEx.

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The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a 42-year-old national nonprofit research and educational organization. ILSR’s mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support strong, community rooted, environmentally sound and equitable local economies. www.ilsr.org – Email stumolanger@ilsr.org for press inquiries.

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jun 21, 2017

Louisville’s Opportunity: Connecting Their City, Receiving Big Savings

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/louisvilles-opportunity-connecting-their-city-receiving-big-savings/

In order to save public dollars, improve municipal connectivity, and enhance the city’s ability to take advantage of various “Smart City” technologies, Louisville is planning to grow its existing fiber infrastructure. Their plan will take advantage of aspects of the KentuckyWired project to reduce costs. An increasing number of local governments have taken a similar… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 7, 2017

Report: Choosing the Electric Avenue – Unlocking Savings, Emissions Reductions, and Community Benefits of Electric Vehicles

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-electric-vehicles/

The U.S. vehicle market will undergo a massive technology disruption from electric vehicles in the coming decades. Many analysts see the potential for surging sales of these efficient vehicles to enable smart grid management, but few have explored the local impact of electric vehicles: promoting energy democracy. Electric vehicles offer a natural use for solar energy, a pathway to pump more local solar power onto the grid, and a source of resilient power when the grid goes down. Ultimately, electric vehicles are another tool to miniaturize the electricity system, providing unprecedented local control.

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Featured Article, Resource filed under The Public Good | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jun 15, 2017

Why Local Self-Reliance? – Episode 22 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/why-local-self-reliance-episode-22-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

In this week’s episode of Building Local Power, host Christopher Mitchell (of our Community Broadband Networks initiative) interviews ILSR co-founder David Morris about the history of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and why the message of local self-reliance is as relevant today as it was in the 1970s. This wide-ranging conversation takes in the role that… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband, Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, Independent Business | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jun 1, 2017

The Monopolist’s Playbook: Strategies To Retain Overwhelming Economic Power – Episode 21 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/monopolists-playbook-episode-21-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

This week in Building Local Power, we’re discussing how concentrated economic power responds to communities that are supporting their own local economies. Guest host Nick Stumo-Langer discusses how these corporations fight against local communities with a number of ILSR’s experts. He speaks with Stacy Mitchell, John Farrell, Christopher Mitchell, and Lisa Gonzalez in order to get… Continue reading