Media Advisory: Sellers and Small Businesses Applaud FTC’s Amazon Lawsuit

Date: 26 Sep 2023 | posted in: Press Release, Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Press Call
September 26, 2023
1:00 p.m. ET

For media inquiries, please contact: Reggie Rucker, ILSR Communications Director


WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 26, 2023) – Third-party sellers and small business leaders applauded the FTC’s antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, hailing the action as a critical step to ending Amazon’s abuses and opening the online market to competition. (See quotes below.)

At a virtual press event, ILSR Co-Executive Director Stacy Mitchell will be joined by Jason Boyce and several third-party sellers and small business owners who will speak to the importance of this case and take questions.


Virtual Press Event: Third-Party Sellers and Small Businesses React to Amazon Monopoly Lawsuit

September 26, 2023, 1 p.m. ET



Speakers include: 

Stacy Mitchell, co-executive director of ILSR and a leading expert on Amazon’s monopoly power and impact on small businesses. 

Jason Boyce, founder of the seller consultancy Avenue7Media, and author of The Amazon Jungle.

Nicholas Parks, president of Snob Foods: “Amazon owns the platform, so they pay nothing for ad space and assess nothing toward logistics fees. Meanwhile, third-party sellers spend fifty percent or more of revenue for those items. This is why it’s impossible to compete head-on with Amazon.”… “I’m not sure another example exists of a retailer operating at a gross loss for more than a few months. Amazon can only afford to do this by charging ever more fees to third-party sellers and customers of AWS. This case from antitrust authorities is critical to ensuring businesses like mine can sell fairly online.”

Lindsay Windham and Nate Justiss, co-founders of Distil Union: “More and more of Distil Union’s dollars go to Amazon fees. In a way, we fund their lobbying efforts – including those that make it harder for us to maintain a profitable business. We are thrilled regulators are taking action to make Amazon more fair for small businesses.”

Doug Mrdeza, a former Amazon third-party seller and owner of Top Shelf Brands: “Amazon presents itself as a partner, but in reality, it’s a competitor that steals proprietary information and uses it to put third-party sellers out of business. The company’s ‘blending’ of its various lines of business lies at the root of all the problems small businesses have with Amazon. I would still be in business if it wasn’t for Amazon. I applaud the FTC for finally taking action.”

Danny Caine, co-owner of Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas:Amazon’s anti-competitive tactics disrupt nearly every part of my industry, and that’s unfair. It makes it harder for a bookstore like The Raven to compete. At times, it’s impossible. We need vigorous enforcement of the antitrust laws so small businesses like mine can compete, thrive, and enrich the lives of their workers and their communities. We support the FTC’s case.”


Reaction from additional sellers and business owners: 

Michael Wiesel, founder and CEO of Earthy Good & Kiss Naturals: “Amazon recently suspended three of my most popular items. They often ‘suspend’ items waiting for test reports. We send them the reports, then an AI-generated reply comes rejecting the reports. This can go on for months. Our Amazon U.S. sales have evaporated and put many of the small retailers we sell to out of business. They are the only show in town. It is critical for someone to take action and we strongly support the FTC bringing this lawsuit.”

Bill Stewart, owner of Long Island Toy & Game: “It’s near impossible to measure exactly how much Amazon has cost my business. They have pushed my listings off their marketplace. They are also ‘stealing’ business from my physical retail store, website, and other online marketplaces by using unfair and anti-competitive practices. Yes, we need regulators to act. It is about time.”

Gina Schaefer, co-owner and founder of A Few Cool Hardware Stores: “Amazon controls the infrastructure that businesses must rely on to communicate with their customers and the market Amazon bullies small businesses, steals their best ideas, and saddles them with exorbitant fees. The FTC’s case is a critical step to ensure we have a digital marketplace that works for small businesses.”

Kimber Lanning, founder and CEO of the independent business group Local First Arizona and member of Small Business Rising: “Amazon penalizes businesses who try to sell on other platforms by imposing ever-growing fees on its sellers. I’ve heard directly from an Amazon seller in Tempe. He asked not to be identified for fear that Amazon would retaliate against his company. He described the crushing weight of Amazon’s fees on businesses that sell on its marketplace. We applaud this step from the FTC.” 


To speak with any of the above, please contact: Reggie Rucker, ILSR Communications Director


About the Institute for Local Self-Reliance

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national nonprofit research and educational organization founded in 1974. ILSR has a vision of thriving, diverse, equitable communities. To reach this vision, we build local power to fight corporate control. We believe that democracy can only thrive when economic and political power is widely dispersed. Whether it’s fighting back against the outsize power of monopolies like Amazon or advocating to keep local renewable energy in the community that produced it, ILSR advocates for solutions that harness the power of citizens and communities.

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Reggie Rucker

As Communications Director at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Reggie develops communications strategies and leads campaigns to build public support for ILSR local power initiatives. Contact Reggie with media inquiries.