Fox Business – July 14, 2017
Written by Brittany De Lea
While the retail sector as a whole is struggling to keep its head above water — with U.S. sales falling for a second consecutive month Opens a New Window.in June — e-commerce behemoth Amazon (AMZN) announced Wednesday Prime Day sales surged 60% over last year’s already record breaking totals — surpassing its sales on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Amazon was responsible for 43% of all online retail sales in 2016, according to an analysis by Slice Intelligence, with e-commerce sales accounting for 8.5% Opens a New Window.of overall sales in the first quarter of 2017. But Amazon’s growing dominance in the market, driven in part by a blurring boundary between the online and offline shopping spheres, could have effects that extend far beyond the retail sector, one nonprofit research group warns.
“We are seeing a lot of negative impacts from Amazon’s dominance,” said Olivia LaVecchia, research analyst with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, in an interview with FOX Business. “Our research has found that Amazon has become so dominant, both as a platform and a retailer, that it’s been able to use that power to exclude competition and entrepreneurs … and hold down wages for workers.”
Amazon’s owner, Jeff Bezos, has also come into the cross hairs of President Donald Trump Opens a New Window.quite a few times throughout recent years. Trump accused the fellow billionaire businessman of having a “huge antitrust problem” during an interview with Fox News in May.
While U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told FOX Business Opens a New Window.last month he didn’t see any violations of anti-trust laws, some experts are assuming a slightly more skeptical posture.
“It’s interesting that a lot of people think of Amazon just as a retailer because that’s how so many people interact with the company … but really it’s increasingly this multi-headed beast,” LaVecchia said.
Amazon’s stock is up more than 33% so far this year and a whopping 357% over the past five years.