Amazon and its lobbyists are claiming that the American Innovation and Online Choice Act (AIOCA) would eradicate Amazon Prime, which is “an absurd, desperate lie,” Stacy Mitchell wrote in an op-ed in the Minnesota Reformer. As Amazon dominates the shipping services market and makes record profits, small businesses, warehouse workers, and delivery drivers pay the price. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s bill will put a stop to this predatory behavior and force tech giants to compete on a level playing field.
“The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which is expected to come to the Senate floor for a vote in the coming weeks, bans self-preferencing. It bars Amazon, Google and other tech giants from giving advantages to their own goods and services — like top billing in search results — ahead of objectively better offerings from other businesses.
The bill is simple, bipartisan, wildly popular with voters, and a good first step toward reining in Big Tech.
It’s also good for Prime members and the many small businesses that have to sell on Amazon’s site. That’s because, under the bill, Amazon would actually have to compete to handle package delivery for those businesses and their Prime customers.
Right now, Amazon forces its captive base of sellers to use Amazon’s own shipping and storage services. If sellers don’t, then their items aren’t eligible for Prime, which means their sales plummet. Many of these businesses would prefer to use another shipper — like UPS or the U.S. Postal Service — because it would be cheaper or better for their items. But they’re stuck with Amazon’s fulfillment, even as Amazon keeps jacking up the fees it charges them.”
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