In the News: Stacy Mitchell
October 20, 2017
Media Outlet: USA Today
USA Today’s Elizabeth Weise delves into the growing strength of Amazon’s Prime subscription service, including survey results that suggest it is in 3/4 of American homes. In her coverage, Weise reached out to Stacy Mitchell, ILSR’s co-director and the director of the Community-Scaled Economies initiative to discuss how Amazon Prime is a tool used by the tech giant to gain market power in a variety of different sectors of the economy.
Stacy’s contributions are here:
No matter how big Amazon Prime actually is, its growth is worrisome to some because of the market power it gives the Seattle-based company.
People’s behavior changes when they sign up for Prime. They buy more at Amazon than they did before. According to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners they spend on average about $1,300 per year, compared to about $700 per year for non-member customers.
At first it’s to maximize the value of the free shipping, but it quickly becomes so easy that they go straight to Amazon first.
“The result is that Amazon is becoming an all-powerful gatekeeper. Companies that want to reach consumers increasingly have to use Amazon’s platform and play by its rules,” said Stacy Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C., that works on sustainable community development.
“This is bad news for competition, and it’s one reason regulators need to take a closer look at Amazon’s market power,” she said.