Now, I’m not one to moan about the big companies in digital (not really), but have you noticed how some of the old “good guys” really are becoming evil, monopolistic, world-domination-seeking leviathans who are being investigated by the FTC, EU and other competition watchdogs? It’s as if they’ve got drunk on power and money, and no longer want to stand for the things they originally said they stood for (cheaper product, better service, faster delivery, funny emails).
The FTC has now released information about its suit against Amazon and lo and behold, Amazon allegedly modified its search algorithm to favour paying advertisers and also keep them hooked by downgrading the quality of its organic search results. This was in a project named Nessie. The FTC also alleges Amazon prevented its sellers from selling on other platforms for lower prices and also ran price-matching schemes to deter lower prices.
Like a lot of things, some of this behaviour is normal and acceptable to a certain extent in a competitive marketplace. But, if proven, it’s not when you are a significant chunk of sales and have come to dominate. Especially if you have gradually shifted selling prices upwards so it’s like it was back in the 90s, early 00s: poor service, high prices, rubbish delivery and very unfunny emails. For shame.
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