Amazon launches website to go on the offensive against Congress' antitrust tech bills

Key Points
  • Amazon on Friday launched a website to warn sellers about proposed antitrust legislation in Congress, which seeks to limit the power of Big Tech.
  • The website asks sellers to sign up for updates on the legislation and says they could be given opportunities to share their concerns with elected officials.

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Amazon on Friday stepped up its offensive against antitrust proposals in Congress by launching a website to communicate with sellers about the legislation.

The website allows sellers to sign up to receive more information from Amazon's public policy team about the package of antitrust legislation, approved in June by the House Judiciary Committee, which seeks to rein in Big Tech's power.

By signing up, sellers will also be given opportunities to communicate directly with elected officials about the bills, the website states.

"We look forward to keeping you informed as we get more information about what this legislation could mean for you and providing you the opportunity to have your voice heard," according to the website. "We will also share ways we can work together to ensure Amazon remains a great place for our seller community."

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the website.

"Sellers are asking for information about these bills," the spokesperson said in a statement. "We want to help the hundreds of thousands of third-party sellers on Amazon stay informed about the legislation and how it could impact their ability to sell their products."

The website comes just a few days after Amazon sent emails to a select group of sellers about the legislation. In the emails, representatives from Amazon's public policy team asked to arrange a phone meeting to discuss the bills.

One of the most sweeping reform bills, the Ending Platform Monopolies Act, could directly affect Amazon. It would allow federal regulators to sue to break up companies that operate a dominant platform and own or operate a business that presents a clear conflict of interest.

Amazon operates a sprawling marketplace that serves millions of third-party sellers, but also competes against these merchants with its private-label brands. The marketplace has grown bigger than Amazon's own retail business and helped the company expand other revenue sources like fulfillment services and ads.

In its communications with sellers, Amazon has sought to convey that the antitrust legislation could potentially remove their access to Amazon's customers and services and, if enacted in its current form, result in their businesses seeing lower revenue.

"Amazon's public policy team is working with members of Congress and their staffs to ensure that concerns about how these bills would impact our selling partners are heard," Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon's vice president of customer trust and partner support, wrote in an email to sellers on Friday, which was obtained by CNBC.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the email. The spokesperson didn't say how many sellers received the email.

Mehta's email also points sellers to statements from trade groups who've opposed the bills, including the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Connected Commerce Council, whose backers include Amazon, Facebook and Google.

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