Amazon has canceled a planned fee on merchants who don’t use its shipping services.
Amazon began notifying merchant partners this week that the proposed fee was being canceled, attributing the decision to merchant feedback, according to the report.
Reached for comment by PYMNTS, an Amazon spokesperson provided an emailed statement: “We’re committed to supporting sellers’ success, which includes listening to their feedback. The 2% Seller Fulfilled Prime fee was intended to cover our costs, but after careful consideration we’ve made the decision not to implement this program fee to ensure seller sentiment related to the fee does not impact program participation.”
The company’s Seller Fulfilled Prime program guarantees speedy delivery, even though Amazon isn’t directly handling the shipping, according to the Bloomberg report. The fee would have been added to the commission that merchants already pay Amazon to sell products on its platform, which is typically 15%.
The reversal of the planned fee indicates that Amazon is taking into account the concerns and feedback of its sellers, who have been facing increasing fees in recent years, the report said. Seller services generated $32.3 billion in revenue in the second quarter, surpassing the profitable cloud services business.
The sudden reversal also comes as the company faces an escalating antitrust investigation and a potential lawsuit from the U.S. government, per the report. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is expected to file an antitrust case against the company this month, focusing in part on Amazon’s alleged efforts to coerce merchants into using its logistics services.
The planned fee on merchants was seen as a brazen move, considering the impending antitrust lawsuit, according to the report.
When Amazon’s plans to add the fee were reported in August, a company spokesperson told PYMNTS that the Seller Fulfilled Prime program is voluntary and optional.
“Due in part to the investment needed to develop and run this program and associated costs, there is a small fee associated with units sold through this program,” the spokesperson said at the time.