ANTITRUST

US Retailers Call Out Amazon, Google Over Anti-Competitive Practices

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) wants the chance to speak to antitrust enforcers set to investigate Amazon and Google’s alleged anti-competitive practices.

RILA, whose members include Walmart, Target and Best Buy, among others, said it is ready and willing to voice its concerns with the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

“It’s pretty clear to us that the FTC and different relevant regulators should be taking a much closer look at these platform companies,” said Nicholas Ahrens, vice president of innovation for RILA, in an interview, according to Bloomberg. “We are here to help.”

In addition to RILA, companies such as Oracle, Yelp, Tripadvisor and News Corp have also spoken up about what they believe is competitive harm imposed by major technology platforms. In fact, the retailers’ group has already spoken on the topic to the House Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee, as well as recently wrote a letter to the FTC accusing Amazon and Google of creating an “information bottleneck.”

RILA also warned that the tech companies have the power to favor their own products over sellers on their platforms, collect data about competitors and allow for the spread of counterfeit goods.

It should be “quite concerning to the commission that Amazon and Google control the majority of all internet product search, and can very easily affect whether and how price and product information actually reaches consumers,” the trade group said in a letter.

RILA added that it agrees with comments made by Makan Delrahim, the head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, and more than 40 attorneys general, who have said that prices shouldn’t be the only measure of harm.

It’s “the combination of information control and market power that should worry antitrust regulators the most,” the letter said. “That unhealthy combination exists at the level of the internet’s pipelines, at the level of product search, in webhosting, on social media platforms and elsewhere.”

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