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Is Amazon a monopoly?

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Amazon dominates online retail and is one of the most valuable companies in the world. But are consumers harmed by its low prices? CNN's Jon Sarlin reports.
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Text Comments (134)
Ray Banuelos (2 days ago)
there is a monopoly of knowledge
Ray Banuelos (2 days ago)
there is a monopoly of money
Ray Banuelos (2 days ago)
predatory pricing is what is charged for rent and food
Mike Non human (1 month ago)
Amazon is a monopoly!!! Now what is the government going to do about it????
JJ Guitar (3 months ago)
I am buying all the time on Alibaba because it have to be two of online platforms ... not only one ... whole power in one hand .... is destroying market and all other distributors ... direct marketing is better for customers but you have to look on other ...
Valentin Islas (4 months ago)
Amazon, Walmart, Google, Facebook, AT&T, and Verizon, Comcast, Spectrum are all monopolies
Mike Malone (5 months ago)
I remember when Wal-Mart was just starting up. Everyone said it was going to shut down a lot of smaller retailers. And they were right, but it was a new way to shop. Amazon is the same way. Instead of having to get in my car, drive 40 miles to get to my closest Wal-Mart to try and find what I need, I just go on line and order it. Usually from Amazon, but I do shop around, sometimes I find a better value, but not usually.
josefin schwartz (6 months ago)
Long live amazon.
Michael S (7 months ago)
Monopolies are about market share, not pricing techniques. Pricing strategies are a tactic to achieve market share. The worldwide retail market is in the trillions. Amazon only really holds about 30% of that. Henceforth, NOT a monopoly.
Shawn Li (9 months ago)
When you vow never to buy from Amazon again, then see the row of empty shops in front of you surrounded by Amazon boxes, you're screwed
littlegoobie (9 months ago)
2:40 Well, if buddy is looking for a unicorn, they have those on Amazon too.
littlegoobie (9 months ago)
It could be many things, a "monopoly" is not one of them considering you can buy the exact same products from 1000 different outlets and websites without even looking 20 minutes. A monopoly would be more like your cable tv company, the electric company, your house phone provider (before voip came along), natural gas provider, or satellite tv service. Basically, if you want a certain product there is only one person selling it available to you.
The Legend (9 months ago)
Dream on Amazon will never be brought to court for Monopoly because their core business they compete with Alibaba.... AWS competes Google Cloud, MS Azure Alibaba Cloud.... Amazon Music competes with Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, YouTube... so please justify a monopoly in that?
Joseph Iffrig (4 months ago)
they have the power to enter all markets, create barriors to enter and price lower than most competitors thus creating a monopoly
The Legend (9 months ago)
You are not answering the question here. Amazon is getting big in what exactly? In online retail? music streaming? cloud computing? You have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Amazon has crushed Google, Microsoft, Spotify, Apple, Alibaba, Walmart. So until then there's no case.
littlegoobie (9 months ago)
They're getting very big, that's about the extent of it. Just as walmart got big which enabled them crush all the smaller retail shops in any given town, Amazon is doing the same. It'll be a crazy move if they can handle their own logistics on a grand scale. The only bad part remaining would be the porch pirates because you can bet their trucks would be followed all day long, picking up one box after another.
WOWCruiser (10 months ago)
I wanna do this guy 😘🍆
E. B. C. (10 months ago)
Oligopolistic characteristics.
Pattamadai K Sivaswami (10 months ago)
Of course it is ? But Amazon Jeff , Walmart only funded majorly China to become Economic power and thus made China Aggressors of world with Always Communists mindset and trying to make Democracy dead
Bailey Henderson (10 months ago)
Frsh will make walmart beg for mercy
Tomas T (11 months ago)
Predatory pricing is fully illegal in German capitalism, and it's one of the things that make it so great. Thanks to cost accounting being legally recognised in the german speaking countries, these countries have an objective way of defining 'predatory pricing'.. Something the American capitalist would find very hard to implement indeed.
Daway Legit (3 months ago)
Government intervention is communisim not capitalism.
Kingsthrone (5 months ago)
The problem is that no model can predict the future, so the term "predatory pricing" is based on how things have been done in the past. This could mean that over time we could end up in some kind of stasis where new methods arent very interesting to persue, since you cant benefit from them on a free market basis. The hunt for predatory pricing may also stop new companies that need to set a lower price on their service or product for any reason. In the long term I think preventing predatory pricing by law is bad and will end up causing more imbalances than it was implemented for to prevent.
NzmAnh Dee (11 months ago)
It’s actually an Oligopoly. Simply because of Google, Walmart and some others.
NzmAnh Dee (11 months ago)
Answer: Yes. Is it a big deal? NO.
Richard Conte (11 months ago)
Yes. They are a monopoly. Amazon buys companies now. They recently bought whole foods. They bought Urban Express messenger service in N.Y.C. Who knows what other company they will buy.
Lord Slayer (11 months ago)
It’s not a monopoly as there is eBay that is kind of like a competition to amazon.
Noe Ruiz (11 months ago)
Amazon Prime movies suck!
Fishman 02 (11 months ago)
Trolly Polly (11 months ago)
I Dont care the stock price had pretty much tripled my money in a few years
Ji Li (11 months ago)
Monopoly? If I can always buy the cheapest product from Amazon. Who the fuck care wether he is monopoly?
Atipat12 (11 months ago)
Hahahaha 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
Dr. Manhattan (11 months ago)
No. The ticket to entry is pretty expensive but Amazon isn't selling the tickets.
Umair Yaqoob (11 months ago)
Monopoly is good in market that changes very fast
Rodolfo Alejandro Rojas Díaz (11 months ago)
Umair Yaqoob what do you mean ?
Sofa King (11 months ago)
Objective Ninja (11 months ago)
Is Amazon a monopoly? Is the NSA spying on you? Is the sky blue? These are the hard questions in life.
alvin trieu (11 months ago)
Amazon's cloud business is off setting their e-commerce loss. So, to say they are making a profit is slightly misleading, but I don't think anyone cares.
Ernesto Reyes (11 months ago)
Fuck that lady! Dont mess with my Amazon!
GamingTV (11 months ago)
not an easy question to answer? pretty sure you can buy things from hundreds of different sites and physical stores, far from a monopoly
C. Lincoln (11 months ago)
Ricky Martin working for CNN now?
Who's Scott Green (11 months ago)
waaaaaah waaaaaaah, other companies need to figure it out or quit. World will not stop spinning just for you Wal-Mart
Roma Sky (11 months ago)
Stan M (11 months ago)
Is the dollar store a monopoly? Walmart?,
Robert Dimarco (11 months ago)
Balasubramanian Mani (11 months ago)
come to India and see Flipkart
Hitesh Kumar (2 months ago)
Flipkart belongs to Walmart.
rao siddharth (10 months ago)
Bala Iyer bro they are going to buy Flipkart by this year end
CloudGamer17 (11 months ago)
India is a shithole
Balasubramanian Mani (11 months ago)
Earth Mars then what it is you unknown account mfer
Earth Mars (11 months ago)
Loo Flipkart isnt even Indian you dumb hindu indian idiot hahahahha dumb hindu indiana
Sese Talitau-Tio (11 months ago)
When it either buys Walmart its going to be legit.
Alberto Portugal (11 months ago)
Are you a boi
Nabriales (11 months ago)
Wait, what? What about eBay??? Just because Amazon is winning doesn't mean that they're a monopoly.
Musty (11 months ago)
Soo they are trying to sue Amazon for offering consumers good and cheap price items?
NzmAnh Dee (7 months ago)
Lockjaw stocks can be short-term or long-term. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Tesla is great stocks for either periods. The state of Amazon allows for very good short term returns. Politics has less of an impact short term.
Lockjaw (7 months ago)
NzmAnh Dee because politics is a bigger investment. Stocks change all the time, politics decides the change.
NzmAnh Dee (7 months ago)
Lockjaw why don’t you invest now, and make some cash later. Stop worrying about politics, it’s a reality show.
Lockjaw (7 months ago)
NzmAnh Dee No. Time to impeach trump and voting out Republicans who remove regulations and allowing these monopolies.
NzmAnh Dee (7 months ago)
Lockjaw time to invest then hahaha 🤣
Code and UI (11 months ago)
Amazon does not price items. The sellers that sell on it do.
Daway Legit (3 months ago)
Selling a product for cheaper is evil now? Back in my day that's what we called capitalism and competition.
Devin Hill (3 months ago)
Amazon under cuts the original producer of an item by recreating the same product but selling it cheaper
Lockjaw (7 months ago)
+Natalija Boka it has killed businesses idiot, like Toys R Us
Natalija Boka (7 months ago)
You are right Code and Ui, and also, Amazon has multiple individual entrepreneurs that operate in the realm of Amazon, so Amazon hasn't really killed businesses, it created new ones in a different form
littlegoobie (9 months ago)
amazon itself is also a seller of most items on the website. Their prices are generated by a computerized algorithm that considers many factors to make sure they have the best prices. If you sell something and lower your price, their rpice will also lower. If you found your inventory at a storage sale and got it below dealer cost, you can sell it cheaper than anyone else and still make money. Amazon will also lower their price and even take a loss on that item. that makes it predatory pricing...
moviedude22 (11 months ago)
Short answer: Yes Long answer: Heck yes!
Master meme (11 months ago)
Haha, beat me to it.
Rishi Joe Sanu (11 months ago)
Scott Simmons (11 months ago)
Anton 99 (11 months ago)
People still use Amazon? Lmao I just get whatever I want within 10 minutes
Anton 99 (11 months ago)
NO NAME ARTIST ever heard of a store?
Roma Sky (11 months ago)
Live in a city dumbass. Just walk down street to buy whatever you want. Unless you live in a suburbs ofc then sure. Going out might be a pain.
NO NAME ARTIST (11 months ago)
Anton 99 lmao how did you get it so fast?? do you use teleportation device??
Rowan Gontier (11 months ago)
Last few online purchases I made; about 95% non-Amazon by value, and about 60% non-amazon by order count. Companies are figuring out online; Amazon is not yet a monopoly.
HemiHead664 (11 months ago)
Bezos is the smartest man in the room.
Josiah Johnson (11 months ago)
This all comes down to what your priority is. If you view this through the lens of business, you'll reach some asinine conclusions. On the left, you'll resent the success of Amazon and desire to subject them to regulation. On the right, you'll see business as a positive thing and try to prop Amazon up when it eventually fails. Rather, we should view this through the lens of consumers. And letting the market have control is obviously the best way to empower consumers.
Josiah Johnson (11 months ago)
This idiot lady just said that it's problematic for Amazon to use its expertise in one area to benefit another area of their business. What the hell? Since when is it bad for a company to provide a better service to their customers?
JJ Guitar (3 months ago)
it have to be two of platforms ... not only one ... whole power in one hand .... is destroying market and all other distributors ... direct marketing is better for customers ... please dont talk to other "idiot" if you are for freedom of speech ...
cairo (10 months ago)
When it is totally eliminating the competition.
Nabriales (11 months ago)
Josiah Johnson I know right, she is an idiot. Many businesses has been doing that for ages and we don't hear anything about it.
Josiah Johnson (11 months ago)
Even if tech companies use "predatory pricing" to secure a consumer base that other companies have no chance of competing with, that doesn't mean we have to bring government into the equation. So long as those companies provide services the consumer is willing to exchange for voluntarily, they will continue to patronize those businesses. If the business then "price gouges," it doesn't matter. No one is being forced to buy the commodities they offer. If it isn't worth it to you, that is if you do not increase your wealth with the trade, you won't engage in consensual trade with them. It is literally impossible for the consumer to get screwed in any way.
littlegoobie (9 months ago)
you create a battery technology that lasts twice as long, at the same price. I'm an established company, i lower my old tech battery prices to 1/4 and take a loss on every unit until you die...and you will die when you can't cover operating costs now that my 1/2 life batteries cost 1/4 of your double life batteries. Then i buy your battery technology, shut it down, keep making my shitty old batteries and jack up the price to double the original price to make up my losses. The consumer loses. This scenario happens.
Josiah Johnson (11 months ago)
Which section of which article of the United States Constitution authorizes the federal government to regulate the prices businesses can set?
Josiah Johnson (11 months ago)
LIna Khan is incandescently stupid. Lowering prices to defeat competition is a good thing. It only becomes bad when, after establishing a monopoly, the company jacks prices way higher than their competition ever did. But that can't work in practice since the moment they do, tons of competition will pop up. And if Amazon or any other company tries fluctuating prices heavily in an attempt to thwart competition half the time and rake in returns the other half, it won't work at all. Consumers will pick up on their practices in no time and wait for the ebb of prices before buying.
Josiah Johnson (11 months ago)
"It's not an easy question to answer." Yes it is. Monopolies by definition have 100% market share; Amazon does not have 100% share of any market. Amazon is not a monopoly.
bob christopher (7 months ago)
You better check your dictionary again. The FTC has gone after smaller companies whose “monopoly” is only 60% to 70%. The definition of monopoly is NOT a 100% market share.
Greggy D (10 months ago)
By that logic, if oscar meyer sold every hotdog that you could find in every supermarket in the country.. Joe dickles hotdog stand in east bumfuck New Hampshire would still hold .00001 percent of the hotdog market, setting Oscar Mayer outside the definition of a monopoly and free from regulation... 🙄
Alex Turlais (10 months ago)
Monopoly doesnt mean 100% market share, it just means controlling the vast majority
Usman Sabir (11 months ago)
Haha that's not how it works. The 100% market share is very theoretical and in true imperfect markets that's not true. That's why when a company has the ability to restrict supply, restrict consumer choice and has the ability to price discriminate in combination with usually 40% or more market share then arguments come into play for the CMA to investigate a firm for being a monopoly.
Abhyudaya Bagaria (11 months ago)
Lol; by definition you've little understanding of practical economics.
Akshay Joshi (11 months ago)
Yes. Amazon is monopoly. If someone disagrees, google - AWS and check its profits.
Barrington Morris (11 months ago)
Well...with the recent purchases in various sectors:food, drugs, technology, and much more, I say if there already not one, they are on their way.
nabeel hasan (11 months ago)
100 years ago Americans break Standard Oil becoz it was a monoply now there are an only private debates , amazon is shutting down the retail business in US.
nabeel hasan (11 months ago)
Earth Mars 😂😂😂😂
iFourier (11 months ago)
Standard Oil wasnt a monopoly(same as amazon haha) Still it got broken up.
xxnike629xx (11 months ago)
@CNNMoney Amazon *is not* really worth it. The Prime service now costs like $100 a year, and that's for the free shipping and other bonuses like Twitch Prime subscribing, but you can get more out of your month instead of shopping on Amazon and certain more value than spending a yearly subscription to their Prime services. For example, if you want to buy regular household items, you can still get your free 2 day shipping with a minimum of like $35 per order and overall spend about the same amount if you shop at like Target, Walgreen, or Walmart online. For video games and electronics, you get a way better deal through Best Buy and eBay. Best Buy as their Gamer Club Unlocked program that you pay a small amount (not nearly the $100 like Amazon Prime) and you get discounts on new games and preorders. That plus Best Buy reward points and you can easily buy lots of games and save more money than shopping on Amazon. Amazon used to be good like 5 or 6 years ago when their customer service was better and when Prime costed like $60 a year. But ever since they kept raising the price a lot for that and their customer service got worse and worse, I stopped shopping on Amazon and instead went to Walmart, Target, Best Buy, eBay, etc.
CaptainKzer (11 months ago)
The case for breaking up amazon like a monopoly because it's a political actor, so the simple scope of the company creates a problem with money in politics. Even beyond that, amazon as a dominant force in the market can substantially reduce access to certain types of items by refusing to list them. For example, amazon de-listed many items connected with sport shooting and hunting such as firearm magazines and attachments which make guns more comfortable to hold for small or recoil sensitive shooters like shorter stocks and recoil pads. Now, that isn't really a significant issue for firearm owners, sport shooters, and hunters because the hobby and lifestyle of firearms is so widespread in the US that there is already fierce competition among several online retailers of gun stuff such as Brownells, Midway USA, and Optics Planet such that even when amazon stocked the aforementioned items it didn't always have the best price. The problem arises when one considers that amazon could de-list items that are part of a less well known or less common hobby/lifestyle and effectively extinguish access to that hobby or lifestyle instantly, with no oversight, no checks and balances, and no accountability because there is no market that can be established in selling to those hobbyists because there simply aren't enough of them to sustain a business (but there could be if the hobby grew naturally and thrived upon the low prices and access to a large marketplace amazon offers. That kind of ability to muzzle an entire lifestyle is significant, and accordingly amazon should either represent an open market without a conscience and be treated like a public utility so everyone and every lifestyle enjoys equal protection under the law as guaranteed by the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment OR it must be broken up as a monopoly would be for its ability to manipulate the public without consent as an unaccountable political actor. You may not care about guns or even think about them, but think about something you like that's important to you but not many people know about. Imagine if you couldn't buy what you need to get into that hobby or lifestyle through the internet and no brick and mortar stores exist near you to supply what you need. Imagine if something like that could have happened and people weren't able to easily get rainbow flags or to get black lives matter T-shirts, or any other piece of merchandise that is more than just an item but an element of a lifestyle. Imagine those things being shut down and never getting off the ground in the first place because some corporate fat cat doesn't want them to succeed, and tell me that's not a problem.
watvid1 (11 months ago)
CaptainKzer tldr
Wendy Alexander (11 months ago)
CaptainKzer companies aren't people, so it can't be an actor.
Bo Rood (11 months ago)
Yes, they are and a rip off too. Better prices at Walmart and they deliver faster.
littlegoobie (9 months ago)
There have been several news stories of people 100% ripped off by walmart online sellers. Walmart left the buyer's to take the loss and said walmart is not responsible for handling bad deals, that's between you and the sellers, walmart only provides the website. Maybe there's a new policy (but i doubt it), so many won't shop there until that changes.
ClearSky Productions (11 months ago)
What the actual fuck does racism have to do with anything.
ClearSky Productions (11 months ago)
Walmart SUCKS
Bo Rood (11 months ago)
dark light Yes and they have the best deals.
Bo Rood (11 months ago)
watvid1 I see
Walrus Hunter (11 months ago)
They treat workers like shit and I hate WaPo
WayTooFresh (11 months ago)
This is the main reason why I permamently stopped shopping at Walmart in early 2013. I was hoping for a company like Amazon to come along and dismantle Walmart. I hope Amazon can continue to win but if it gets ugly, they'll be boycotted too!
Barrington Morris (11 months ago)
WayTooFresh lol now Amazon is the new Walmart.
suharso (11 months ago)
the irony part of this is the girl keep buying from amazon
Danyal A. (11 months ago)
Even if Amazon was accused of being monopoly, they'd just bring in 5,000 of the world's best lawyers to fight on their behalf.
Greg Caesar (11 months ago)
Yes, and I’m fine with that.
JJ Guitar (3 months ago)
If there is only one platform people are using .... other small direct marketing is going to close ...
im trying to break out the matrix (11 months ago)
I love Amazon it's awesome 👍😁
Daway Legit (3 months ago)
+Lockjaw Selling a product for cheaper is evil now? Back in my day that's what we called capitalism and competition.
Lockjaw (7 months ago)
I hate Amazon, they destroy competition
Lockjaw (7 months ago)
+GamingTV it's already in flames with Bezos alive.
A (7 months ago)
Guess you didn't break out the matrix lol
ragejinraver (10 months ago)
Try working there