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Technology / 10 months ago
Amazon Accused of Playing Monopoly IRL; Feds and States Say It's Not a Board Game Anymore!
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Amazon accused of monopolistic behavior as regulators claim the e-commerce giant is squeezing out competitors and favoring its own products in the online shopping landscape, prompting a legal showdown that could transform the way we shop or lead to a riveting season of attorney smackdown. Are we witnessing the rise of a real-life monopoly player?
As if Amazon wasn't doing enough by letting us shop in underwear from the comfort of our own bed, the rainbow coalition of the Federal Trade Commission and 17 vibrant states filed a complaint on Tuesday, accusing the e-commerce giant of flexing its monopolistic muscle by allegedly tweaking the online shopping environment in its favor. If found guilty, Amazon will be holding the trophy for the "Baddest Monopoly Player Not In A Board Game". In the grand spectacle of regulatory lawsuits, The F.T.C., flanked by D.A. drama queens from New York and several other states, launched their collective grievances like a squadron of legal lawn darts. Their gripe? Allegations that Amazon, the omnipotent retail deity, has been unsportingly squishing merchants like bugs and cherry-picking its services. Who could have thought that Bezos's digital retail empire might be a little ambitious? The lawsuit dolefully described Amazon as a "coercive monopoly," a term typically reserved for schoolyard bullies, loan sharks, and evil cartoon villains. According to the regulators, Amazon has been picking favorites, giving its own products prime placements and pushing the purveyors of toilet paper and discount electronics into the digital shadows. In response, Amazon released a statement, touting the altruism of its business model, "Regulators are merely confusing the soft purr of competitive capitalism for the ruthless growl of monopoly. We're just really, really good at what we do." Meanwhile, monopoly-ridden ma and pa businesses confirmed the agony of existing in Amazon's shadow, "We used to compete by luring customers into our store with evident pricing and reliable service", said a local distressed merchant, "now we're left with billboard signs screaming, 'We Exist'." The legal showdown could revolutionize the way people shop online—or simply escalate into a riveting season of attorney smackdown. In the interim, locked within our homes and separated by two days of Prime shipping from our every heart’s desire, we average American consumers are left helpless, counting the hours till our next Amazon delivery. In a devious plot twist, Amazon may also be playing the board game version of Monopoly under our noses, buying properties left and right, and charging an absurd amount of rent. Keep an eye out, America – the next Community Chest card could read, "Go directly to Amazon. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200".
posted 10 months ago

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Original title: U.S. Accuses Amazon of Illegally Protecting Monopoly in Online Retail

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