For some time now, Amazon has had agreements in place that stopped sellers on its platform from offering the same products on competing platforms at lower prices, which was seen by many as an anti-competitive move. Today, the company has quietly ended the policy, according to a report from The Verge.
The change comes some time after Senator Richard Blumenthal wrote a letter to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission expressing concerns over the anti-competitiveness of the policy. As mentioned in the letter, written in December, Amazon was previously investigated for the same reason by European authorities, and eventually ended up backing away from the policy in that region, but not in the United States.
In response to the news, Blumenthal considered the decision to be "wise and welcome", but expressed concerns that authorities in the U.S. aren't doing enough to stop companies from enforcing similar policies that could stifle competition. "The DOJ and FTC must begin aggressively investigating Big Tech’s potential antitrust violations and take necessary enforcement actions to deter more harmful behavior", he said. Amazon, on the other hand, hasn't commented on the decision.
The e-commerce giant is one of the most valuable companies in the world, and it's been involved in controversy more than once. Most recently, it was forced to back away from building new headquarters in New York due to pressure from political figures and citizens.
Source: The Verge