According to The Wall Street Journal, “About 18 months ago a new nonprofit group called Free and Fair Markets Initiative (FFMI) launched a national campaign criticizing the business practices of one powerful company: Amazon.com Inc.” As it turns out, major funders of FFMI are some of Amazon’s largest rivals. But even with this revelation, claims against the e-retail giant are still being investigated and could cause significant changes.
Free and Fair Markets Initiative portrays itself as a grass-roots initiative supported by average citizens like line union members, professors, and businessmen. In actuality, the major supporters of this organization are competitors of Amazon.com. Walmart competes with the company in retail. A mall property owner, Simon Property Group, is losing customers at its stores to online shopping. And Oracle, a software company, is battling Amazon over a government contract for cloud computing. The combining of these groups in FFMI holds the seemingly sole purpose of attacking Amazon.com and its business practices.
Now that these backers have been identified as primary FFMI supporters, many (including Amazon and its supporters) can try to discount their claims. However, many of the concerns that Free and Fair Markets Initiative has brought up could still have broad negative effects on Amazon. The U.S. government is looking at anti-trust concerns with Amazon, and the bid for the Pentagon contract is now on hold. If action is taken to ensure that competitors have more of a fair chance in competing with Amazon, the company and its partners may have to find ways to adjust to ensure they maintain profits.
With the possibility of tumultuous times ahead, preparation for any company that does business on Amazon is prudent. Navigating Amazon and e-commerce is becoming more difficult. Getting an ear to the ground at Amazon will help businesses anticipate what they will need to do to stay relevant on the platform and be prepared for drastic changes.