The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) has issued a statement hammering the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and its legal assault on Amazon.
Earlier today, the FTC sued Amazon for “illegally maintaining monopoly power.” The FTC claims that Amazon has pursued a “pattern of illegal conduct” that “blocks competition, allowing it to wield monopoly power to inflate prices, degrade quality, and stifle innovation for consumers and businesses.”
FTC Chair Lina M. Khan stated:
“Our complaint lays out how Amazon has used a set of punitive and coercive tactics to unlawfully maintain its monopolies. The complaint sets forth detailed allegations noting how Amazon is now exploiting its monopoly power to enrich itself while raising prices and degrading service for the tens of millions of American families who shop on its platform and the hundreds of thousands of businesses that rely on Amazon to reach them. Today’s lawsuit seeks to hold Amazon to account for these monopolistic practices and restore the lost promise of free and fair competition.”
SBE Council said Khan is pursuing her “uninformed bias against the company.” Chair Khan is well known for her dislike of big tech. She has promoted actions against Google, Facebook, Apple as well as Amazon. These firms represent some of the most successful and innovative companies in the world, competing at a global scale.
SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan said that Khan is pushing forward with her “myopic philosophy” which has no basis in reality.
“Her disconnected theories put America’s digital leadership and vibrant startup ecosystem in serious danger. Today’s action against Amazon is the latest in Chair Khan’s crusade that once again gets it all wrong when it comes to how markets work, what is actually happening in the marketplace, especially the dynamics of the modern marketplace, which is driven by technology and digital tools to meet customers where they are. People are launching businesses in record numbers and across a broad range of sectors, including retail because they have access to digital tools and platforms like Amazon to reach customers. Consumers are fully driving the marketplace, and that is the way it should be, not regulators like Chair Kahn who continue to push illusory theories that lack a factual, legal, or sound economic foundation.”
Kerrigan added that Khan’s previous attempts to curtail big tech in the US failed because she could prove no consumer harm. She said that Khan has thrown out consumer harm” and is pursuing “baseless theories.” Kerrigan added that Khan’s intent could harm small business sellers which thrive on the Amazon marketplace.
SBE Council chief economist Ray Keating said the US economic landscape is more dynamic and vibrant today due to firms like Amazon.
“Unfortunately, the FTC, under the leadership of Lina Khan, has been blinded to these dramatic and exciting developments by an ideology disconnected from economic and business realities.”
Khan wrote a critical article entitled Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox while studying law at Yale. Prior to heading the FTC, Khan worked at several left-wing think tanks on similar issues.