Amazon silently ends controversial pricing agreements with sellers

Amazon will no longer require third-party vendors to value their products on Amazon at a price lower than theirs elsewhere. He discreetly removed a clause in his contracts today that critics have called anticompetitive.

Price parity agreements, or most-favored-nations clauses (ANF), were previously used by Amazon in contracts with third-party vendors to ensure that people The sale of products on the platform did not sell the same products at prices lowest on any other platform like eBay or Alibaba.

Amazon declined to comment.

A few years ago, the regulators of Germany and Great Britain investigated this practice and it fell in Europe. The threat of regulation or imminent investigations could be the reason why Amazon also eliminates MFN in the United States. Last December, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote letters to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to demand an investigation into these anticompetitive provisions in Amazon's contracts.

"Amazon's wise and welcome decision comes only after an aggressive defense and attention that forced Amazon to abandon its abusive contract clause," Blumenthal said Monday. "I remain deeply concerned that the federal regulators responsible for cracking down on anti-competitive practices appear to be asleep at the wheel, which is a great cost to American innovation and consumers."

Last week, presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced a broad antitrust proposal and said that if elected in 2020, she will work to dissolve large technology companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook. Warren's proposal is just part of a larger movement among lawmakers who question the market power of these large technology companies.

"The DOJ and the FTC must begin to aggressively investigate possible Big Tech antitrust violations and take the necessary steps to prevent more damaging behavior," Blumenthal said.

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