Amazon seller: “Any informed seller is going to support massive action taken against Amazon in the antitrust arena…This problem is so bad that elected officials of all political persuasion support major action being taken.”

WASHINGTON - Small business sellers on Amazon are expressing their support for the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA)’s bipartisan legislation to restore competition online, revolting against misleading claims that Amazon is perpetuating against the bill. 

CNBC reported that after an Amazon executive posted on the company’s sellers service forum urging sellers to express their opposition to the bill, instead “the effort appeared to backfire, as many sellers disputed Amazon’s argument and said they intend to support the legislation.”

The New York Post reiterated that the vast majority of sellers wrote to “support the legislation and have accused the company of ‘propaganda’ and treating them like ‘morons.’ ”

Here’s what small business sellers are saying:

  • “Any informed seller is going to support massive action taken against Amazon in the antitrust arena…This problem is so bad that elected officials of all political persuasion support major action being taken.”
  • “I have read through this bill. Not seeing how it jeopardize[s] my ability to sell. Everything I read in the bill is pro-seller.”
  • “This bill is 100% pro seller…It is not going to jeopardize our ability to sell on Amazon. It’s going to give us sellers a fair shake and restrict Amazon from purposely prioritizing their products over ours.”
  • “It’s sad but unsurprising Amazon would post this. They should’ve just said ‘Please allow us to continue to treat our sellers with utmost disregard.’”
  • “I’m highly allergic to corporate propaganda and fear mongering. Therefore…I will be encouraging my senators to fully support this legislation.”
  • “We all know Amazon has taken sales and other information from third party sellers and used it to make their own products. This is not okay and a major problem.”
  • “...Amazon has way too much unchecked power in e-commerce.”
  • “We really need to write in support of the bill.”
  • “I support the bill because I READ IT. It will not harm 3rd party sellers. It will empower them to survive this platform.”
  • “I just can’t believe the audacity of Amazon requesting US sellers help them when day after day their system drags us through the coals.”

This builds on growing momentum for the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. The legislation has been endorsed by small businesses organizations such as Main Street Alliance, Small Business Rising, The National Association of Wholesale Distributors, and the American Hotel and Lodging Association. 

Last month, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo expressed her backing of the legislation. In April, the Department of Justice voiced its strong endorsement of the legislation, encouraging Congress “to work to finalize this legislation and pass it into law.” 

Recently, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Service Employees International Union, and the Strategic Organizing Center sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging the legislation’s passage. The labor organizations wrote that the legislation “can and will help turn the tide in favor of working people, so they may share in the prosperity they help create every day…and help prevent these digital behemoths from…stifling the equality and fairness in the economy that workers so urgently need and deserve.” Additionally, a coalition of 58 non-profit and public policy organizations also wrote a letter endorsing the bill. 

The Washington Post Editorial Board and Boston Globe Editorial Board have also expressed their support for the legislation. 

In January, the bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a bipartisan vote of 16-6, making it the first major bill on technology competition to advance to the Senate floor since the dawn of the Internet. 

In December, coalition of 35 small and medium tech companies including Yelp, Sonos, Patreon, Y Combinator, and DuckDuckGo urged the legislation’s passage, citing the need to “help restore competition in the digital marketplace and remove barriers for consumers to choose the services they want.”

In October, Klobuchar and Grassley introduced the American Innovation and Choice Online Act to set commonsense rules of the road for major digital platforms to ensure they cannot unfairly preference their own products and services. Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI) and Ken Buck (R-CO) lead companion legislation in the House, which passed the House Judiciary Committee by a bipartisan vote of 24-20 last July. 

The Senate legislation is cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), John Kennedy (R-LA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Steve Daines (R-MT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).