You are viewing a single comment's thread.

view the rest of the comments →

[–] Aethos 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Amazon is a Vertically Integrated Monopoly. Just because it doesn't have horizontal control (yet) doesn't make it any less of a monopoly. Amazon's network of retailers allows them to deliver anything to market cheaply, and since they have a subsidized advantage in the online retail marketplace nobody can compete with their costs, since without the subsidy, their competitors would be operating at a loss. Their acquisition of Whole Foods is a perfect example of securing forwards businesses to assist in Vertical Integration.

You can even argue that Amazon's level of horizontal integration at the online-sale level drives the forwards related logistics industries enough to warrant regulation. (IE. Amazon shouldn't be allowed to utilize US Postal Service to bulk mail and thus externalize online retail delivery costs to the taxpayer-subsidized postal system.)

[–] Men13 1 points -1 points (+0|-1) ago 

A vertically integrated Monopoly is a Monopoly produced via vertical integration.

To be a vertically integrated Monopoly, Amazon must first be a Monopoly.

Meaning it must be the only option for some goods or services in some region (Monopolies are regional, you can be a Monopoly in one region even if you aren't in another region)

For example: Comcast provides Internet to our neighborhood. There is no other Internet provider that services our neighborhood. Hence, Comcast has a Monopoly on providing Internet in our neighborhood.

So, what is Amazon the Monopoly of? What goods is Amazon the only provider? Does Amazon provide anything to people who don't have any other option?

[–] Aethos 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Does Amazon provide anything to people who don't have any other option?

Absolutely yes. I live in a rural area, and there are no bookstores within 25 miles of my location, other than a single college bookstore. The state of our local mainstreet is mostly vacancies and bars. There are no local retailers to go to for niche books or titles, and any specialty store has to compete with amazon to survive. None do.

I also note that you ignore the horizontal integration argument about subsidies completely.

EDIT: A company doesn't need to be a true monopoly to exert unfair competitive advantage against small businesses in a monopoloid manner. Amazon's subsidization by the taxpayer is a prime argument for why they should be under additional scrutiny for joining the 'unpersoning' digital bandwagon.