A trip to Seattle shows why too-powerful Amazon should be b…


We love our tech companies — Facebook, Google and others — so much we allow them to get away with bad behavior. America, the professor says, used to honor character and kindness. Now we honor billionaires and innovation.

Should one company control almost half of all online sales as Amazon does?

Should one company be so powerful that its game of finding a second HQ results in governments willing to give away millions in tax breaks to the detriment of schools, fire and police departments?

I ask, “Alexa, should Amazon be broken up?”

“Hmmm, I don’t know that,” my desk mate answers.

“Alexa, what is global domination?”

“A 1993 strategy game modeled closely on the board game Risk,” she answers.

If Amazon were split, it would have to happen in Washington, D.C.

Hmmm, as Alexa says. Maybe that’s why Bezos bought The Washington Post.

Amazon trivia: Bezos originally considered naming the company Relentless, according to Brad Stone in his book The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. But the name sounded too sinister.

Bezos bought relentless.com anyway — and kept it.

Go to the relentless domain now, and it takes you straight to Amazon.

Note: The Watchdog reached out to Amazon public relations for the company’s thoughts on a potential breakup. A spokesman disputed a recent report that half of all online sales go through Amazon. Amazon says the number is lower. Worldwide, Amazon says it captures only 1 percent of retail sales — leaving plenty of room for growth.

Last month, in a speech in Washington, D.C., Bezos said he expects scrutiny. “All big institutions of any kind are going to be and should be examined, scrutinized, inspected,” he said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“There are certain things only big companies can do,” Bezos said. But if antitrust actions hit Amazon, he said his company could adjust because it’s nimble.

“Under all regulatory frameworks that I can imagine,” he added, “customers are still going to want low prices. They’re still going to want fast delivery. They’re still going to want big selection.”

He’s right about that.

Cludo Reports

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