February 5, 2023

Placement inside the Buy Box is a major sales driver for companies selling on Amazon, but if Amazon sees a product being sold at a lower price on another site, it will remove both buttons and use less appealing language and design instead, which would significantly reduce sales.

“Even if the price is only 1 cent higher than that of a well-known retailer outside of Amazon, the price is not considered competitive,” said Varun Soni, who leads Amazon’s seller pricing team. explain At a meeting in October.

Amazon has been led since last year by Andy Jassy, ​​who succeeded Jeff Bezos as CEO, and has previously argued that its buy button policy works by keeping prices low and shortening deliveries. time to help consumers. But its design has been a source of antitrust scrutiny.

In September, the California attorney general sued Amazon, arguing that sellers harmed consumers by routinely raising prices on other sites to match those on Amazon and maintain their spot on the “buy button.”

The complaint from California alleges that third-party sellers are more expensive to sell on Amazon, so they cannot afford to lower prices on the site. Merchants would rather charge more on other sites to regain the Buy button than risk cutting off sales from Amazon, by far the largest online retailer, the lawsuit said.

In the EU settlement, Amazon also agreed to stop using non-public data of merchants with which it competes. Independent merchants who rely on Amazon to reach customers have long complained that the company uses information about sales terms, revenue and inventory to decide which products to create, sell and promote, such as its Amazon Basics line.

Another win for independent merchants is that sellers can also participate in Amazon’s Prime program, its popular membership service, without using the company’s logistics operations. The change will give sellers the option to work with other suppliers to handle inventory and shipments.

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