Amazon has long since hollowed out the country’s retail sector while replacing it with a pipeline of Made in China junk. And a good deal of Amazon’s pipeline comes from third party sellers, allowing the company to evade the problem that it’s used to push counterfeit products that mimic American brands direct from China. Anyone who has spent enough time on Amazon reading the reviews will encounter complaints that the products they bought looked vaguely similar, but lacked the actual features.
And the Trump admin wants to drag Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post, currently cashing out billions in Amazon stock to party through his mid-life crisis, to testify in front of Congress.
At a private meeting this week, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told the Republicans and Democrats leading the House’s antitrust investigation into Big Tech that they should invite Bezos and other e-commerce executives to testify about counterfeits, sources confirmed to The Hill.
Navarro has been leading the Trump administration’s efforts to curb the spread of fake and pirated products online — particularly on Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer.
His request marks the first time a White House official has weighed in publicly on the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee’s tech probe.
The tech antitrust push has largely focused on social media platforms such as Facebook for contrasting reasons, Democrats want to use antitrust threats to pressure Facebook to censor conservatives, Republicans want to use antitrust to stop censoring conservatives. Meanwhile the DOJ and state AGs are running a serious antitrust investigation of Google. Which is the real threat.
Facebook may not be here in 5 years while Google acts as the front door to the internet and is working to monopolize mobile and voice search through smart assistants.
But talking about Amazon and counterfeits brings in a lot of American companies into the picture who have legitimate grudges against the monster platform. And it’s an important issue in American economic life. Especially as we take on China.