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The dark story behind the Amazon fairy tale

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Don Corleone wants to trade olive oil exclusively. He does not want any of the contestants to be harmed. That's why he told them, 'Leave this business and cut the meaning! That is good for you. ' He buys the business of those who understand him at a fair price. But who does not understand?

Some wholesale oil traders in Brooklyn did not want to understand his dream. Don Corleone sent a man named Tessio to solve the problem. Tesio went there and set up base. One by one the warehouses of Brooklyn began to burn. Tons and tons of olive oil ponds began to form on the road. Then 6. What happened then, it seems, no longer needs to be written. Don Corleone became the sole trader in olive oil.

The story is taken from Mario Pujo's Godfather book. It's hard to find people who haven't heard of this book. The 1972 film is considered one of the best films of all time. The story of the book revolves around Don Vito Corleone's mafia empire.

No, Jeff Bezos did not set fire to anyone's shop. But Don Corleone's philosophy doesn't really differ much from what he did to own the world's largest online marketplace. What, not believing? Let's hear a story then.

Jeff Bezos; Image Source: biography.com

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Amazon.com. Currently the largest online marketplace in the world. It is also one of the 4 largest tech companies in the world. And, Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of this company. The story of his rise is like a fairy tale. The story of his journey as an entrepreneur has become an inspiration to everyone.

But, under the light there is darkness. No, Jeff Bezos never attacked anyone's shop with a weapon. As a weapon, he has used a different business model and the gap between economics and law. That's why there is disagreement about whether Amazon is a monopoly business at all.

Talking about the story, why all of a sudden? Because, in order to hear the story, you have to know a little bit before the two terms. The terms are one, monopoly and two, anti-trust law.

Let's put it simply. Monopoly means that there is only one seller in that market. No other seller will be able to enter this market. Because, the sole seller will obstruct others from different aspects like product price, source of product or production cost, supply chain etc. Overcoming this barrier will make it difficult for anyone new to the market. Monopoly or monopoly business can again be of two types. If there is only one seller in the market, then it is called pure monopoly. And, if two to three vendors occupy the market together, it is not pure monopoly. Understandably, Amazon is not doing pure monopoly business at all. (Actually, not even to do!) But even if not pure, the fact that the rest of the contestants are not even close to them can be understood in the chart below . This chart is from 2016. As it turns out, Amazon accounted for 49% of sales in the e-commerce market that year. Where the next competitor eBay has only 7%!

Amazon owns about half of the e-commerce market; Image Source: techcrunch.com

Monopolies or monopolistic problem is, democracy does not work on the product. That is, buyers have no way of saying anything. Whether the price is reasonable, the quality is right or not, you have to take the product as the seller says. Meanwhile, there is no way to put any pressure on the seller. There is no obligation to keep the price within a certain range or to keep the quality right. Because, there is no competitor in the market!

With this in mind, the US government enacted the Anti-Trust Law . There are three basic laws. Sherman Act (1890), Clayton Act (1914) and Federal Trade Commission Act (1914). These laws are designed to protect the rights of consumers. Section 1 of the Sherman Act prohibits the sale of 'Ekdam'. It also makes it illegal to block other vendors from doing business directly by colluding or creating cartels. Section 2 of the Sherman Act prohibits monopoly or monopoly market possession and unjust use of this power (e.g., selling goods at exorbitant prices). Meanwhile, section 7 of the Clayton Act claims that it is illegal for large competing companies to take over the market and reduce competition in the market.

The main purpose of the laws is to protect the rights of buyers in the market. And, the biggest measure of this right is the price of the product. That is, forcing the buyer to buy something at an extra price. Amazon didn’t want to be ‘pure monopoly’. I mean, whatever the reality, they didn't want to put themselves on paper as 'pure monopoly sellers'. That's why Amazon, I mean, our Jeff Bezos has chosen a way to do nothing but look beyond the law!

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There was an e-commerce website called diapers.com . It was founded in 2005 by Mark Lore and Vinit Bahara. As the name implies, selling baby diapers is their main job. No one has ever thought of selling diapers like this for new parents. In a short time, the website became quite famous.

Diapers.com; Image Source: simply-in-control.blogspot.com

Then, as the story goes, Jeff Bezos suddenly wants to buy the website. Since you do business, why not monopolize? Moreover, he is willing to pay them enough. No, this incident cannot be told like a story. Let's get back to reality.

Speaking of 2009. Amazon offered to buy the site. The owner refused. For couples who have children in the next 3 months, Amazon Prime service is free. The ad reads, 'Become an Amazon-mom!' 

Amazon ads, become Amazon-mother; Image Source: amazon.com

No, Jeff Bezos did not send any Tesio. As a pistol, Diapers.com had millions of dollars in its head. He was wrecked in the war Amazon. It has a name, Predatory Pricing. It is impossible to capture the market by releasing products at low prices. The problem is, it is difficult to prove directly that someone is trying to monopolize or monopolize a business by predatory pricing. An organization can claim that it costs less to produce and market the product. This is exactly the loophole Amazon has used. Gave millions of dollars. But that website has won. 

The story in the movie that makes Jeff Bezos look like a thriller like Francis ' Frank Underwood in the House of Cards or members of the Corleone family in Godfather , is in fact nothing more than horrible cruelty. Amazon shuts down Diapers.com business. Founder Mark Lore and Vineet Bahara were forced to sell the website. On November 7, 2010, Amazon bought Diapers.com for ৫ 545 million. Then redirect the link to Amazon.com. In other words, if you type Diapers.com and press Enter, the link will take you to Amazon's site.

Finally, in 2016, Amazon shut down Diapers.com. As the official statement said, the site is not profitable enough to see that Amazon no longer wants to run this site (read domain)!

This did not happen with just one organization. Repeatedly. These include soap.com, beautybar.com, etc. Amazon has officially shut down all such sites (domains) in 2016. The reason is normal. Until then, the premium products of those sites have taken place on Amazon.com. Users have also become accustomed. And, following in the footsteps of the founders of such sites, Amazon has become the world's best online marketplace. What an inspiration!

Importantly, anti-trust law did not deter Amazon. You can't. Because, first of all, Amazon did not enter the pure monopoly business. The pistol did not hit anyone in the head. Nor did any cartel or organization, by any means colluding, prevent anyone from doing business! Second, laws have been enacted to protect the rights of consumers. But Amazon's offer of millions of dollars or free products has not directly violated buyers' rights. Amazon has used this trick of Subhankar. After gaining a high price, you have to capture the market first, so you can lose millions of dollars.

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Many small companies sell their products through Amazon. Bought the product from Amazon, everyone like that knows it. The name of the seller organization is written next to each product. In Bangladesh, e-commerce works the same way as Daraj or Evali.

The problem is, when a company offers a product to Amazon, and when that product sells well, Amazon can easily capture the market for that product if it wants to. That's why they can communicate directly with the company with which the product is made, i.e. the manufacturer. Again, if you want, you can hire other manufacturing companies for this job. Amazon has done this, and is still doing it today.

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In this modern capitalist world everything is a product. Facebook is the product of each of their users. When it comes to getting a job, we show our product in the CV, then try to sell that product to a corporate organization. Sitting in such a world and listening to the dark stories of Amazon fairy tales, one might think that Amazon has not really done any harm to the buyers. Nor did it directly harm any human being. There is money, there is intelligence; That's what he did in business - this is it.

This time, let's take a look at Amazon's business model. This model has a front-end or visible buyer-Amazon relationship. And in the back-end is the Amazon-supply chain relationship. Here we will examine both relationships.

First, let’s get to the buyer-Amazon relationship. Here's the information you need to know at the outset: Amazon's Retail Service or Amazon.com is not Amazon's most profitable business. Their most lucrative business name is Amazon Web Services (AWS). This is Amazon's cloud hosting service. In 2019, Amazon's revenue from this service was 35.3 billion dollars ! The previous year, in 2016, the revenue was ৬ 25.855 billion. In one year, the revenue has increased by 10 billion dollars in one leap! Normal. From Airbnb to Adobe, Spotify, Netflix and even the US State Department and the CIA have used or are using Amazon's services.

Revenue from Amazon Web Services from 2013-2019;image source:statists.com

Amazon Web Services is also ahead of everyone in cloud hosting; Image Source: statista.com

The most expensive thing in the world today, so the information has come into the hands of Amazon. Where Facebook or Google have to ask for people's information, Amazon is not getting all kinds of information. He knows the personal information of most people in the world. Knows what kind of product a person likes, what he wants to eat, what he wants to wear or what he likes to see in his spare time. Not just Amazon Prime Video, but the famous movie database IMDBO Amazon! In 1996, Amazon bought IMDB for 55 million . That's why those who have used Amazon Prime Video must have noticed that when you pause the video, you can see various information directly from IMDB in the upper left corner.

The biggest example of what happens when personal information falls into the hands of an organization and is not closely monitored is the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal . Using that information, Donald Trump became the President of the United States! Then everyone knows the story.

Needless to say, Amazon is helping to become the world's largest online marketplace.

Let's talk about Amazon-supply chain workers this time. The biggest sufferers of Amazon Prime customers are the supply chain workers who get the product in the fastest time in a single click. Especially those drivers or delivery men. They have to work hard to deliver the goods to the buyers in the fastest time. Even if you work overtime, you can't get money that way. One investigation found that drivers did not get enough time to go to the bathroom to urinate. He finished the work on the bottle. While it may sound ridiculous to hear or read, it is certainly not ridiculous for those who suffer. Naturally, Amazon has denied the allegations.

Amazon workers have to work hard; Image Source: nypost.comIf

workers have such serious grievances, they are usually resolved by the workers' union. In 2001, a workers' union took such an initiative. Amazon service 850, such as layoffs that. And, naturally, denies any involvement of union work with it. In 2016, a video of staff training on Amazon was leaked . A statement from Amazon said,

We are not against the union, but we are not neutral. We don't think unions are very good for our buyers, shareholders or partners.

On September 5, 2016, Senator Bernie Sanders (along with Joe Biden, a Democrat candidate in the 2020 U.S. election, later withdrew) and Representative Rowe Khanna launched a campaign to ensure the right income for workers. It was called Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies. In short, stop Bezos ! As the name implies, its main targets were Amazon and Jeff Bezos. After that campaign, Amazon announced an increase in employees' salaries by কর্ম 15 an hour. The horrible thing is that Amazon abolished the rule of giving monthly bonus along with salary increase!

Even during this coronavirus, they have worked hard with the staff. At that time, they announced to increase the salary of the workers by 2 dollars per hour. A statement from Amazon said in mid-March that two companies at a Staten Island warehouse had been attacked by Covid-19. But according to the statements of several employees of that warehouse, the number of victims is 10. On March 30, about 15-60 workers closed their warehouses and went out temporarily to demand complete cleaning and disinfection. Amazon fired Chris Smalls, who organized these workers. According to the official statement , he did not follow the rules of social distance!

The dark story behind the Amazon fairy tale is much bigger. Almost all of the US book market is now owned by Amazon. Many offline stores or general stores have closed under the pressure of Amazon. I have talked about their dominance over information and internet. Amazon is also slowly reaching out to markets for food and almost all daily necessities. Buyers are likely to reap the benefits, but at a time when almost all markets are in Amazon's hands, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to think about what will happen. This can be understood by looking at Amazon's interactions with employees and competitors.

Person of the Year Jeff Bezos on the cover of Time Magazine; Image Source: time.com

In 1999, Time Magazine , Jeff bejosake Person of the Year as announced . In this context, a statement made by Manik Bandyopadhyay in the novel 'Padma Na2dir Majhi' comes to mind. 'God lives in that gentle village, he cannot be found here.'

.............................................................................

👉It is about Amazon.com: the largest e-commerce in the world - behind the story. The article is influenced by the Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj. Necessary references have been hyperlinked inside. 

Featured Image: geekwire.com

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WOW, lots to ponder and interesting commentary🤔

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Many many Thanks for your comment and your upvotes....

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Many many Thank for your comment and your upvotes....

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