Amazon has quickly become a one-stop destination for all the world’s shopping needs. From groceries to household goods, books, music, clothing, electronics, and even prescription medications, Amazon is taking over the market with its low prices and quick delivery times. However, this expansion of power means that many small businesses struggle to keep up in today’s modern world as they can’t compete on price or convenience as Amazon does. The Amazon monopoly is expanding fast and slowly, pushing hometown stores and mom and pops out-of-business.
Amazon Holdings: The eCommerce Mega-Store
Amazon.com is the biggest and most successful online store globally, but it may not be for long. The company has grown so big and powerful that its dominance of online sales is killing off mom-and-pop stores around the country, from small bookstores to hardware retailers, toymakers, and even clothing shops. Now it’s moving to crush the pharmaceutical sales industry and even outdo other giants in this area, such as CVS and Walgreens.
Is Amazon a Monopoly?
For many reasons, it’s clear to many people that Amazon.com is a Monopoly. For the most part, Amazon’s prices are often cheaper than those offered by other stores. Additionally, it provides free shipping for Prime members and on many items over $25 if you’re a non-member.
However, others might argue that Amazon.com sells a wide range of products. But does research show it corners the market in one segment of retail? The U.S. Congress opened up an investigation into the country’s tech giants, including Amazon and Google, in late 2020.
An article in the Atlantic Magazine makes it clear that America’s problem with Amazon and similar tech companies with a significant hold on the economy, such as Apple and Google, is the country’s history with this growth type.
“The truth is that, even if Congress somehow decreed the breakup of all four tech giants, the U.S. would still have an astounding number of industries controlled by a tiny number of firms. That’s because the structure of modern capitalism favors companies that operate at once-unimaginable scale, in the absence of a government will to prevent monopolies from forming.”
Can Mom and Pops Survive?
The Amazon monopoly will be hard to break up because it’s not one industry. The company dabbles in nearly everything. Economists know that small businesses are falling fast. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to determine how many were impacted by Amazon.com, big box stores, and COVID-19. Mom and pop stores have been under attack from technology since the birth of eCommerce. However, the pandemic put the decline on fast-forward as more people ordered everything online from groceries to beauty supplies.
Nonetheless, no matter the reason, the slow death of mom and pop stores isn’t stopping, and Amazon’s monopoly continues to grow. Instead of waiting on governments to correct the problems, small businesses need to find ways to stand apart from Amazon.com and other big box stores.