Merchant groups target Amazon in new political campaign


WASHINGTON – Merchant groups are forming a national coalition to campaign for stricter antitrust laws, including measures that could force Amazon.com Inc. to spin off some of its business lines.

The effort is being launched Tuesday by trade groups representing small hardware stores, office providers, bookstores, grocery stores and others, along with business groups from 12 cities, organizers say. The merchants plan to pressure their representatives in Congress for stricter antitrust laws and stricter enforcement than existing ones.

The groups, which collectively represent thousands of companies, want federal legislation that prevents the owner of a dominant online marketplace from selling their own products in competition with other sellers – a policy that could effectively separate Amazon’s retail product business from your online market.

Members of the House Competition Subcommittee are considering legislation to that effect as they weigh changes to US competition law, although no bill has yet been introduced.

Business groups also want stricter enforcement of competition laws and legal changes that make it easier for the government to win antitrust lawsuits against large companies.

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