Congress Begins To Ask If Amazon Is Getting Too Big, Antitrust Hearing Called

Friday, July 14, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Jul 14, 2017

Is Amazon getting too big?

While that question has yet to be formally asked by the US government, on Friday we got a hint that it may be next on the agenda after the top Democrat on the House antitrust subcommittee, David Civilline, voiced concerns about Amazon’s $13.7 billion plan to buy Whole Foods Market and in a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, Reuters reports that the antitrust specialist has requested a hearing to look into the deal’s potential impact on consumers. And, as MarketWatch adds, “fresh off its biggest Prime Day yet, the Whole Foods Market Inc. bid, and a slew of announcements including Amazon Wardrobe, Inc. was the subject of two investor calls Thursday that raised concerns that it is getting too big.”

In what could be the start of a wider investigation into Amazon’s impact on the market, Cicilline said in a a statement that “Amazon’s proposed purchase of Whole Foods could impact neighborhood grocery stores and hardworking consumers across America,” adding that “Congress has a responsibility to fully scrutinize this merger before it goes ahead.” The deal must be approved by U.S. antitrust enforcers, in this case most likely the Federal Trade Commission. While Congress plays no formal role in that process, hearings are often used to highlight the possible impact of deals on consumers. Still, without Republican support, even a hearing is unlikely to happen.

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