Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

If Amazon the marketplace was solely responsible for the upkeep of the marketplace, they'd be more inclined to actually maintain it in a working manner. Not to mention it'd be easier for publishers to sue them to compel compliance.

How would this actually work in practice? Do you expect regulators to break out just the book store from the other ecommerce stuff?

Would the whole shipping network, fulfilment, and distribution centers be repeated across all of these companies or would that be a separate company? What about the vendor marketplace and ecommerce code and massive analytics systems they built? Plus customers will have to go to multiple different websites depending on what they want (babystuff.com, bookstore.com, etc)?

These companies can't simply be divided geographically and regionally like oil and telecom companies can, that's counter to how internet companies work. So it'd have to be business unit / divisional.

It's easy to throw around anti-trust laws as a panacea for all the stuff we don't like by tech companies but we seem to be missing the whole concrete picture of what that actually means in practice.

I’ve shopped at a Barnes and Noble and a smaller local bookstore for many years. Guess what... somehow they manage to find a way to not sell counterfeit or greymarket shit.

All of these technical issues are problems of Amazon’s creation. Amazon wrote a bunch of software that doesn’t provide a supply chain that can maintain the integrity of what they sell. Sound like their problem.

Amazon is both a bookseller and a book publishing platform. Those should be split. Just because it's inconvenient for Amazon doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. That's kind of the whole point of antitrust law. The market is not necessarily better when it's efficient because it's controlled by a single entity. Do you all imagine yourselves as future robber barons with mustaches to twirl?

It's not about what's inconvenient. It's about what still makes sense as a single business...

Amazon's publishing platform is only a relatively small part of their wider business and doesn't answer any of my questions.

It does get a bit absurd. Prime Video has excellent content but having to access it through Amazon.com makes me feel like a theater is forcing me to walk through a gift shop to get to my seat.

So, like every theater, which is primarily funded by its concession booth?

Yes. Hence me visiting a movie theater perhaps twice a year instead of every weekend.

> If Amazon the marketplace was solely responsible for the upkeep of the marketplace

Who else is responsible for the upkeep of the marketplace?

The "break them up" argument works if there is an inherent conflict of interest that would get resolved if they were separate entities, but that isn't true in this case.

Amazon claims that the opaque sellers on their platforms are liable for what's sold on their platform, yet does no real verification on sellers, doesn't eliminate outright fraud, and allows known counterfeiters on their platform. Amazon provides no legal redress for harms caused by their platform and doesn't give you an address to go after since they comingled all the items that claim to be a single SKU. Amazon claims that they are completely unable to be held accountable for anything sold on their platform and has maintained this in court cases.

FBA was borderline fraud from the beginning — it was a scheme to evade sales tax.

The inherent conflicts of interest are everywhere. It commingles inventory, competes with its partners and encourages an auction like atmosphere for constrained product. Retail Amazon and marketplace Amazon need to be segmented for consumers to understand who and how they are buying products.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact