Amazon is gearing up to defend itself against a mushrooming battle over the company’s alleged anticompetitive business practices, in arenas spanning Congress, federal agencies, and state government, reported the Seattle Times.
The commerce giant is expanding its legal team, hiring former federal prosecutors and regulators to fill roles that include defending the company against allegations that it unfairly dominates markets. The company has tweaked its public messaging to downplay its role as the world’s largest online retailer. It has also tried to boost its image in Washington, DC, spending more on federal lobbying in 2020 than ever before.
Together, those moves can be read as Amazon erecting a shield against stepped-up antitrust scrutiny, said University of Washington tech historian Margaret O’Mara.
Amazon is “deploying their considerable resources and readying for what’s clearly a very different relationship with Washington (D.C.) than tech has usually enjoyed,” O’Mara said.
Amazon has objected to criticisms that it has grown too large. The company operates “a diverse range of businesses” in an “extraordinarily competitive” global retail marketplace, company spokesperson Dan Perlet said in a statement.
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