Just as America is reeling with once-in-a-generation inflation, empty store shelves, and record COVID infections, Congress can’t wait to make things worse.
This week the Senate Judiciary Committee posted notice of their Thursday markup of the Klobuchar/Grassley bill, S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. My colleague Patrice Onwuka and I have explained in recent months the many problems with this bill, which could likely end services like Amazon Prime as we know it.
Sadly, Klobuchar and Grassley’s proposal would also likely cause small businesses to lose the competitive advantages that allow them to compete successfully on a global scale.
Supply chain problems plague industries across the board, but one bright spot in this pandemic has been the frontline men and women of Amazon who delivered goods directly to homes. Yes, sometimes products are later than we hope for, but on balance Amazon Prime’s been a valuable service for many homes.
Tech activist Adam Kovacevich explains the problems:
Amazon Prime is a pretty incredible thing. For $13 a month, you get free, fast shipping (typically one or two day, but sometimes even same-day) on many Amazon products. At our busy 2-adult, 3-kid house, we probably order at least five items per week through Prime — and we ordered even more at the beginning of the pandemic. We’re clearly not alone. Analysts estimate that nearly half of Americans — 148 million people to be exact — are Amazon Prime members….
Four Ways that Amazon Prime is Impacted by Klobuchar’s Bill
There are several ways in which the language of her bill would impact Amazon Prime.
1.Section 2(a)1 would prevent Amazon from labeling certain products as Prime-eligible…
2. Section 2(b)2 would prevent Amazon from financing expedited Prime shipping through Fulfillment By Amazon merchant fee…
3. Section 2(b)6 would prevent Amazon from highlighting Prime-eligible products to Prime members in search results…
4. Section 2(a)1 could prevent Amazon from offering Fulfillment by Amazon.
Word on the street is that while the hearing technically is scheduled for this Thursday, it could likely get held over to January 27. This is a significant step to mark this bill up. There’s still time to contact your Senator and House member and tell them to stop this bill that could very well further disrupt our already fragile supply chain.