Is the FTC Aiming to Take out Amazon?

AP Photo/John Locher

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is one of those questionable agencies that it's difficult (impossible) to find Constitutional justification for, but that hasn't stopped the Biden Administration from wielding this agency with a heavy hand. Now it looks like they are coming after Amazon.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is one of those bureaucratic agencies you’ve probably heard of but don’t pay attention to, which makes it the perfect place for nefarious activities. 

Lina Khan, an overt socialist who hates corporations and capitalism, was appointed to run it by Joe Biden in 2021 and things have been going downhill ever since. Now Khan has set her sights on Amazon, and a forthcoming antitrust lawsuit is anticipated any day now. It’s worth knowing that Khan has been gunning for Amazon all along, she first rose to prominence in progressive circles when she published “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” in 2017, targeting the company’s dominance and arguing for an expanded use of antitrust by the government.

While we don’t yet have the complaint, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from it.

Amazon, yes, has an enormous share of the market for online retailers. You can order something on Amazon with their Prime delivery service and have it the next day in most places - even the same day in some areas. Speaking as one who lives out in the woods in south-central Alaska, Amazon has changed a lot of the way we shop; stop at the post office, and half of the boxes you'll see people picking up are Amazon boxes. Beats the hour-and-a-half drive to Anchorage.

Whatever you think of its founder, a lot of Americans - perhaps even most Americans - love Amazon. The company went from an online bookstore in the Nineties to a megalithic online shopper's warehouse where you can find everything from industrial lasers to kitty litter to meat thermometers, and have it delivered to your front door.

...If successful, this lawsuit has the potential to completely ruin one of America’s most-beloved businesses and reduce the quality of life for all of us. It would be a grave injustice against a company that has simply found a way to make people’s lives better, greatly succeeded at doing so, and is simply continuing to try to maximize its profits. That is the quintessential American Dream, but increasingly that dream is turning into a nightmare as the US government seeks to punish success and seize more control of the free market.

President Biden, Lina Khan, and all of the other capitalist haters working under them have made it clear that they do care what everyday Americans think or want when it comes to their products, and they don’t care about your preferences or even your ability to access affordable goods. They instead are unilaterally focused on power and control over private businesses.

That's a big deal. But the Biden Administration's FTC, claiming Amazon is a "monopoly" and citing anti-trust laws, seems to be aiming to break Amazon up.

Feature, not a bug.

Amazon, of course, is not a monopoly. There are plenty of other places where you can obtain goods and services, online and in brick-and-mortar stores. The very idea is ridiculous.

Of course, Amazon will be given a chance to make its case to the FTC's commissioners before any filing of an actual lawsuit. Think about that for a moment. An American corporation, under the scrutiny of un-elected bureaucrats due to their commercial success, will be graciously given the chance to beg said bureaucrats for an indulgence, that they may be allowed to continue providing goods and services that the American people choose to purchase from them.

Take a look at this document and ask yourself where the federal government has any such authority.

America is supposed to be a place where people can make their own economic choices. But it's increasingly becoming a place where those choices are being squeezed into governmental-approved bottlenecks. And while the country is staggering under Bidenflation, all of these steps the FTC is taking will only increase the cost of Amazon's goods and services; businesses, after all, don't pay increased costs, they pass them on to consumers --- us.

So, what happens if Amazon is broken up, as Lina Kahn seems to want? Instead of one big company providing everything under the sun, there will be several, each with its own staff of accountants, managers, HR personnel, and all of the other fixed costs that are required by every large corporation - all of which will be added into the cost of each and every item or service provided. The economies of scale will be badly diluted, and inflation will receive another boost. And all because of the action of a socialist bureaucrat, one who is philosophically opposed to business and capitalism, who was elected by no one, and who sits at the helm of a federal agency that the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment would indicate should not even exist. Never mind what business model you would prefer to engage with - the feds know better. It doesn't matter who founded Amazon or what his political opinions are; this kind of thing should not be happening to an American corporation.

The Left claims to be big on the "right to choose." That's true, of course - as long as you make the choice that your betters approve of. Lina Kahn apparently thinks too many people are choosing Amazon, and she's just not having it.


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