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The odd assault on Amazon



A high-school classmate links to this Gawker story about how Amazon is incentivizing customers to provide competing price information, and announces on Facebook that he is going to boycott Amazon over this because of its competition with local businesses.

We'll set aside the irony of complaining about it on Facebook, who has successfully competed Friendster and Classmates.com and Myspace into dated punchlines, not to mention (along with Gawker) is part of the trend of people getting news from the Internet that is hurting local newspapers.

Do all of these people boycott Netflix because they've driven local movie theaters and video stores out of business? Refuse to listen to iPods because of Apple's successful redefinition of the music business? Only shop at mom-and-pop groceries rather than the national chain supermarkets that have driven a lot of them out of business? Boycott television and movies because they've driven local vaudeville and traveling bards out of business? Refuse to purchase automobiles because of their effect on local buggy-whip manufacturers? I honestly don't understand this mentality. Competition that provides higher-quality service at a lower price is generally thought to be a good thing, even as it leads to Schumpeterian disruption.

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Isaac Gorodetski
Project Manager,
Center for Legal Policy at the
Manhattan Institute
igorodetski@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Press Officer,
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.