Author: Stacy Mitchell Published: 6/30/2023 IRSL
JUNE 29, 2023
Cloud computing services are the backbone of the modern economy. The world’s biggest companies, including banks, hospitals, media outlets, and more, and countless local and federal government agencies, all store troves of data in the cloud and rely on cloud services to operate.
In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, ILSR warned that control over cloud computing is dangerously concentrated. Amazon Web Services (AWS), controls more than 40 percent of global cloud services. As ILSR details in the letter, AWS has leveraged its dominance in cloud computing to lock customers into its platform, preference its own cloud-based products and services, shut out rival software developers, and glean data and market insights that give it an unfair advantage in other industries.
The letter urges the FTC to use its authority to open the market to needed competition.
JUNE 21, 2023
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission sued Amazon for enrolling shoppers in its Prime program without their consent and making it hard to cancel. In a statement, Stacy Mitchell said, “The Amazon Prime lawsuit strikes at a key linchpin in Amazon’s monopolization strategy. Research shows Prime members default to shopping on Amazon. By duping people into signing up for Prime, and blocking the exits when they try to cancel, Amazon has sought to maintain its position as a gatekeeper for online shopping. We applaud the FTC for taking this step.” Read the statement here
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
- ILSR joined with Recast City to develop an Equitable Lending Leader training program to help people achieve their dreams of growing a small business and creating good-paying jobs in their communities.
- On the Capitol Forum podcast, Stacy talked about how extreme concentration in grocery retailing has led to food deserts and price-gouging, and how reviving antitrust enforcement can help us build a healthy food system.
- Inspired in part by our reporting, NPR hosted an hour-long discussion with community leaders about how dollar store chains are causing economic distress in communities — and what we can do about it.
NEWS STORIES WE’RE FOLLOWING
- Walmart has swindled another town. As part of a development deal, with subsidies, Walmart agreed to a $4.5M tax valuation of its store. It later appealed the valuation to a state tax board, which halved it. This forced the town to pay Walmart $1.2M.
- A new analysis defeats the big delivery platforms’ claims that they can’t afford to pay workers more, concluding that the primary reason that delivery fees have gone up is because of corporate profit-taking.
- A new bookstore joins “a growing cohort of Black-owned businesses near the historic Black Main Street, once