Dana Mattioli, Wall Street Journal:
Jeff Bezos built Amazon.com Inc. from his garage with an underdog’s ambition to take on the establishment. He imbued staff with an obsession to grow fast by grabbing customers using the biggest selection and lowest prices.
That ethos helps keep Amazon booming. Aggressive competition—including wresting market share from rivals—is often a hallmark of a successful business. It’s also why the tech-and-retail giant is the target of rivals, regulators and politicians who say its tactics are unfair for a company its size, and potentially illegal. As the company has grown, so has its capacity to take on an ever-growing array of competitors.
Executives behind the scenes have methodically waged targeted campaigns against rivals and partners alike—an approach that has changed little through the years, from diapers to footwear.
No competitor is too small to draw Amazon’s sights. It cloned a line of camera tripods that a small outside company sold on Amazon’s site, hurting the vendor’s sales so badly it is now a fraction of its original size, the little firm’s owner said.
When Amazon decided to compete with furniture retailer Wayfair Inc., Mr. Bezos’s deputies created what they called the Wayfair Parity Team, which studied how Wayfair procured, sold and delivered bulky furniture, eventually replicating a majority of its offerings, said people who worked on the team.
The article goes on and on, but you get the idea. The sense here is that Amazon wants to replicate every product it sells, discarding partnerships once they have their own version of that partner’s product.
At what point does this turn into unfair business practice?