The introduction by Amazon of new fees for sellers who don’t use its logistics services could result in the e-tail giant’s breakup, according to ParcelHero.

Starting in October, US Seller Fulfilled Prime users who opt out of Amazon’s delivery and warehousing services must pay a 2% cut of every sale, according to global news organisation AP.

ParcelHero said the new fee could help pave the way for the federal trade commission (FTC) in the US to file an antitrust lawsuit.

It said the FTC’s chair, Lina Khan, has previously criticised the actions of several big tech companies, particularly Amazon.

And it added that if the commission were to win its case it could result in the breakup of the online giant.

ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks, said: “Amazon reportedly met this week with the three FTC commissioners in what is commonly known in the US as a ‘last rites’ meeting, which generally precedes the launch of a full-scale lawsuit.

“The commission is thought to have been investigating Amazon since 2021, looking into evidence of anti-competitive practices.

“These potentially include allegedly launching copy-cat white label products and allegedly giving undue prominence to sellers using its Logistics by Amazon service.”

Read more

Jinks added that something similar happened to Microsoft in the 1990s after it was found guilty of constituting a monopoly of the PC market and stifling competitors, although it managed to avoid a break up following an appeal.

In a blog post this week, Amazon’s vice president of worldwide selling partner services, Dharmesh Mehta, said independent sellers continued to use its store because it was “great value”.

Mehta said: “We provide sellers of all sizes with a number of optional services at a great value - services that are typically only accessible by larger businesses.

“This includes services for obtaining loans at competitive rates, advertising products efficiently, fulfilling products fast and at a low cost, getting expert advice from an account manager, and many more.

“These optional, paid services aren’t required for succeeding in the Amazon store - some independent sellers run thriving businesses without them - but many sellers choose to use them because they offer impactful opportunities to drive their business growth at lower cost.”