Bezos Says Retail Is Much More Competitive Than Phone Market

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Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said the retail industry is far more competitive than the smartphone market, a clear nod to the dominance of Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, as all three U.S. tech giants face antitrust scrutiny.

Asked at Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting to address the critique that the world’s largest online retailer is too big or too powerful, Bezos said the retail industry is thriving. On Tuesday, the attorney general of Washington, D.C., filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon for allegedly pushing up consumer prices.

“Consumers can shop at dozens of large national retailers, hundreds of regional retailers, hundreds of thousands of small retailers, both online and in-store,” Bezos said at the meeting, held virtually on Wednesday because of the pandemic. “It’s a very healthy industry, and it’s far from a winner-take-all situation, and we’re still a small fraction of retail.”

Competitive industries tend to have small, fast-growing competitors, he said. “Think about mobile phone operating systems. Can you think of any successful, small, fast growing mobile phone operating systems? Where are they? Name one. They do not exist.”

“We recognize that with success comes scrutiny, and we welcome it,” Bezos said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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