The Corner

Economy & Business

The Best Case Against Breaking Up Amazon

Amazon boxes stacked for delivery in New York City (Mike Segar/Reuters)

The New York Times published this excellent argument why we shouldn’t break up Amazon. It boils down to this: Amazon is a genius at giving consumers what they want, and because it faces a ton of competition, the company innovates like crazy. All that’s missing from this piece is the argument that government’s ineptitude at running Amtrak and the postal service, along with a great deal of other evidence of political operatives’ failure to achieve their goals, should make us skeptical of the ability of bureaucrats to break up Big Tech. Here are some choice excerpts from the article:

“Amazon is a genie of consumerist wishes, and it keeps growing more irresistible.”

“As a fervent Amazon customer, I love that its platform keeps getting more convenient.”

“[E]ven as Amazon gets bigger, it still faces relentless competition in the retail business, and is therefore not slowing in any obvious way to act like a lumbering monopoly of yore. The company keeps innovating — and as it does, the possible harms critics have long warned about may look increasingly distant to its customers.”

“What consumers may come to see in Amazon, instead, is what I’ve started to notice — it’s an inescapable, all-consuming retail paradise.”

“Amazon is pushing a level of speed, convenience, and selection in shopping that millions of customers are integrating into their daily lives.”

“Amazon is a trillion-dollar retailing phenomenon that has transformed almost everything about the way Americans shop, but sometimes it seems to operate as a charitable operation for well-off consumers who just want to try out this or that high-priced consumer fancy.”

Exactly! Did I mention that the author is sympathetic to the idea of breaking up Big Tech? But he worries that if Amazon continues to be so good, it will become harder and harder to make the political case to break it up. You can’t make this stuff up.

Veronique de Rugy is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Most Popular

The Devil Wears Prada: CDC Edition

Fade In: The Runway Magazine team is busily trying to arrange things for the next fashion shoot. Miranda Priestly, the imperious and impatient and withering editor in chief, sorts through the various items from the racks of couture garments. The underlings stand by, terrified. Off to the side, Miranda’s ... Read More

The Devil Wears Prada: CDC Edition

Fade In: The Runway Magazine team is busily trying to arrange things for the next fashion shoot. Miranda Priestly, the imperious and impatient and withering editor in chief, sorts through the various items from the racks of couture garments. The underlings stand by, terrified. Off to the side, Miranda’s ... Read More
Culture

The Fragility of the Woke

A TikTok video that recently went viral on social media showed a recent Harvard graduate threatening to stab anyone who said “all lives matter.” In her melodrama, she tried to sound intimidating with her histrionics. She won a huge audience, as she intended. But her video also came to the attention of the ... Read More
Culture

The Fragility of the Woke

A TikTok video that recently went viral on social media showed a recent Harvard graduate threatening to stab anyone who said “all lives matter.” In her melodrama, she tried to sound intimidating with her histrionics. She won a huge audience, as she intended. But her video also came to the attention of the ... Read More
Elections

The Winds of Woke

Before Thursday morning I had not heard of Thomas Bosco, and I am willing to bet you haven’t heard of him either. He runs a café in Upper Manhattan. From the picture in the New York Times, the Indian Road Café is one of those Bobo-friendly brick-lined coffee shops with chalkboard menus affixed to the wall ... Read More
Elections

The Winds of Woke

Before Thursday morning I had not heard of Thomas Bosco, and I am willing to bet you haven’t heard of him either. He runs a café in Upper Manhattan. From the picture in the New York Times, the Indian Road Café is one of those Bobo-friendly brick-lined coffee shops with chalkboard menus affixed to the wall ... Read More
Markets

Panic on ESG Street

The sub-headline in a Financial Times story on the anguished reaction of some asset managers to the Trump administration’s belated (if modest) efforts to protect the threat to pensioners' investment returns represented by “socially responsible” investing (SRI) shows where the paper’s sympathies lie (not ... Read More
Markets

Panic on ESG Street

The sub-headline in a Financial Times story on the anguished reaction of some asset managers to the Trump administration’s belated (if modest) efforts to protect the threat to pensioners' investment returns represented by “socially responsible” investing (SRI) shows where the paper’s sympathies lie (not ... Read More
Culture

No One Is Ever Woke Enough

Closing out the week: The Harper’s letter calling for freedom of expression demonstrates that no one is ever “woke” enough, and that any institution that tries to make peace with the perpetually aggrieved eventually becomes dysfunctional; the value of Hamilton as a litmus test of the limits of cancel ... Read More
Culture

No One Is Ever Woke Enough

Closing out the week: The Harper’s letter calling for freedom of expression demonstrates that no one is ever “woke” enough, and that any institution that tries to make peace with the perpetually aggrieved eventually becomes dysfunctional; the value of Hamilton as a litmus test of the limits of cancel ... Read More