June 21, 2017
Lina Khan wrote for The New York Times about how Amazon's plan to purchase Whole Foods represents an attempt by Amazon to leverage its existing monopoly power to take over more markets–including groceries.
Amazon on Friday announced plans to acquire Whole Foods, the high-end grocer. If approved by antitrust enforcers, the $13.7 billion deal would give Amazon control of more than 400 stores, an extensive supply chain and a new source of consumer data.
Amazon will argue to federal authorities, most likely the Federal Trade Commission, that the deal should be blessed because the combined entity’s share of the American grocery market will be less than 5 percent.
But antitrust officials would be naïve to view this deal as simply about groceries. Buying Whole Foods will enable Amazon to leverage and amplify the extraordinary power it enjoys in online markets and delivery, making an even greater share of commerce part of its fief.