The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), whose members include Best Buy, Walmart and Target, demands an investigation whether Silicon Valley’s most prominent companies [Amazon and Google] are manipulating search results that disadvantage traditional retailers.
RILA is expected to present its report to the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission: “It’s pretty clear to us that the FTC and different relevant regulators should be taking a much closer look at these platform companies,” said Nicholas Ahrens, vice president of innovation for RILA, told Bloomberg in an interview. “We are here to help.”
The trade group has more than 200 members, which account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of jobs, and over 100,000, manufacturing centers, and distribution hubs across the country.
RILA sent a letter to the FTC on Sunday, asserting that the digital revolution has forced “intense competition” that stifles growth in traditional retailers. They said Amazon and Google control the majority of all internet product searchers, can create an “information bottleneck” that has the ability to manipulate markets and bypass the traditional power of price competition.