A group of small businesses has called on the U.S. government to enact stronger antitrust measures to push back against retail conglomerates such as Amazon.
If their requests are granted, large companies could be forced to spin off some of their business units to level the playing field.
The coalition is made up of trade groups representing small businesses such as grocery stores, hardware stores, bookstores, supply stores, and other small to medium retail operations.
The trade groups are attempting to push congressional representatives to pass tougher antitrust laws and to enforce existing antitrust laws.
The House Antitrust Subcommittee has proposed legislation that are in line with the coalition's goals but so far none have been passed into law.
The coalition, called Small Business Rising, includes trade groups such as the American Booksellers Association, the Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding, and the National Grocers Association. The group was convened in part by the Institute of Local Self-Reliance - an advocacy group that has been a long-time critic of Amazon's market monopoly.
"Small businesses are in crisis. As one bookseller said to me, 'It says COVID on the death certificate, but the underlying condition was Amazon," Institute for Local Self-Reliance co-director, Stacy Mitchell, said in a statement.
The group, which represents more than 60,000 independent businesses nationwide, said that it will continue its campaign to halt the monopoly of large conglomerates by meeting with congressional representatives, pushing for news coverage, writing letters to lawmakers, and other similar efforts.
Amazon fired back against the renewed pushback, stating that the merchant groups would only end up raising prices and limiting consumer choice. Amazon said the groups' "misguided interventions" in the free market would "punish consumers" and force small businesses to exit lucrative e-commerce platforms.
Amazon said its platform and others like it complement small businesses and empower them. The company said its platform allows sellers to place their products next to retailers and its public relations campaigns have proven to be successful in elevating small startup businesses.