Just like the railroads in the 19th Century
That scale gives Amazon enormous power in its relationship with partners, and The Seattle Times reports that the company uses it aggressively and with little consequence when it errs. Using Washington state records, the paper finds that Amazon suspends merchants’ sales for violating policies, holds their money, and often fails to tell its partners which policies they’re accused of violating.
The merchants who drive Amazon’s Marketplace tend to be the kind of small businesses that don’t have a lot of capital. So when they get thousands of dollars in payments held up for months, they can run into serious cashflow problems, as the Times notes. That frustration is compounded by Amazon’s poor customer relations with its merchants.
To add insult to injury, Amazon’s sharecropper merchants aren’t playing on a level field with the $110 billion company. Amazon knows all their customers, all their sales data, and doesn’t hesitate to compete against them (read: squash them)
No, it's actually worse than the railroads.
Yes, in the 19th C farmers owned their land and their produce, but the only way for them to get their produce to market was by the railroad, so the railroad owned them.
So far, just like Amazon. But at least the railroads didn't go into the farming business too!