Segments in this Video

Internet-Based Retail (01:41)


Moderator John Donvan reflects on Amazon's role in the global marketplace and its business practices.

Debate "Housekeeping" (01:55)

Donvan instructs viewers to vote, provides the framework for the debate on whether Amazon is good for small business, and introduces panelists.

Opening Statements For: Kunal Chopra (03:55)

Tech Executive and Former Amazon GM, Chopra states that every size of business can access customers through Amazon. Amazon provides global opportunity, sets universal rules, and provides diversification opportunities for small businesses.

Opening Statements Against: Stacy Mitchell (03:51)

Author and Strategist, Mitchell states that Amazon captures 70% of online transactions in 15 of 23 major categories, forcing small businesses to sell on its platform. It has a history of copying products to sell for lower prices and retaliating against businesses that push back.

Opening Statements For: Mark Jamison (04:16)

American Enterprise Institute Economist states that Amazon is responsible for making it easier, faster, and cheaper for people to start a retail business. The company leads the way in creating opportunity and stimulates growth of diverse businesses.

Opening Statements Against: Rana Foroohar (04:16)

Global Business Columnist Foroohar states that Amazon offends the rules of normal capitalism, stops global economic growth, and is a surveillance capitalist. One entity with all the information disallows a free and fair market; monopolies must be regulated.

Amazon's Possession of Information (07:36)

Donvan summarizes opening statements. Chopra sees Amazon as a digital mall that will use information to build a better platform. Mitchell counters that Amazon can selectively pick areas for profit. Jamison discounts businesses that criticize Amazon. Foroohar considers the financial market.

Platform and Retailer (05:07)

Chopra claims Amazon's platform and business teams do not share information; proponents disagree. Panelists debate a "Wall Street Journal" study. Jamison compares activities to Google. Mitchell claims Amazon is funding loss leader strategies to control the market.

Opportunity and Capitalism (04:32)

Foroohar explains how new disruptive technology spreads growth; they lend themselves to becoming monopolies. Jamison argues that Amazon does not disrupt the rules of capitalism.

Amazon Monopoly (06:27)

Mitchell discusses Prime and states that Amazon's control forces small businesses to use its platform. Kunal cites percentage numbers and online diversification. Foroohar discusses the case of Hachette.

Is Amazon a Threat to Small Business? (04:52)

Donvan cites Mitchell's survey. Jamison argues that most of the survey participants do not use Amazon; its an offline vs. online competition. Mitchell and Kunal consider where small businesses would be without Amazon.

Closing Statements For: Chopra (02:17)

Amazon allows small businesses to access customers, represents global opportunity, sets universal rules, and provides the opportunity for diversification.

Closing Statements Against: Mitchell (02:00)

Amazon has outsized market power. Its business practices have led to the failure of some businesses. Small businesses represent the values of liberty and democracy.

Closing Statements For: Jamison (01:59)

Amazon is not for everyone, but businesses on the platform are hiring employees at a rate four times higher than those who are not. The number of regulations is destroying small businesses, not Amazon.

Closing Statements Against: Foroohar (01:30)

Amazon does great things as a platform and can do great things as a retailer but it should not be allowed to do both; Amazon needs to be regulated.

Debate Voting (01:44)

Donvan instructs the audience to vote, thanks participants, and explains how viewers can support Intelligence Squared.

Credits: Amazon Is Good for Small Business: A Debate (00:05)

Credits: Amazon Is Good for Small Business: A Debate

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Amazon Is Good for Small Business: A Debate

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Since its founding in 1994 as an online book dealer, Amazon has expanded to become the biggest internet-based company in the world. In 2020, its revenue exceeded $368 billion and its market capitalization surpassed $1 trillion. As the "everything store," Amazon sells countless products from millions of vendors. In 2021 alone, more than 1.9 million small and medium-sized businesses used the platform to sell their goods, accounting for some 60 percent of Amazon's retail sales. But is the tech giant ultimately good for them? Defenders of Amazon argue that the company opens up a truly global market to smaller retailers, enabling them to reach billions of consumers. It also offers massive logistics support, such as processing payments, storing inventory, and shipping goods. Critics of Amazon, however, argue that the company's immense market power makes it a gatekeeper between retailers and consumers, enabling it to charge hefty fees for prime placement and what some sellers complain are the costs of superfluous services. Critics also rail against Amazon’s use of its own private label brands that can be weaponized to undermine competitors. No one questions that the tech giant has changed how people shop in the 21st century, but how beneficial have these changes been? Is Amazon good for small business?

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: BVL278872

Copyright date: ©2022

Closed Captioned

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