Amazon Nixes Planned Fee for Sellers Who Ship Direct - Modern Distribution Management

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Amazon Nixes Planned Fee for Sellers Who Ship Direct

Amid an escalating antitrust investigation, the company appears to be more cautious about how much money it takes from online sellers.

Business news outlet Bloomberg reported that online retail giant Amazon has dropped its planned fee for merchants who don’t use its shipping services.

In August, the company announced that third-party sellers who ship their products to customers rather than using Amazon’s fulfillment service would face new fees from company. A notice from Amazon stated that the company would get 2% of every product sold by merchants who are members of its Seller Fulfilled Prime Program, or a minimum of $0.25 per item.

The fees were scheduled to begin Oct. 1. Amid an escalating antitrust investigation, however, the company appears to be more cautious about how much money it takes from online sellers.

“The levy was interpreted by Amazon merchants and consultants as a brazen move since the U.S. government is poised to file an antitrust lawsuit against the e-commerce giant,” Bloomberg reporter Spencer Soper wrote. “The federal case is expected to focus in part on Amazon’s alleged efforts to coerce merchants into using its logistics services.”

Amazon has been accused of having too much control over roughly two million merchants that use its platform, which captures almost 38% of all U.S. online spending.  It is expected that the Federal Trade Commission will file an antitrust case against Amazon this month, according to Bloomberg.

Amazon’s Sellers Fulfilled Prime program was launched eight years ago and allows merchants to display a Prime badge without using Amazon’s fulfillment service, “Fulfillment by Amazon.” Those sellers, however, must fulfill orders with one- and two-day delivery for no additional charge for Prime customers, who pay monthly fees for quicker shipping.

According to the Associated Press, Amazon suspended enrollment in the program a few years ago after it “wasn’t delivering the same high-quality experience customers expect from Prime.” Amazon said in June that it would reopen enrollment.

The company also recently announced that sellers can now choose to use Amazon’s re-launched ground shipping service for orders placed on, the seller’s website or other channels.

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