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Domination Game

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It's a well-trod story that the rise of Amazon.com has been a major factor in the continued demise of brick-and-mortar stores. But The Amazon Economy, a new series and e-book written by Financial Times correspondent Barney Jopson, reveals additional eye-opening reasons why Amazon's continued expansion into nearly every sector of retail and commerce should be of concern to consumers, retailers and those who worry about the consequences of one corporation being allowed such a wide-reaching economic grip.

Amazon's economic influence has lifted beyond Apple, Google and Facebook, and entered the realm of network businesses such as stock exchanges, power grid operators, credit card processors and shipping lines, says Jopson. This means that even those who avoid buying clothing, tools, groceries and the thousands of other products available on Amazon might still be supporting the company when they utilize Spotify, Netflix and Dropbox, all companies that pay to use Amazon's cloud-computing service.

A recent agreement to pay sales taxes in California will allow Amazon to open more warehouses in more localities, cutting delivery time to same-day and further undercutting the ability of brick-and-mortar stores to compete. Amazon has even been known to undercut the retailers that use their website for e-commerce. When Amazon notices a product "flying off the shelves," it will start selling the same product for cheaper from its own inventory, according to Jopson. It's all in a day's work for the largest online retailer and distributor, and one that looks more and more like a monopoly everyday. And, yes, The Amazon Economy is available on Amazon for the low price of $2.99.

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