Dec 16, 2021
On December 9, The Capitol Forum hosted a conference call with Stacy Mitchell, co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, to discuss the ILSR’s recent “Amazon Toll Road” report. The full transcript, which has been modified slightly for accuracy, can be found below.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining The Capitol Forum’s conference call to discuss the recent “Amazon Toll Road” report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
I’m Teddy Downey, Executive Editor here at The Capitol Forum. I’m joined today by Stacy Mitchell, Co-Director for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
A quick note before we get underway. After I ask Stacy a few questions, we’ll move into a Q&A format and take questions from the audience. If you have questions for us, please email them to email@example.com. And Stacy, thank you so much for doing this today.
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Oh, happy to. It’s nice to be here. Thank you.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: And maybe first you could just walk us through some of the key conclusions from your report “Amazon Toll Road”.
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah. Well, we found that Amazon is taking a bigger and bigger cut of the sales made by third-party sellers on its Marketplace. In 2014, through the various fees that Amazon charges, in 2014, it was taking about a 19 percent cut of every dollar that third-party sellers made on the site. Today, it’s up to 34 percent. So it’s been a pretty significant increase and we breakdown where that increase is coming from.
And we also find that revenue for Marketplace sellers is the biggest growing revenue source for Amazon. It has been growing faster than every other major segment of the company faster than AWS. And these fees are highly lucrative. In fact, we believe that the Marketplace is the biggest source of profits within Amazon, bigger even than AWS. That’s a fact that Amazon’s financial reports conceal. You can’t tell from its financial reports how profitable Marketplace is. But there is, as we detail in the report, a lot of reason to believe that it is a bigger source of profits than AWS.
So your bottom line here is that we really think that this is a monopoly tollbooth, that Amazon has incredible gatekeeper power, and it is using that power to extract rents from third-party sellers who have really very little in the way of viable alternatives for reaching the online market, except through Amazon.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: And in the report, you estimate profitability and fees. How did you do that?
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah, we looked at—we do an estimate of the overall—we project the revenue that they’re going to get for Marketplace sellers this year, relying primarily on information that Amazon itself discloses about revenue it gets from third-party seller services. We add in the money that sellers spend on advertising on the site sort of to bring those fees into the picture as well.
So we have an overall revenue number and we expect Amazon’s going to make $121 billion dollars from Marketplace sellers this year, which is huge. I mean, that’s bigger than Facebook’s revenue just to provide an example, bigger than most other companies, total revenue.
In terms of profitability, Amazon reports a combined profit total for Marketplace Prime and its own retail division. And so it effectively offsets profits from Marketplace with big losses from Prime and from its own retail sales. And so that combined figure is both the losses and the profits mixed together.
To try to untangle exactly how profitable Marketplace is, we relied on some work done by other analysts who have estimated that third-party sellers’ services have an operating profit margin of about 20 percent. And then we looked at the likely operating profit margin on advertising, based on margins of Google and other digital advertisers, and came up with an estimate of about $24 billion dollars in profit for Marketplace in 2020 last year. And Amazon reported about $13.5 dollars in profit from AWS.
This is a rough estimate, but there is a lot of reason to believe that Marketplace is a bigger source of profits than AWS, even if we can’t be more exact and precise than that. And the reason for that is that Marketplace generates twice the revenue of AWS. And for a large part of these fees, the basic commission fees, the referral fees, as well as the ad revenue that’s coming from sellers. Those are services that have like almost no marginal costs. It doesn’t cost anything additional to do another transaction for Amazon. So it’s really a lot of gravy. So I actually think that sort of 20 percent operating profit margin is probably pretty conservative.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: And what is Amazon’s response to this? Generally, they say that their sellers are happy and they have a good relationship with the sellers. This would suggest that that relationship is not so pleasant as Amazon might have us believe.
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting they haven’t disputed the profit numbers. They haven’t offered anything instead. They’ve been asked about that, including by the House Judiciary Committee, as part of the Big Tech investigation. They asked Amazon directly for information on the expenses and profits for Marketplace, and Amazon refused to provide that. So they haven’t responded in a particular way to that.
With regard to the report overall and just sort of the increase in how much Amazon is taking from sellers, the increase in these fees. Amazon has tried to suggest that sellers are buying additional services and that those services are optional and that they’re just choosing to buy additional services. So they’re spending more money with Amazon. And that has been their response.
But as we show in the report, there are really three primary types of fees that Amazon charges. One is the referral fees. Everyone pays those. Those are mandatory. And the other two big buckets are advertising and fulfillment, FBA, Fulfillment by Amazon, when you use Amazon to do your warehousing and shipping. And advertising and fulfillment are technically optional. But the reality is that if you don’t buy those services from Amazon, you end up not making any sales on the site. So they are effectively required.
The advertising piece in particular has been a major source of the growing fee revenue. And essentially, there what Amazon has done is they’ve converted a large, a growing, share of the real estate on the search results pages to advertising. And so sellers that used to be able to show up on those first or second page of search results, which is crucial, of course, used to be able to do so by having good ratings. And now what sellers find is that they have to buy ads in order to be there. And so it’s not a service. It’s not an additional service. It is racking up the toll basically to get in front of customers. It’s a new way to effectively increase the cost of making a sale on Amazon’s site with no actual benefit to sellers at all, but a lot of benefit to Amazon because that’s pretty much all gravy that’s coming from that ad revenue.
Fulfillment is similar in the sense that you really have to buy those services. If you don’t, you’re not eligible for Prime, which you’ve got to have that. Amazon used to have seller fulfilled Prime and you could meet the shipping obligations. As long as you could hit the one day or two-day obligation, you were free to use your own carrier. But Amazon has effectively eliminated that. And so now if you want to be eligible for Prime, if you want to have a chance of winning the buy box, you have to buy FBA. In that case, Amazon does have real costs associated with that shipping, but there’s a reason that 85 percent of sellers use FBA. Many of those sellers, or at least some of those sellers, I should say, would prefer to use UPS or prefer to use the Postal Service. For certain types of items, it’s cheaper to go through those other carriers. There are different reasons you might choose them. But that’s really not an option if you want to succeed on Amazon. And that’s how they’ve built this huge, massive shipping operation.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: And this comes at a sensitive time for Amazon. They have ongoing investigations at the FTC and internationally. They have litigation with the D.C. Attorney General. Do you see your report as providing additional evidence in any of these antitrust cases?
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the antitrust lawsuit that has been filed by the D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine is built in part on a report that we released last year on Amazon’s fees. This report, in some ways, updates the data in that earlier report and then adds new layers of analysis around profits. And so that case is based on the idea that Amazon is charging high seller fees and effectively blocking sellers from offering lower prices to consumers on other platforms where the fees are much lower. Amazon effectively prohibits sellers from doing that, and in that way prevents price competition. And so that’s the basis of the D.C. case, and as I said, was part of what we outlined in that earlier report. And then this new report adds more material and evidence and factual data to support that argument.
It is also, I think, important in terms of the legislation moving through Congress. A lot of what is driving the Big Tech bills that have been introduced in the House—and we’ve got a couple of pieces of that legislation now in the Senate, all bipartisan, a big part of what’s driving that—is that members of Congress recognize that Amazon is a gatekeeper and that it’s using that power in various ways to undermine competition and particularly to squeeze and undermine independent small businesses.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: And just to come back to this question, are you hearing a lot more from sellers that they’re having a harder time, that they’re paying higher fees, that are having a hard time making it? I mean, are those complaints increasing to sort of show some of the harm that’s going on here in terms of the independent sellers?
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, that’s what motivated us to do this research in the first place was hearing from the sellers that we work with and that help with our research. We did a survey a couple of years ago that found that by and large, independent businesses that were selling on Amazon were not successful. That they might be able to generate sales, but they couldn’t stay in the black. They were often losing money. And they cited the high fees as the reason for that. And so we were really motivated to do this.
And then we’ve seen with this report there are a lot of seller message boards, including within Amazon, within the sort of closed off section of Amazon that’s just for sellers, there are sellers talking about the findings of this report and really echoing its conclusions in their own experiences. And it’s worth just noting, I think, on that, because one of the questions I often get is if Marketplace is so profitable for Amazon, why would they kill the golden goose, right? Like, why would they
let these small businesses fail? And, in fact, most businesses that sell on Amazon end up failing. And the reason for that is there’s just a never-ending supply of people who are willing to try to make a go of it, of existing brick and mortar businesses that are like desperate to try to figure out how they reach their customers who are now online and who are now primarily or exclusively going to Amazon. There’s just no end to that.
And, in fact, a growing share of the sellers selling on the U.S. Marketplace are based in China or in other countries. And so it’s sort of like the warehouse workers. There’s just this constant churn. Like, most businesses don’t succeed, very few succeed. And usually then it’s fairly temporary. But there’s always like new sellers coming on. So Amazon never really runs out of them.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: It sounds a little bit like an MLM. Does Amazon at all try to recruit sellers? Or do they just come no matter what? Or is there a recruitment element? I mean, I’ve never looked into it, but it does sound a little bit like an MLM. The high level of churn is always replacing the sellers.
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah, exactly. I don’t believe that Amazon has any recruitment in the U.S. They certainly make a lot of PR efforts. They sort of talk about how great they are for small business. And you look at a lot of their ads in Washington, D.C. focused publications and the lobbying they do on Capitol Hill. A lot of that is, hey, look how great we are for small businesses. Look at these third-party sellers and so on. But I don’t believe they do any recruiting in the U.S.
Where they do a lot of recruiting is in China. And that was something that they deliberately set out to do back around 2015, 2016, in there. They got an ocean-going shipping license. And they started holding forums and conferences and having really extensive outreach to factories and producers in China and set up a direct distribution connection. So you, as a seller in China, you can sign onto an FBA and Amazon will take your stuff at your doorstep and it goes right into the distribution system for the U.S. market.
And so, in a way, I think you can think about Marketplace as essentially a way to supply your retail business without actually having to buy goods or take on any sort of risk. And you can go direct to the source of a lot of manufacturer of goods. So it’s not necessarily really about—it’s not about like sort of legitimate small businesses in the U.S. succeeding. It’s really how do we create a pipeline of goods that limits our risks and maximizes our profit? And that’s what they’ve figured out how to do.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: And you mentioned inflation. There’s an inflationary pressure from how Amazon requires it have the lowest price. Can you talk a little bit about that? Inflation is a big topic
right now, and I’m wondering if Amazon is still benefiting from the perception that they have low prices or if that perception is starting to change.
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah, they have something called a fair pricing policy, quote unquote. And what it says is that if their bots go out as a text that you as a seller are offering a lower price for your product on another platform, they will penalize you and take away the buy box or make it difficult in the search results or even potentially delist your product entirely for doing that. And they say, oh, well, we just want to make sure that we’re serving our customers well. But what it effectively means is that the obvious way in which the market could address the problem of Amazon’s exorbitant fees, that other platforms offer lower fees, and, in fact, many do, sellers would sell there. They would price their products lower. That would help to attract shoppers to those other platforms. And that would then put downward pressure on prices, including Amazon’s fees. But that mechanism has been short circuited by this policy.
So if you’re a seller and you’re struggling under the weight of these fees and you raise your prices, you have to do so across the board. You have to raise your prices on Amazon and on every other platform you sell on, and many sellers also on their own websites will do that. And so there is good reason to believe that Amazon’s huge fees are, in fact, inflating prices across the web. Because within that, Amazon still appears to be competitive, even though it’s the source of those of those high prices.
I think one of the other things that I really realized in doing this research, which you might want to talk a little bit about, is kind of the role of Amazon’s first party retail sales. Why do they have their own retail division if Marketplace is so profitable? And part of that has to do with how they compete against and it sort of holds at bay Wal-Mart and these other big retailers. And so that’s a different part of their pricing structure that we might want to talk about.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: Yeah, can you go into that? So you talked a lot about how this strategy is part of a broader monopolization strategy. I’m very interested to hear how the first party retail sales figures into Wal-Mart and also how this strategy fits into a larger monopolization strategy.
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah, and there’s two components of it that we sort of unpack in this report. One is that, as many people have noted for many years, Amazon loses a ton of money on Prime, billions and billions of dollars. And you could say that this is a sort of predatory pricing strategy in the sense that you create something that is very attractive. For $119 a year, you get free shipping. You get the free streaming video. There’s a bunch of other perks. And once someone signs up for Prime, there is this natural tendency, because you’ve paid out that $119, you sort of want to maximize the value that you get back. And so there’s a tendency to want to choose Amazon more often because that means you get more free shipping. You get more value from that money
that you’ve spent. And so research shows that when people sign up for Prime, they tend to default to using Amazon as their first, and often only, place that they shop online. So it’s a way of locking in the market. And in order to do that, Amazon has to lose a lot of money on Prime. They have to offer it at a price that is far below their own cost. Seller fees are how they pay for those losses. So you lock in the market. And now you’re a gatekeeper and you jack up the price for businesses that need to get through that gate is essentially how that works.
The other piece of this is about Amazon’s own retail division, the first party retail sales. And that figure is in here significantly as well. Because the other way that I think Amazon has maintained its market share in online retail and also really held at bay competition from other big retailers like Wal-Mart, for example, is that they have their own first party retail sales. What Amazon does is it sells household staples. I mean, if you look on Amazon and you look for things like laundry detergent, batteries, diapers, bestselling books, things that you’re likely to find on the shelves of a brick-and-mortar business in your community, on the shelves of a Wal-Mart, on the shelves of a bookstore, those items are almost entirely sold by Amazon itself and not by third-party sellers.
Amazon needs to price competitive on those items. It needs to meet Wal-Mart’s very low prices. And so the way that it ensures that it does that is by selling those items itself. But the only way it can do that and meet those prices and deliver that stuff to your front door and engage in that huge expansion that it’s engaged in in terms of building out its logistics is by effectively subsidizing its retail division using third-party seller fees.
So the whole cost of operating Amazon, all of its expenses for warehousing transactions, customer transactions, customer service, all of its shipping costs, if you add all of that up, what you find is that Prime members pay for about a quarter of that, and third-party sellers pay for about three quarters of that. And so in effect, third-party sellers are not only paying the cost of their own sales, they’re also paying all of the expenses associated with Amazon’s first party sales. And that’s what enables Amazon to keep other big retailers at bay and really maintain its very durable market position.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: Well, not only are they paying for those, but they’re also paying for the profit. I mean, the profit is coming from them too. So it’s beyond that, isn’t it?
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah, exactly. I mean, you can think about Amazon—we often talk about Amazon as like this idea that they’re a low margin retailer with a high margin cloud business attached, right? That’s the common perception of what Amazon is. But in reality, what it is, is these two tollbooths, these two toll roads, if you will, this monopoly infrastructure, the online platform, shopping platform, and AWS. And those two parts of its business gush money. Especially Marketplace gushes money, and it’s highly profitable money. And Amazon uses those two sources
of cash flow not only to show profits, but also to engage in a lot of predatory loss leading across a number of different sectors and to fund just extraordinary expansion. Amazon spent $50 billion on CapEx last year, double what Google spent. I mean, it’s just huge. And that is entirely financed really by these two toll roads and especially by Marketplace sellers.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: And you have a recommended solution to break up Amazon into separate parts. Walk us through that solution. Are you getting any traction with what you’re calling for?
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah, I mean, the more sort of studying Amazon, a lot of the abuses that go on, the well-documented ways in which Amazon abuses Marketplace sellers, steals their data, takes their money, a lot of the kinds of stuff that’s been documented in investigative reporting as well as by Congress and elsewhere, you really live with the integration of these different parts of Amazon. That’s really the source of it. It’s Amazon’s ability to leverage power in one area to gain power in another. It’s Amazon’s ability to extract profits from third-party sellers to fund loss leading in other parts of its business and so on.
And so if we really want to get to the root of this, I think the solution is to split up, is to focus on resolving that integration by splitting Amazon into several standalone companies. And Marketplace is a standalone company. So you would have a neutral third-party marketplace where you didn’t have the same underlying incentive that Amazon currently has to favor its own products or to take data from sellers and copy their products and so on.
You’d have Amazon retail. So you’d have a new sort of target, if you will, a new large retailer on the scene. You have Amazon’s logistics, which would be a new competitor to UPS and FedEx. And there again, the problem that we have right now is that Amazon is using its power over Marketplace sellers to compel them to use its logistics. And it has built a shipping business that by next year will be delivering more packages than the Postal Service. I mean, it’s just huge. I think they should have to compete in logistics on their own two feet and not by leveraging market power somewhere else.
So, Marketplace, retail, logistics and AWS as standalone companies. And that would create a market structure or a business structure that would resolve much of the underlying incentives to self-deal, to monopolize and the ability to do those things and make the work of regulating these dominant platform pieces not nearly the lift that it will be if we try to just regulate Amazon’s Marketplace in the absence of actually removing those underlying incentives and abilities to favor its own interests.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: So it seems that it would be more than just the independent sellers interested in breaking up Amazon. Are there any businesses that are in agreement with you that this would create more fair competition for them, even big businesses potentially? You mentioned FedEx, the Postal Service, UPS, Wal-Mart. I mean, it seems like all these big players would be interested in bringing up Amazon. Is there a coalition that’s kind of getting behind this idea? Or do you feel like it’s more of a lonely effort stuff?
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah, there is a lot of business support, both small and large business support, for breaking up and reforming Amazon. We have launched, together with about almost 30 small business organizations, have launched a coalition called Small Business Rising. That is small businesses across a huge range of sectors that are concerned about Amazon’s market power and just concerned about monopoly issues broadly, dealing with different kinds of market power problems and the failures of antitrust and really want to see reform. So you see a lot of small businesses that have joined that and that are outspoken on this issue.
The challenge with third-party sellers, and with some of the bigger businesses, is with third-party sellers and most of the brands that we talked to who are also really manufacturers who are really negatively impacted by Amazon, is that they fear retaliation if they speak out publicly. Amazon has just a long track record of aggressively retaliating against businesses that push back. And so to the extent that those companies are doing that, they’re doing it behind closed doors. And I think that there are those conversations that are going on in D.C. And I think and hope that lawmakers are hearing from larger companies as well as small businesses.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: I want to talk about what a monopolization case could look like. I mean, you already have the D.C. Attorney General case. Can you talk a little bit about how Prime would fit into a monopolization case? You mentioned that they lose a lot of money on Prime and then recoup the money. Or they make a lot of profit off the third-party seller fees. But if you’re thinking about a monopolization case, how do these pieces come together? And how do you think about Prime in terms of a factor in their broader monopolization strategy.
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah. I mean, I am a researcher who studies the economy and who studies industries and uses the tools of journalism and data analysis to do that, I’m not an attorney. So with that in mind, I think that the things that you see here, you see Amazon in a number of ways engaging in forms of predatory pricing. We know the challenges given workgroup and so on approach bringing cases on that issue.
Another thing we see is Amazon controlling essential infrastructure actively and using its control over that infrastructure to gain power in adjacent markets or to report money from business users that rely on that infrastructure.
So I think those are the sort of key pieces of its monopoly strategy. Because of the ways that courts have ruled on antitrust cases, those are somewhat challenging to get at. But I think we’re beginning to see enforcers developing and looking at ways of getting at Amazon. I mean, we talked about the case in D.C., which is squarely within the consumer welfare framework, but goes really directly at this issue of how Amazon uses its power as a gatekeeper and how it influences or structures pricing across the web to maintain its monopoly power. I think that that’s clearly a case that’s very viable in the current way of looking at things.
But we’ve focused a lot of our advocacy on Congress and the FTC. Because I think at the end of the day, cases are long. And I certainly think they should be brought. And I’d like to see—we understand that there are investigations going on in different places in Amazon. And I hope that there are cases brought, but that’s a long road with an uncertain outcome. And I do think Congress, given how far off track antitrust has gone, in my view, and the fact that you’ve got these tech companies who’ve taken advantage of that and now kind of sit in these very powerful positions that are not easy to dismantle from the point of view of a court case. I do think there’s really a role for Congress in terms of stepping in and dealing with these problems head on.
And I guess I would finally just say the urgency around this is significant. I mean, Amazon is a monopoly power in general, but Amazon in particular is like basically the number one threat facing many entrepreneurs in many different industries. We are really seeing a collapse of small and independent businesses, both in manufacturing and in retail and in other sectors because of Amazon’s power. And the effects on innovation, on local economies, on communities, on democracy are pretty significant.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: In terms of getting Republicans onboard for this type of legislation or legislative remedies, we’ve seen Republicans concerned about Facebook and Google and censorship of conservative voices. And obviously, Congressmen Buck went further and saw broader monopoly harms from tech platforms. But are you getting the sense that when it comes to Amazon that there is bipartisan support for legislation? It’s less clear from outside observers that there is a path to getting a bipartisan bill done on Amazon. I’m wondering what kind of feedback you get when you lobby Congress.
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah, we’ve gotten, we’ve certainly had, I think, good reception from many Republican offices. The House bills and the bills that are now in the Senate all have four Republican co-sponsors. Klobuchar and Grassley have sponsored legislation to deal with different kinds of behavior from dominant platforms. There are quite a number of co-sponsors that have signed onto that, equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans.
So there is real traction on this. And I think the voices of businesses are driving a lot of that. I mean, Congressman Ken Buck has talked about he’s part of the Antitrust Subcommittee and has really been a ranking member there in the House and has been a leader on this. And he talks about the hearing that the subcommittee did in his district in Colorado, in which a number of businesses testified, as being a real turning point for him and really understanding the depth of this issue and what needed to happen. And we see that too. That when members of the Senate and House hear from small businesses and kind of understand the implications of this kind of market power, it’s very motivating. And so I think that that’s really driving conservative support. And frankly, breakup is a very market-oriented kind of solution because it’s not a heavy regulatory hand. It’s basically saying we need to do some restructuring here in a way that will allow competition and the market to do the work of creating a fair and competitive playing field.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: Yeah, it’s hands off for everyone else, but not for Amazon. I think last question, just to stay on Congress for a second. You’ve got a lot of political hot button things going on here. You’ve got small businesses. You’ve got inflation. You’ve got bipartisan support. Is this really the type of legislation that could get done even in an election year, given that there’s all this kind of political urgency in some respects?
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Yeah. that’s obviously the big question. I think so. I think that this is a pressing issue that we’ve seen momentum on it. I think there’s wide public support. The polling shows that people, as much as they like to use Amazon or Google, that they also believe that these companies have too much power and that they need to be regulated. I mean, that’s widely believed among both Democratic and Republican voters.
And there is a lot of reason to believe that breaking up and regulating these companies would have huge benefits for the economy and for local communities. And so in that sense, and the bipartisan nature of it, it is the kind of issue that I do think could break through, even in an election year. But the next six months are really crucial.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: And the last question, what do you think will be the reaction of third-party sellers and the business community if the FTC does bring a monopolization case, as I think is pretty widely expected?
MS. STACY MITCHELL: I think there will be a lot of enthusiasm for that among small businesses and third-party sellers. Amazon has been trying to scare sellers and sort of threatening them. Like they’re taking them hostage and are now threatening to shoot them by saying, oh, well if this if this happens, we’ll just shut down Marketplace. Well, I mean, our report really kind of calls that bluff. Because this is not only the most lucrative part of Amazon, but it is the revenue source that enables
most everything else that Amazon does. I mean, they would sooner shut down any other part of their business than this.
So yeah, I think there’d be a lot of enthusiasm. We certainly saw with the House Judiciary Committee’s investigation that there were lots of sellers and independent businesses who were reaching out and sending information and perspective to the committee. And so in that sense, I think we would see something similar with the monopolization case. And we’ve also seen at the FTC under Chair Khan has been doing these open meetings where the public has been able to comment. And there are quite a few independent businesses that have commented about various monopoly issues, including Amazon, as part of that.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: And the last question I have for you in terms of Amazon, internationally, Amazon’s monopoly strategies are not quite as mature or as advanced in other countries. Do you get any interest from other countries that are earlier in the process of Amazon’s kind of monopolization strategy looking at this and not wanting to end up in the same place as the U.S. is, trying to cut things off before Amazon is able to successfully raise the third-party fees the way that they are in the U.S. Do you get any feedback, reaction, interaction with the international community on Amazon?
MS. STACY MITCHELL: We have certainly had a lot of international response to this report, particularly in Europe, Germany, France, the U.K., from academics, researchers, people involved in competition policy in those countries. Yeah, I certainly think that conversation is ongoing and we hear from some of those people.
MR. TEDDY DOWNEY: Well, I’m out of questions and I don’t have any from the audience. So thank you so much. I mean, we covered a lot of ground. It’s a really interesting paper. I haven’t seen anyone do the type of estimates that you all are doing over there. And it’s going to be a very exciting time over the next few months and next year to look at legislation and law enforcement in this area. So I really can’t thank you enough for sharing it with our audience.
MS. STACY MITCHELL: Thanks so much. Really nice to be with you. And thanks so much for the conversation today.