Two weeks ago, the House Judiciary Committee introduced a package of antitrust legislation which includes the possible breakup of Amazon. This groundbreaking package of Legislation has now left the Committee, and is now moving to the full house for consideration as of June 24th, and it is moving at a record pace!


Status Quo Is Not an Outcome Anymore

Whether this legislation passes or not (in whole or in part) and whether or not Amazon will ultimately be forced to break up, there is one thing that we believe is for certain: Status Quo is not an outcome in any scenario. The mere introduction of these bills, and the real threat that this, or any future, legislation now poses to Amazon’s market power, means that the way we do business online with Amazon will have to change; possibly for better, but as things stand now, and without our intervention, most likely for worse.


Who is Making the Decisions?

Without taking sides, one thing all of us in the third-party merchant community need to understand is that existential-level decisions that will impact the future of our livelihoods are [right] now being made by members of Congress, and it is crucial that you understand that these decisions are based largely upon input those members of Congress receive from outsiders (meaning not us) who


Control the Congressional Dialogue  

Those who control the congressional dialogue that is happening right now can be broken up in two main camps:

  1. Amazon and the tech lobby who want to continue to dominate with impunity- on the one side;

and on the other side

  1. Special Interest Lobbies (retail lobbies, social justice, anti-big business, etc.) none of whom really care about us, but are using our political platform to serve their own anti-Amazon agenda.


Who Doesn’t Have A True Say In The Dialogue Regarding Legislation that Could Forever Change Our Future?

We don’t, the Amazon Third-Party Merchant Community.


How to Take Control of Our Future.

Simply put, with Congress about to make key decisions that will have an existential impact on ALL of our livelihoods, WE must take control of the conversation, and own the congressional dialogue. Not just participate, but own the dialogue that will ultimately lead to how Congress shapes our future.


What Do We Need to Do?

To accomplish this goal, the Guild intends to pursue the following strategies through the largest fundraising effort we have ever attempted so that we can effectively:

  1. Engage a team of DC lobbyists who will ensure that all key members of Congress get the message and understand that we, the small eCommerce businesses – who vote for them and who collectively have the power to hold them accountable for their actions, are the key stakeholders with respect to this legislation and therefore are entitled to a say in how it is shaped; and
  2. Work with our lobbyists and public relations firms to develop a unified message among our members that will work in conjunction with our lobbying efforts, to ensure that when we or our members communicate directly with Congress, we are delivering one consistent, clear, unified and impactful message that will captivate Congressional attention and keep it pointed towards us.

By owning the dialogue, we can make sure Congress understands that we are the real stakeholders in this legislation, and unlike Amazon, there are hundreds of thousands of us, and again, we all have a vote! Amazon does not – that is our advantage. Controlling the congressional dialogue is not just possible, it’s probable, but only if we can truly unite our community around this key existential moment in our history, the outcome of which will impact all of us.

Seller Bill of Rights

The Guild believes an essential part of controlling the dialogue means that any legislation that is passed (and we do believe there is legislation that should be passed) must include a “Seller Bill of Rights”, developed in large part based on the input from our community. The purpose of this bill will be to ensure fairness and transparency for all who choose to make a living in eCommerce. This will be further developed over time, but the key here is that we believe a Seller Bill of Rights is a fundamental component of what we aim to accomplish through this effort.

Biggest Fundraising Effort Ever For the Guild

We have set an initial kick-off goal of $100,000, just to get started. But we are not naive. To do this right, we will likely need to raise much much more. We realize the size of this effort may seem staggering, but we are fighting against a company who spent nearly 20 million dollars on lobbying in 2020.

Please contribute to our kickoff fundraiser via the form below and help us build the financial war chest we need to take control of the narrative in DC.


Paul Rafelson
Executive Director, Online Merchants Guild