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500 Startups
Used at top MBA programs including
Stanford Graduate School of Business
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
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Summary
  • Over the past 6 months, Amazon has been on the receiving end of public criticism rooted in its marketplace business model.
  • A wave of media reports described products on its ecommerce platform that were counterfeit, expired, dangerous, defective, blacklisted by the US government, or manufactured in unsafe overseas factories.
  • Its private-label brands have also been a source of criticism, with claims they enjoy a privileged position on an uneven playing field.
  • In response, Amazon has undertaken a counter-campaign that includes plans to spend “billions” policing products on its ecommerce site.
  • For Amazon, it’s an existential moment where cracks are emerging in the model that helped its retail business get to its current scale.
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