New research reveals that up to 99% of public contracts going to Amazon are awarded without open competition.
Over €1.3 billion of European taxpayers’ money has flowed to Amazon over the past 3 years. A new report, entitled Easy Money – How Public Money Flows to Amazon Without Any Competition, reveals that only 1% were awarded through open and transparent competition procedures.
Governments and public institutions are paying the notorious tax-dodging corporation to supply goods and services. This includes a number of deals with Amazon Web Services (AWS), the highly lucrative cloud services arm of the corporation.
“We usually talk about companies ‘winning’ public tenders. There is no winning here, just gifting. Amazon’s sweetheart deals are an insult to people who work hard and pay their taxes. Not only is this notorious union-busting and tax-dodging corporation receiving vast sums of their money, but it is being shielded from even having to compete for it,” said Oliver Roethig, Regional Secretary of UNI Europa.
A majority of the contracts surveilled are going to the e-commerce retail side of Amazon. Self-preferencing of its own products and forcing third party sellers to buy its own bundled packages in order to access competitive visibility are among the anti-competitive practices rife on the e-commerce platform. The fact that public bodies are using Amazon.com without competition adds further weight to calls for a structural separation between Amazon the marketplace and Amazon the seller of goods and services.
“When Amazon cuts other employers out of the market through dodgy practices and expands its conflictual labour model, it is also an attack on workers. Amazon seeks to undercut its competitors by refusing to negotiate with workers’ unions. Europe must not allow a race to the bottom on people’s dignity and fundamental rights at work. It is time for regulators to clamp down on Amazon and enforce the European social model,” said Oliver Roethig.