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Is Amazon Becoming A Monopoly?

Amazon is accepting proposals for its second headquarters location.
Richard Drew/AP

Amazon has come a long way from just being an online bookstore. The company now infiltrates several aspects of our daily lives. There's Alexa, Amazon’s artificial intelligence assistant, who has become part of many families' homes. Whole Foods shoppers became part of the Amazon family when the company bought the grocery store chain last year. Millions indulge in retail therapy by checking out items in their shopping carts, and relax at night with Amazon Prime entertainment. 

As of late, the internet giant is trying to take over the pharmaceutical market and continue to employ their own delivery services, which may make FedEx and UPS obsolete along with former booksellers like Borders.

As Amazon moves to become our source for everything, should consumers be wary? Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn thinks so. She joined Boston Public Radio Tuesday to talk about the history of companies overexpanding their reach and what impact  Amazon has in the business world and on consumers.

“I'm a little dizzy by how fast a lot of this in the last five years has transpired,” said Koehn about Amazon’s meteoric rise. “It’s a big deal and it commands both our awe and fear.”

Koehn referenced Standard Oil, Microsoft and AT&T as examples of other companies who reached a monopolistic-like dominance over their respected fields. Koehn said that these companies and other ones like them negatively impact main street, marketplace sellers and decrease jobs. She sees Amazon doing the same.

“Culturally, economically, socially, we are talking a big footprint and lots of consequences,” said Koehn.


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