Etsy CEO Josh Silverman called California consumer protection bill AB 3262 a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and he accused Amazon of lobbying and “working back channels” to make the legislation burdensome for its rivals.
“Amazon is taking bold steps to wipe out its competitors by promoting complex, hard-to-comply-with legislation that only they can afford to absorb,” Silverman wrote in a post on the Etsy blog today.
AB 3262 was designed to hold Amazon accountable for offering “cheap and dangerous products that are mass-produced in other countries” on its site, but Amazon quietly signed up in support of the bill, he wrote.
“Why would Amazon sign up to support a bill that is supposedly Anti-Amazon? It’s simple. With Amazon’s lobbying, AB 3262 has become an increasingly complicated piece of legislation that is going to be expensive for any small or mid-sized business to try to comply with. Amazon is betting on that. While AB 3262 will be an inconvenience to the ecommerce behemoth, it could be crushing to smaller ecommerce players.”
“Amazon’s goal is to be the only place to buy stuff online, hobbling mom-and-pops that sell unique items in their own shops, or more frequently since COVID, through marketplaces like Etsy,” Silverman said.
He continued, “If we allow Amazon to assign a marketplace like Etsy the same liabilities as a manufacturer or a traditional retailer, the costs of opening a shop on Etsy (or on any small to mid-sized marketplace) would increase dramatically, making that economic opportunity far less accessible to many Californians.”
You can find the full post on the Etsy Blog.