Amazon is accused of featuring its private label products above those of branded goods.  People are upset.  What’s the problem?  Retailers do this all of the time, particularly in grocery stores.  It’s a margin play, and it is perfectly acceptable.  However, maybe it isn’t online. The rules might be different with a mammoth business that dwarfs all but Walmart.  The regulatory and consumer worlds are still trying to figure out online shopping — what is allowed and what isn’t.  Sooner or later, there will be rules for online vendors to follow.  Right now, there are few, and reputations hang in the balance of accusations whether justified or not.  Amazon only has to fear a perception that it is pulling one over consumers with cheaper, lower quality goods.  It has a defense if its private-label products are as good as or better than competitors.  Maybe that’ s the PR strategy it should follow.

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