Nearly four years later, in April, Amazon’s cloud-computing unit launched an artificial-intelligence product that does almost exactly what DefinedCrowd does, said DefinedCrowd founder and Chief Executive Daniela Braga.
The new offering from Amazon Web Services, called A2I, competes directly “with one of our bread-and-butter foundational products” that collects and labels data, said Ms. Braga. After seeing the A2I announcement, Ms. Braga limited the Amazon fund’s access to her company’s data and diluted its stake by 90% by raising more capital.
Ms. Braga is one of more than two dozen entrepreneurs, investors and deal advisers interviewed by The Wall Street Journal who said Amazon appeared to use the investment and deal-making process to help develop competing products.
In some cases, Amazon’s decision to launch a competing product devastated the business in which it invested. In other cases, it met with startups about potential takeovers, sought to understand how their technology works, then declined to invest and later introduced similar Amazon-branded products, according to some of the entrepreneurs and investors.
An Amazon spokesman said the company doesn’t use confidential information that companies share with it to build competing products.
Dealing with Amazon is often a double-edged sword for entrepreneurs. Amazon’s size and presence in many industries, including cloud-computing, electronic devices and logistics, can make it beneficial to work with. But revealing too much information could expose companies to competitive risks.
Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity shared an awkward moment Tuesday night. In the transition between the two primetime shows, Hannity appeared to take issue with Tucker’s scathing segment on Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos gaining $13 billion in one day.
“People can make money,” Hannity said. “They provide goods and services people want, need, and desire. That’s America. It’s called freedom, capitalism, and as long as it’s honest, right?”
Hannity later clarified that his soliloquy to Bezos’ billions was not aimed at Tucker, but was rather a defense of “honest capitalism.” Yet this begs the question: is Amazon “honest capitalism?”
The answer is no. Amazon operates multiple monopolies and unfairly stifles competition. It uses its incredible power to crush smaller companies and ensure they can never compete against the tech giant. It also censors conservatives and relies on Chinese child labor.
This is not the free market competition conservatives should support.
During the coronavirus epidemic, Amazon claimed it prioritized essential products on its various services. Unsurprisingly, the critical products Amazon prioritized happened to be Amazon’s own. Amazon products were advertised with faster delivery times while the quicker delivery times of third-party sellers were hidden. Bezos’ behemoth claims this was an honest mistake caused by its algorithms, but isn’t it funny this mistake benefited Amazon?