Amazon now captures nearly $1 of every $2 that Americans spend online.
To think of Amazon as a retailer, though, is to profoundly misjudge the scope of what its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, has set out to do.
It’s not simply that Amazon does so much more than sell stuff—that it also produces hit television shows and movies; publishes books; designs digital devices; underwrites loans; delivers restaurant orders; sells a growing share of the Web’s advertising; manages the data of US intelligence agencies; operates the world’s largest streaming video-game platform; manufactures a growing array of products, from blouses to batteries; and is even venturing into health care.
Instead, it’s that Bezos has designed his company for a far more radical goal than merely dominating markets; he’s built Amazon to replace them. His vision is for Amazon to become the underlying infrastructure that commerce runs on.
Which leads to the question: Should the government break up Amazon to maintain a fair level of competition in the American marketplace?
Excerpted from thenation.com