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Opinion
Shira Ovide

Amazon Advertising Is Just a Toll in Disguise

Like other tech superpowers, Amazon is able to extract more from the partners that rely on it because they don’t really have a choice.

Can sellers afford not to pay Amazon for promotion?

Can sellers afford not to pay Amazon for promotion?

Photographer: Bloomberg

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Investors are giddy about Amazon.com Inc.’s fast-growing pool of advertising sales, which largely come from merchandise sellers buying commercial messages to make their goods more prominent on Amazon’s website.

Calling this “advertising” is true, but also a misnomer that leads investors to imagine a Google-like marketing machine inside Amazon. It’s not – or not yet, at least.