Amazon has scaled back its controversial practice of promoting its own products over the past few weeks, in which it gave preferential treatment to its own products in the form of high visibility, preferential search rankings, and alignment with the ‘buy box’ of competitors.
The e-commerce giant appears to have acted in response to hardening attitudes to Silicon Valley with Amazon seeking to forestall any further criticism by voluntarily retreating from some of its most aggressive sales techniques.
This follows a high-profile intervention by Senator Elizabeth Warren calling for the break up of big tech giants after accusing companies such as Amazon and Google of abusing their position of dominance to unfair advantage.
Previously searches for products falling into this category would display a banner of Amazon’s own wares under a ‘Top Rated from Our Brands’ tab at the top of results. Under the new regime, those placements have been pushed further down the page.
Another change sees Amazon remove many of its own ‘Similar Items to Consider’ links to plug its own products over rivals.
Amazon profits disproportionately from private label products created by itself or partners by expanding the range of exclusive products available while also earning higher profit margins.
Amazon's private label empire now extends to almost 140 brands.