Self-Preferencing at Amazon: Evidence from Search Rankings
8 Pages Posted:
Date Written: January 2023
We study whether Amazon engages in self-preferencing on its marketplace by favoring its own brands (e.g., Amazon Basics) in search. To address this question, we collect new micro-level consumer search data using a custom browser extension installed by a panel of study participants. Using this methodology, we observe search positions, search behavior, and product characteristics. We find that Amazon branded products are indeed ranked higher than observably similar products in consumer search results. The prominence given to Amazon brands is 30% to 60% of the prominence granted to sponsored products.
Keywords: self-preferencing, e-commerce, digital platforms, antitrust, vertical integration
JEL Classification: L13, L15, L81, D12, D83
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