business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email from MNB reader Rebecka Rivers:

As always, enjoy your callouts and challenges that you present daily in MNB.

Regarding your snippet on change today, I tend to enjoy the challenges that come from change. Despite my love for challenges I have to confess that I have not yet jumped on the Amazon bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, I think they have made some important advancements to retail that will stand long after they do. I think my apathy is more due to always having a well-stocked pantry, so I never “need” something so badly that it can’t wait for the next shopping trip. Those days passed when we accomplished potty training! LOL. I also tend to like getting out of the house to shop, getting that time to pamper myself at a favorite shop is important to my overall mental health-!

I did want to challenge you to think about (and hopefully, discuss) the one thing that could cause significant change at Amazon: a ruling that they are a monopoly.
I think as they gather more and more retail under their umbrella, it seems that this sort of challenge is just a matter of time. What would that look like, what would the consequences be to the industry? I would welcome your views on this…maybe even further: what constitutes a monopoly online? Does anyone even know?
Hope you can find time to bring this up, or find someone to talk to it—no one thought AT&T would ever be broken up, either. On the other hand, the courts seem to have a huge blind spot to considering online business “competition” in the marketplace. Something to consider.

I'm happy to throw it out there, but I cannot even imagine circumstances under which Amazon could be declared a monopoly. A monopoly on what, exactly? It isn't like they're lacking for competition...

Plus, my argument all along is that competition can't be thought of vertically. It isn't like Amazon can only be thought of within the e-commerce silo ... competition is so much broader these days, and the regulators ought to see it that way.

By the way, I like to get out of the house, too. It is good for my mental health. But if I can find the time to go for a run or a bike ride, or go to a movie or museum, or just go for a walk with Mrs. Content Guy, because I did some of my shopping online rather than go to the store ... well, I think that's a pretty good trade off.

Regarding Starbucks' decision to relax its barista dress code, one MNB user wrote:

So now customers can be “informed” about important issues by a barista with green hair, bull nose ring, plug lobes in their ears, plaid shirt and a green apron. Yeah, that sounds about right.

Wow. Did it take you long to achieve that level of tolerance? Or does it just come naturally?

Responding to Michael Sansolo's column yesterday about opera companies struggling to be relevant in the modern world, MNB reader Peter Talbott wrote:

This reminds me of the baseball teams (including the Yankees) that instituted a 5 year ban on radio broadcasts in the 1930s because they believed it reduced game attendance.  That theory was disproven.  Maybe the issue isn’t the channel but that the product hasn’t evolved.  All it takes is one “Hamilton” to breathe new life into an existing business.

And, about the passing of actress/singer Marni Nixon, noted here yesterday, MNB reader Mary Schroeder wrote:

I know every song from Mary Poppins as a result of the Marni Nixon-Disney album and a case of some childhood disease.  A little piece of my childhood disappeared today.
I think I’ll go feed the birds…

KC's View: