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Wired has a story about hearings held by the US House of Representatives antitrust subcommittee in which the issue of "gating" by Amazon was addressed.

"Gating," the story explains, is what happens when a brand is able to limit who sells its products on an e-commerce platform. It was relevant in this case because of a unique trifecta that Wired suggests it has achieved: "Amazon is the only seller of Amazon private brands in the Amazon store." Which, the story says, could be a violation of antitrust law.

An excerpt:

"The House investigators asked a number of questions getting at the issue of gating, but Amazon’s answers were vague. Sometimes, as with a handful of big brands like Apple, it makes special deals 'to gain access to additional selection for customers.' Translation: gating is for brands with enough market clout and distribution control to threaten to take their business elsewhere. (In August, the Verge reported that the Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether the Apple arrangement itself violates antitrust laws.) In other cases, Amazon wrote, it will limit who can sell for 'reasons including safety, authenticity, and selection.' None of that explains why every one of the company’s roughly 158,000 (by its own estimate) private label products need to be gated."

You can read the entire story story
KC's View:
I guess it is a measure of the fact that I'm not an antitrust lawyer that I don't completely understand this. After all, you can only buy Kroger private label products at a Kroger-owned store … Albertsons private label products at an Albertsons-owned store … Walmart private label at a Walmart store … and so on.

Isn't that the point of private label? And isn't the very nature of retailing that stores curate, to one degree or another, the products they sell?