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Amazon vows to continue dropping "states who pass those affiliate laws"

Taxes have become a major issue for Amazon in many U.S. states, but the online retail giant isn't afraid to turn its back on those pressuring it to collect. 

A few years back, Amazon filed a lawsuit against the state of New York because NY tried to collect taxes from out-of-state transactions through Amazon. More recently, Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs charged Amazon $269 million in unpaid sales taxes on online sales. This led to Amazon's decision to close a distribution center and cancel further plans to expand operations in the state.  

While certain states are going after Amazon mainly due to the fact that the retailer's affiliates operate within these states, and because they need a way to offset huge budget deficits, they're not the only ones who have a bone to pick with Amazon. Brick-and-mortar competitors like Best Buy and Sears also want to see the retail giant collect taxes because they see Amazon as having an unfair advantage. 

Amazon is cutting loose from more U.S. states that continuously pressure the retailer to collect taxes. For instance, Illinois just passed a new law that requires online retailers to collect taxes if they have affiliates in the state. Amazon's answer to that is to cancel affiliate programs in the state of Illinois. 

In addition, both Texas and California are considering bills that would tax online sales. Amazon made it clear that it will simply continue to drop affiliates in U.S. states if the states continue down this path. 

"We will continue to drop states who pass those affiliate laws, from the affiliate program," said Chief Executive Jeff Bezos. "In the U.S., the constitution prohibits states from interfering in interstate commerce. The sales tax collection is very complicated. The right place to fix this is with federal legislation." 

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By Solandri on 5/12/2011 1:20:08 PM , Rating: 2
I go home find it on Amazon for 1/4 the price of Best Buy. With shipping, damn right I'm buying from Amazon! Best Buy needs to get in on the cheaper pricing or face the problems they get for not doing it.

The problem is that maintaining a brick and mortar store manned by employees (instead of servers running a website) costs a lot more, thus necessitating the price at Best Buy is higher.

Really though, I think this is just pointing out that brick and mortar stores are a poor place to buy commodity items - stuff you don't need to look at before you buy. They carry them so they can rip off the desperate guy who needs that cable or connector right now, and can't wait 1-3 days for shipping.

Where brick and mortar stores shine is if you need to look at and try out an item before you buy it. e.g. How does that laptop's keyboard feel? Unfortunately a lot of people go to the brick and mortar store to do this, then go home and buy online. I still haven't seen a good solution to this.

By joex444 on 5/12/2011 2:57:25 PM , Rating: 1
Right, suggesting an item costs more at a physical store because of employees just showcases the ridiculousness of physical stores. Employees! What crazy absurd things, who needs those? (Seriously, the only thing I talk to an employee for is in the form of "Where the fuck is [item X]?" which on Amazon is replaced by a search box that is more likely to be correct.)

We've also neglected the fact that you don't need to drive to an online store and can shop a fuck ton faster than at a physical store. If you don't mind getting said items in a few days anyway. Really, if you need something now it's because something broke, you suck at planning or you're going to eat it. In that respect, hardware stores (you know, like pipes, tools and things) and food stores are the only real stores worth having. Otherwise if your business model is to sell things for more than you paid you can be replaced with a computer and a box guy.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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