Amazon and its lobbyists say passing Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s Big Tech bill would end Prime, or at the very least, significantly harm the service. This is such an absurd and hopeless lie.

What the bill actually does is force Amazon to compete in a way that will benefit consumers and small businesses. The US Online Innovation and Choice Act, which is expected to pass the Senate in the coming weeks, prohibits self-preference. This prevents Amazon, Google, and other tech giants from giving their own goods and services advantages — like better billing in search results — ahead of other companies’ objectively better offerings.

The bill is simple, bipartisan, hugely popular with voters, and a good first step toward mastering Big Tech.

It’s also good for Prime members and the many small businesses that need to sell on Amazon’s site. Indeed, under the bill, Amazon would actually have to compete to handle package delivery for these companies and their Prime customers.

Currently, Amazon forces its captive base of sellers to use its own shipping and storage services. If sellers don’t, their items aren’t eligible for Prime, which means their sales drop. Many of these businesses would prefer to use another shipper – like UPS or the US Postal Service – because it would be cheaper or better for their items. But they’re stuck with Amazon fulfillment, even as Amazon keeps increasing the fees it charges them.

Klobuchar’s bill would change that. If it passes, Amazon won’t be able to monopolize shipping for third-party sellers, who make up about half of the items sold on the site. Sellers will be able to choose any shipper who can meet the delivery time.

Amazon says this would lead to late packages and “degradation of the Prime experience”. It’s so absurd – like an absurd laugh. Here’s why:

First, UPS, FedEx, and the Postal Service all have on-time delivery rates exactly in line with Amazon’s. In fact, until very recently, Amazon relied on these other carriers for Prime deliveries. Yet all of a sudden, Amazon is now eagerly claiming that the companies that made Prime what it is are no longer able to deliver within one or two days. It’s not true.

What is true is that until 2019 Amazon had something called Seller Fulfilled Prime. Sellers who consistently met Prime delivery times using alternate shippers earned the Prime label on their items. It worked very well.

But in 2019, Amazon decided to shut down SFP. This intimidated sellers into using Amazon’s own shipping service instead. More than 84% of the top 10,000 sellers on Amazon’s site now use its fulfillment services. They do not have the choice. As a result, Amazon’s market share in shipping has overtaken FedEx and will soon overtake UPS and the Postal Service as the largest package shipper in the United States.

Nothing has changed at UPS or the Post Office. What has changed is that Amazon has decided to take over the parcel delivery market. Because Amazon doesn’t have to compete, it can increase storage and shipping costs at will. It’s bad for small businesses that have to sell on Amazon. It’s bad for Prime members who pay higher prices.

Do you know who else is being harmed in Amazon’s game for mainland logistics dominance? Warehouse workers and delivery drivers. Amazon’s warehouse and delivery jobs are notoriously punitive, but these dangerous jobs have spread like wildfire because of Amazon’s monopoly system. Meanwhile, competing companies such as UPS and the Postal Service employ a unionized workforce with better wages and benefits and safer working conditions.

Klobuchar has brought together a dozen bipartisan co-sponsors of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act to stop Amazon and other tech giants from this kind of self-preference and market manipulation, including Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; Cory Booker DN.J. ; Josh Hawley, R-Mo. ; and Mark Warner, D-Va. It’s rare to witness this level of consensus in Washington, and it bodes well for Bill, small businesses and third-party sellers on Amazon, and Amazon shoppers.

While the legislation might seem like the end of something for Amazon, it’s not. This is not the end of Prime or even the “Prime experience”.

This could be the end of some of the most naked monopolistic tactics used by Big Tech.

Stacy Mitchell is co-executive director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. This column first appeared in the Missouri Independent.