A picture shows the Amazon logo at the entrance area of the Amazon logistics centre in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, on March 4, 2019. (Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP) (Photo credit should read DENIS CHARLET/AFP/Getty Images)

Amazon just made online shopping slightly more competitive. A Reuterssource has learned that the internet heavyweight has stopped telling third-party sellers that they’re forbidden from offering lower prices at rival sites.

The insider didn’t explain why Amazon made the move, and Amazon declined to comment on the decision. However, it follows political inquiries that might have put pressure on the company to take action.

Senator Richard Blumenthal wrote to the FTC Commission Chairman in December arguing that Amazon’s policy could “stifle” competition and “artificially inflate prices” for shoppers. While it’s not certain that the FTC intended to investigate, Amazon’s relaxed approach could address potential criticism by allowing sellers more flexibility in where and how they pitch their goods — and, of course, lower prices for customers in the process.

[Read more]