[T]o make an analogy, what Amazon was asking for is the equivalent of making not only retailers and manufacturers [liable] for defective products, but also potentially the malls in which those stores are located, as well as the newspapers in which stores advertise their wares, the payment systems they use to take money, the decorator who helps arrange storefronts, or anyone else who ‘facilitates’ the commerce.
One might imagine this analogy is an exaggeration, and that not all these entities will be held liable. And that’s possible. You see, what’s powerful about the language Amazon recommended is that its meaning will have to be worked out by the courts, which is of course the point. The goal is to force anyone who might want to compete with Amazon to put themselves in legal jeopardy. Amazon essentially has imposed a lawyer tax on all its competitors and anyone who might consider selling to its competitors. […]
In other words, what started as a bill to make sure Amazon would be held liable for defective products it sold, essentially codifying a court case that already made that happen, has now turned into a legal weapon Amazon can use against its competitors, who have nothing remotely like the level of control over the stream of commerce that Amazon has, or the ability to deploy resources to organize it.
Matt Stoller on.
The point here is the way big companies interfere in public policy making. Amazon are definitely not the only culprits but they are very, very good at it.