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Amazon has more revenue than Facebook, Google and Twitter put together, but
it has largely escaped sustained examination. That is beginning to change,
and one significant reason is Ms. Khan.

Amazon has so much data on so many customers, it is so willing to forgo
profits, it is so aggressive and has so many advantages from its shipping
and warehouse infrastructure that it exerts an influence much broader than
its market share. It resembles the all-powerful railroads of the
Progressive Era, Ms. Khan wrote: “The thousands of retailers and
independent businesses that must ride Amazon’s rails to reach market are
increasingly dependent on their biggest competitor.”

Ida Tarbell, the journalist whose investigation of Standard Oil helped
bring about its breakup, wrote this about John D. Rockefeller
<http://www.reformation.org/mcclure-rockefeller.html> in 1905:

“It takes time to crush men who are pursuing legitimate trade. But one of
Mr. Rockefeller’s most impressive characteristics is patience. … He was
like a general who, besieging a city surrounded by fortified hills, views
from a balloon the whole great field, and sees how, this point taken, that
must fall; this hill reached, that fort is commanded. And nothing was too
small: the corner grocery in Browntown, the humble refining still on Oil
Creek, the shortest private pipeline. Nothing, for little things grow.”

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