Amazon is selling a pair of shoes that strongly resembles Allbirds for half the price of the original brand.

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Amazon's 206 Collective Men's Galen Wool Blend sneakers are currently retailing on the site for US$45 ($71).

This is less than half the US$95 ($150) that Allbirds usually sell for.


Allbirds were co-founded by former All White Tim Brown and grew quickly into a billion-dollar company.

The Herald has approached both Allbirds for comment on the issue.

This is not the first time Amazon has been accused of creating a knock-off of a popular brand and sold it for a reduced price.

As far back as 2016, Bloomberg reported on how the tech company replicated a popular laptop stand and sold it for less than the original, which was made by a company called Rain Design.

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Amazon has access to enormous data on which products are popular and can quickly turn around its own versions to be sold at lower prices via its AmazonBasics offering.

When companies sell their products on Amazon, the online retail giant can also see before anyone else if a new category is successful.

This has led to Amazon facing anti-trust scrutiny in Europe.


US lawmakers have also questioned Amazon on whether it can use that data as a road map to duplicate the products under more than 80 private-label brands it uses to sell everything from batteries to polo shirts, eating into the profits of the sellers that helped make the Amazon platform successful.

Nate Sutton, Amazon's associate general counsel for competition, denied that the company uses its data for that purpose.

Amazon isn't alone in being accused of this. Apple has similarly faced accusations that it knocks off the best ideas on its App Store and creates free versions, cutting into the profits of smaller tech firms.

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The ability of the big tech companies to control the marketplace has contributed to growing calls for big tech firms to be broken up.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren has been the most vocal politician in this regard, targeting the big tech companies as she campaigns to become the Democratic nominee for president in 2020.

Warren has called for legislation that would treat large tech companies like Amazon as utilities and ban them from owning participants on the platform. Under that scenario, Amazon's marketplace, for example, would be split from its AmazonBasics business.

Amazon declined to comment on the matter.

- With Bloomberg