Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Amazon and peers eBay and Etsy are waging a lobbying war to scuttle bills pushed by brick-and-mortar retailers who want to require their online rivals to disclose more information about third-party sellers.

Why it matters: Online shopping became a lifeline for consumers and businesses during the pandemic, and lawmakers say that makes fighting online fraud and theft even more important.

What's happening: Bills in Congress and at the state level, known as INFORM acts, aim to force Amazon and other e-commerce sites to verify the identity of their third-party sellers and disclose some contact information about the sellers to consumers.

  • Supporters of the legislation — including Home Depot, Walgreens and other major retailers that have formed the Buy Safe America Coalition — say the new measures are necessary to help deter online sales of stolen and counterfeit goods.
  • But Amazon, Etsy, eBay and other online marketplaces have argued the proposals could hurt sellers' privacy and are being pushed by big box stores to give them an advantage over their online competitors.

What they're doing: Online marketplace leaders have launched their own coalitions to fend off the legislation.

  • The Amazon-backed Internet Association, which also counts Facebook and Google as members, is funding the Makers and Merchants Coalition, which started about 6 weeks ago with an initial focus on statehouses that has expanded to the federal level. This group argues the laws would hurt small sellers trying to supplement their income during the pandemic.
  • "When you look at the unintended consequences of sellers trying to choose between their privacy and their safety and their livelihood, the result is you’re going to have fewer sellers online — and that really just benefits the Walmarts and Home Depots and the Lowes," Alexis Marvel, a spokesperson for the group told Axios.
  • Amazon spent $4.8 million on lobbying in the first quarter of this year, including tapping Jeff Ricchetti, the brother of White House adviser Steve Ricchetti, to lobby the Hill on the INFORM Consumers Act, as well as other measures.

Meanwhile, Etsy, eBay, Poshmark and other platforms formed their own Coalition to Protect America's Small Sellers as a way to distinguish what they say are their heightened privacy concerns from those of the bigger players. For example, Etsy says 97% of its sellers operate out of their homes.

The online marketplaces notched a win when senators failed to hitch the legislation to a China-focused competition bill that passed the Senate this week.

  • "Like many other companies, including online retailers and small businesses that sell online, we had concerns with attaching controversial legislation pushed by big-box retailers to the broader China bill," an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. "The INFORM Act favors large brick-and-mortar retailers, at the expense of small businesses that sell online, while doing nothing to prevent fraud and abuse or hold bad actors accountable."

At least 17 states have considered similar legislation, and online marketplace groups are quick to point out that the only state that has passed a bill has been Arkansas, home of Walmart.

The other side: Retailers and other members of the Buy Safe America Coalition are trying to spotlight and counter the growing problem of stolen and counterfeit goods during the pandemic, Michael Hanson, spokesperson for the Buy Safe America Coalition and lead federal lobbyist for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, said.

  • California law enforcement busted an alleged retail theft operation in San Francisco last year and recovered $8 million in stolen merchandise from stores like CVS and Target.
  • A 2018 report from the Government Accountability Office found that 20 out of 47 items purchased from third-party sellers on popular sites were counterfeit.
  • “If you look at arguments that this bill could harm small sellers, the thing that harms small sellers is competing against criminal sellers" offering products below market price, Hanson said.

What to watch: With the China competition bill heading to the House, lawmakers have another opportunity to attach the language to the legislation.

Go deeper: Brick and mortar businesses fear competition from online shopping

Go deeper

Luxury fashion marketplace Tradesy raises $67 million

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tradesy, an online marketplace for secondhand high-end fashion goods, raised $67 million in Series D funding led by Foris Ventures, John Doerr's family office.

Why it matters: With climate change (and ESG more broadly) solidifying itself as a mainstream concern, companies like Tradesy that help consumers cut down on their consumption and waste are seeing exploding interest.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to affirmative action at Harvard, UNC

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a pair of cases challenging the consideration of race in the college admissions processes.

Why it matters: The conservative high court's ruling could determine the future of affirmative action in higher education.

Europe's energy reliance on Russia is a crucial shield for Putin

Photo: Pavel Bednyakov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Cracks in the NATO alliance regarding sanctions for Russia should President Vladimir Putin order troops into Ukraine are in large part based on energy supply concerns.

Why it matters: Russia holds tremendous leverage over some European countries because it provides roughly 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. In Germany, this figure is greater than 50%.