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The Retail Industry Leaders Association isn’t too happy about’s Price Check app and a new promotion that the Seattle online retailer is unveiling this Saturday.

The company announced this week that shoppers who perform a “price check” using the bar-code scanning iPhone or Android app while considering in-store purchases will receive $5 discounts on Amazon. (Shoppers can do up to three price checks for a total of $15).

We imagined retailers wouldn’t like the idea too much, given that it allows Amazon to poach shoppers at the point of sale. And, guess what? They don’t.

Here’s a statement that the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s Katherine Lugar issued today about the promotion:

“Retailers compete on price 365 days a year, and at no time is that competition hotter than during the make-or-break holiday shopping season.  However, by continuing to evade collecting state sales taxes, Amazon’s exploitation of a pre-Internet tax loophole is resulting in a 6-10 percent perceived price advantage over their competitors on Main Street.

Amazon’s aggressive promotion of its Price Check App shows the lengths they are willing to go to exploit this tax loophole, and is a stark reminder of why Congress needs to act to protect retailers on Main Street.  A failure to act is an implicit endorsement of a subsidy of Amazon, a subsidy that distorts the free market and puts jobs on Main Street at risk.”

And the retail association isn’t the only one taking shots at this holiday season over the app. In a post titled “Amazon’s latest dick move,” The Stranger used some colorful language to encourage shoppers not to use the Price Check app.

Writes Paul Constant:

“An online retailer convinces customers to do product research for them while simultaneously using small businesses as unpaid showrooms. Someone must have had a huge laugh in the South Lake Union conference room where that idea was brought up.”

Previously on GeekWire: Amazon will offer $5 discounts to shoppers who use its Price Check app


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