As I wrote more than ten years ago, Amazon.com is decidedly not a marketplace because it fails the adhere to fundamental marketplace principles. I defined then eight rudimentary first-principles a marketplace must subscribe to establish trust from transparency to continually align with customer needs and desires. Amazon.com fails many.
Amazon is, therefore, a mere superstore feigning to be a marketplace with all the oligarchic controls and abuse that comes from building a system that does not automatically expose the abuse of trust. Only a deep-dive by a curious reporter, rather than every marketplace participant in a real marketplace, could have unearthed how sellers manipulate the perception of their products on Amazon.
Read the nasty in a detailed exposé by Leticia Miranda on BuzzFeed.
I should note Amazon may not be directly to blame, for it is not served by abuse of trust in its brand. But it is again the immaturity of technocrats in leadership positions who seem to think building a system of technology relieves them of any obligation to adhere to macro-economic principles, in this case of marketplace principles, that precede and supersede technology. A subject I have written about often as it, unnecessarily, harms the trust in technology.
The second point I would make is that seller manipulation is commonplace in American society. For example, every grocery store in The United States charges a premium for products appearing on the shelves at eye-level, equally violating the marketplace principles. Violations that artificially manipulate the wants and needs of its customers, but at least grocery stores are not pretending to be marketplaces. The omnipresent manipulation in our daily lives precisely the reason why the presumption of free-market principles as a core competence of American society is a complete and utter joke.
So grow up Amazon, and do well by doing better.