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Amazon tries to get you out of stores with rebate app

Amazon’s running a deal that’s got it in hot water with retailers: use its price match app in stores, and the Web store will offer shoppers a 5 percent discount (up to $5) to use its Price Match in brick-and-mortar stores this Saturday. Those who use the app in stores will get up to $5 on three of their select toy, electronics, sports or music purchases for a total savings of up to $15.

After seeing that offer, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) fired off an angry statement that took Amazon to task for its “unfair” practices, and said that these kinds of promotions make physical stores “showrooms to then purchase merchandise online from inside the store.”

"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,” said Katherine Lugar, the executive vice president of public affairs, in a statement.

Lugar also criticized Amazon for not collecting state sales tax. Congress is currently considering legislation to compel national online retailers such as Amazon to collect the taxes — a measure Amazon supports.

Late last month, Amazon’s VP for Global Public Policy Paul Misener said that Congress should pass the law to help states address their budget shortfalls. One federal law, he said, would level the playing field for in- and out-of-state retailers.

Related stories:

Amazon, California lawmakers strike a tax deal

Amazon testifies on sales tax

Can Amazon Kindle Fire shift tablet market away from Apple’s iPad?

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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