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Jeremy Bray, a Pueblo blogger who made some money selling Amazon.com products on his Web site, received an unexpected e-mail message this week. Without warning, Amazon canceled its affiliate program for everyone in Colorado, meaning no more small commissions for sites that refer customers to Amazon through Web clicks.
Why? Amazon is unhappy with a new state law signed by Governor Bill Ritter last week that taxes online sales, writes CNET, which points out that at least a dozen other states are considering similar measures.
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Amazon has explained to all its affiliate sellers in Colorado that although the company will “continue to sell to Colorado residents,” it will now “advertise through other channels, including associates based in other states,” according to the Denver Business Journal.
Ritter, for his part, fires back at Amazon, saying the company has taken “a disappointing—and completely unjustified—step.”
“While Amazon is blaming a new state law for its action, the fact is that Amazon is simply trying to avoid compliance with Colorado law and is unfairly punishing Colorado businesses in the process,” says the Democratic governor, who continues to take heat for signing various recent tax measures despite the protests of business leaders and Republicans.
It’s unclear how many affiliates lost potential Amazon revenue. The most recent numbers—from 2008—indicate there were 4,200 affiliates in Colorado, earning about $37.5 million, reports The Wall Street Journal.