Bloomberg reports that Amazon’s latest scheme to achieve world domination is to “offer a credit card to U.S. small-business customers, furthering its push to supply companies with everything from reams of paper to factory parts.” The co-branded card, offered in conjunction with a financial services partner, would be “for small-business owners who shop on its website, would “feature rewards points for purchases,” and also would “let it eventually add offerings such as business insurance through a portal designed for its small-business customers.”

According to the story, “Amazon already offers two credit cards for consumers with JPMorgan and Synchrony Financial. Those cards come with as much as 5 percent cash back on purchases. The retailer is also in talks with JPMorgan and Capital One about a product similar to a checking account that could help it lower the amount it spends on card fees every year.”

The goal of such a move would be to facilitate Amazon’s move to steal market share from office supply companies such as Staples, as well as from traditional credit card companies such as American Express.

KC's View: Another example, methinks, of how Amazon sometimes seems to be playing three-dimensional chess while everybody else is playing checkers.

It’s also sort of ironic, since it was just a couple of years ago that antitrust authorities would not allow the merger of the two big office supply retailers on the grounds that it would inhibit competition. But in the end, I think it is fair to say that they weren’t seeking a monopoly. They were just looking for the ability to survive.