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Amazon's Price Check App Stresses Small Businesses

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Competition between retailers is fierce to get your money this holiday season, but some are calling Amazon's tactics unethical.

It all has to do with a free, mobile app called Amazon Price Check that allows consumers to get a five percent discount on three items Saturday. Amazon wants you to use the app anywhere you shop, but businesses hope you'll just ignore it.

The way the app works is like this: You go to a local shop and scan the item you're interested in buying; then head home and find that item on, where the online giant promises the lowest prices and a five percent discount on that purchase.

Cooks of Crocus Hill owner Marie Dwyer said Amazon is giving her business competition it doesn't need.

"As a small, local business I find it slightly offensive," she said.

But Dwyer isn't the only one upset by Amazon's app. Bloggers are saying that Amazon has reached a new low, and business groups are considering this move a blatant attack on local, small business.

Amazon says its app is a powerful, money-saving opportunity for consumers.

"It's just not the way I'd run my business," Dwyer said. "We don't chase our business and we don't chase other retailers to get the business that we have."

Dwyer doesn't expect her customers will take Amazon's deal. Roxanne Young said she won't.

"I really think it's important to support the local economy and local businesses," Young said.

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