Amazon Calls NC Lawmakers Bluff, Cancels Affiliate Program Early

Jun 27, 2009

It appears as though Amazon’s email to affiliates regarding North Carolina’s pending taxes was not a bluff. I just received a follow-up email from the company saying it has decided to shut down its affiliate program in the state, as of today.

We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account has been closed as of June 26, 2009. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional tax collection scheme expected to be passed any day now by the North Carolina state legislature (the General Assembly) and signed by the governor. As a result, we will no longer pay any referral fees for customers referred to Amazon.com or Endless.com after June 26. We were forced to take this unfortunate action in anticipation of actual enactment because of uncertainties surrounding the legislation’s effective date.

Please be assured that all qualifying referral fees earned prior to June 26, 2009 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with our regular referral fee schedule. Based on your account closure date of June 26, 2009, any final payments will be paid by September 1, 2009.

In the event that North Carolina repeals this tax collection scheme, we would certainly be happy to re-open our Associates program to North Carolina residents.

The North Carolina General Assembly’s website is http://www.ncleg.net/, and additional information may be obtained from the Performance Marketing Alliance at http://www.performancemarketingalliance.com/.

We have enjoyed working with you and other North Carolina-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you all the best in your future.

Best Regards,

The Amazon Associates Team

It’s interesting that Amazon has shut the program down before the legislation passes. Could it be that the NC lawmakers thought Amazon was bluffing too? Did Amazon close the program early so that affiliates would still have time to ramp up their complaints to the General Assembly.

Of course, there are plenty of other companies that will keep their affiliate programs running in NC–though Commission Junction doesn’t appear to be one of them–but will there be enough actual affiliate revenue to tax after this?

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