Amazon Accuses Bike Company Echelon of Misleading About Affiliation
September 23, 2020 Topic: Technology Region: Americas Blog Brand: Techland Tags: AmazonBikeExercise BikeEchelonPelotonPeloton BikeAmazon Prime

Amazon Accuses Bike Company Echelon of Misleading About Affiliation

It appears one exercise bike manufacturer falsely claimed it had made a new bike in partnership with Amazon.

If you’re selling something in any type of e-commerce setting, it might be wise to not antagonize Amazon. But one company appears to have done just that this week.

A company called Echelon, earlier this week, unveiled a new product which it called the Prime Bike. Per CNET, the company touted the $499 stationary bike as “developed in collaboration with Amazon,” and the tech press ran with it, positioning the announcement as a move by the tech giant into a new product category, one that would have Amazon competing head to head with Peloton. It even, per The Verge, caused Peloton’s stock to drop for a time on Tuesday.

It turned out, though, that the product is not, in fact, what Echelon said it was.

“This bike is not an Amazon product or related to Amazon Prime,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement issued to the media Tuesday, after the news story began appearing about the new “Amazon Bike.” “Echelon does not have a formal partnership with Amazon. We are working with Echelon to clarify this in its communications, stop the sale of the product, and change the product branding.”

The original press release, which has been removed from PR Newswire but remains alive in Google cache form, referred to the product as the “EX-Prime Smart Connect Bike,” as “Amazon’s First Connected Fitness Product,” and also referred to it as “The Prime Bike.”

“The Prime Bike was developed in collaboration with Amazon, aiming to create an amazing, connected bike for less than $500 and it’s proven to be a phenomenal match,” Lou Lentine, President and CEO of Echelon Fitness, said in the now-scrubbed press release. “Amazon looking to us to partner on their first-ever connected fitness product is recognition of our commitment to deliver quality at a reasonable price-point as reflected in our explosive growth over the last year.”

The Amazon page for the product appears to have been removed altogether.

It’s not clear exactly what happened here. Did Echelon make up the Amazon collaboration out of whole cloth? Or has there been some type of misunderstanding? Lentine told Fox Business that it’s the latter.

The CEO said Echelon and Amazon began working on the collaboration at CES in January, and that Amazon eventually asked Echelon to sell its bikes. At some point, Echelon “decided to call the bike Prime.” However, they learned after the announcement that they and Amazon “were not in full alignment.” The bike will be rebranded, he said, and added that the reason it’s listed as “unavailable” is that it’s sold out.

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters