Amazon has a patent to keep you from comparison shopping while you’re in its stores

Amazon has acquired Whole Foods in a record-setting $13.7 billion deal. It was also granted a patent for future technology that would prevent brick-and-mortar shoppers from online price checking. (Amazon founder and CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post). (Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)

As grocery shoppers work to digest Amazon’s massive acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, the digital storefront recently scored a victory that aims to reinforce the company’s growing investments in brick-and-mortar retail.

Amazon was awarded a patent May 30 that could help it choke off a common issue faced by many physical stores: Customers’ use of smartphones to compare prices even as they walk around a shop. The phenomenon, often known as mobile “window shopping,” has contributed to a worrisome decline for traditional retailers.

But Amazon now has the technology to prevent that type of behavior when customers enter any of its physical stores and log onto the WiFi networks there. Titled “Physical…

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