Category Archives: E-commerce

Is it time to break up the tech giants such as Facebook? | Larry Elliott

Amazon, Facebook and Google are as dominant as Standard Oil and AT&T were. But breaking them up is not going to be easy

In the first decade of the 20th century, Standard Oil was as mighty as the tech giants of Silicon Valley are today. The company had grown from a single refinery in Cleveland in 1863 to produce 87% of all US refined oil output. In 1911, the supreme court decided that Standard Oil was in breach of anti-trust legislation passed by Congress and ordered that the company be broken up.

Even before the data mining revelations that have engulfed Facebook, there was pressure in the US for similar action to be taken against the social media networking site and two other globally dominant companies – Google and Amazon – that have come from nowhere in the past two decades.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Amazon's Japanese headquarters raided by nation's regulator

JFTC investigating firm over antitrust allegations that it demanded fees from suppliers for discounting products

Amazon’s Japanese headquarters in Tokyo have been raided by the country’s fair trade watchdog on suspicion of violation of antitrust regulations.

The Japanese Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) said on Thursday that Amazon Japan was being investigated after allegations that the company improperly asked suppliers to shoulder part of the costs of discounting their products on the retail site. Amazon Japan said Thursday that it was “fully cooperating” with JFTC, but declined to comment on the details of the allegations.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

'Not welcome here': Amazon faces growing resistance to its second home

As cities vie to host second campus, local activists say the ‘Hunger Games’-style competition is a bad deal for everyone – except Amazon

What do you get for the man who has everything? When it comes to Jeff Bezos – the richest man in the world with around $130bn to his name – many US cities competing to host Amazon’s second headquarters have an answer: billions of dollars in tax incentives.

That proposition has united an ideologically diverse group of dissenters to Amazon’s grand HQ2 competition, ranging from rightwing organizations linked to the Koch brothers to the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Groups and individuals that would normally agree only to mutual disdain and distrust have somehow come around to the same conclusion: that Amazon’s decision to pit 20 cities against each other in a fight to host a future hub is a bad deal for everyone except Amazon.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

Amazon buys video doorbell firm Ring for over $1bn

Smart doorbell maker is retailer’s second largest acquisition as it pushes further into in-home deliveries and internet of things

Amazon has acquired video doorbell and home security camera maker Ring in a deal reportedly worth more than $1bn, as it pushes further into the internet of things and in-home-delivery space.

The deal values Ring, which makes and sells popular video doorbells in the US, UK and Europe, at between $1.2bn (£86.4m) and $1.8bn, according to reports, making it Amazon’s second largest acquisition after the $13.7bn deal last year for Whole Foods Market.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

NRA under mounting pressure as companies cut ties with gun lobby

Companies including Best Western, Hertz and Wyndham end affiliation after #BoycottNRA campaign gains momentum on social media

US companies are distancing themselves from the National Rifle Association as the gun lobby comes under increasing pressure following the mass shooting in Florida last week.

Related: Meet the British CEO of the firm behind the gun that brought tragedy to Florida

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Ebooks are not 'stupid' – they're a revolution

The head of publisher Hachette has claimed ebooks are a failure – but as an author and a reader, they’ve completely changed my life

I was a relatively late convert to the e-reader, getting my Kindle five years ago when it became clear that reading 600-pages of A Suitable Boy while breastfeeding wasn’t going to work. After a frenzied few months of almost exclusive e-reading, I returned largely to the traditional printed book for a number of reasons: screen fatigue, a tendency to scrawl in margins, because I want my kids to see me reading, and because I’m a passionate supporter of bookshops and booksellers. Hachette Livre CEO Arnaud Nourry recently called ebooks “stupid” – but last summer, they changed my life.

Related: ‘Ebooks are stupid’, says head of one of world’s biggest publishers

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Hey Alexa, is it true a TV advert made Amazon Echo order cat food?

Advertising watchdog rejects Echo Dot owner’s complaint that TV spot was irresponsible

An Amazon Echo owner has tried to get a television advertising campaign for the smart speaker banned after the Alexa virtual assistant attempted to order cat food when it heard its name on an ad.

An Amazon TV ad for the Echo Dot, which can perform functions such as make shopping lists and play music with voice commands, features people using the device in different situations. In one a man’s voice says: “Alexa, reorder Purina cat food.” Alexa responds: “I’ve found Purina cat food. Would you like to buy it?”

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

Bitcoin: what have experts said about the cryptocurrency?

The most memorable comments on the cryptocurrency from senior figures in world finance

•ECB official backs bitcoin clampdown

Bitcoin’s gyrations have attracted a lot of attention over the past year. Here are some of the most memorable comments from senior figures in world finance.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

ECB official backs bitcoin clampdown

Yves Mersch joins growing list of experts calling for restrictions on cryptocurrencies

• What the experts have said about bitcoin

A top European Central Bank policymaker has joined calls for a global clampdown on virtual currencies such as bitcoin because of their threat to financial stability.

Yves Mersch, a member of the ECB’s executive board, said the central bank shared the views voiced by Agustín Carstens, the head of the Bank for International Settlements, who on Monday condemned bitcoin as “a combination of a bubble, a Ponzi scheme and an environmental disaster”.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

Bitcoin's January fall wipes off $44bn in value

US investigation into boom stokes fears of impending bust as cryptocurrency records steepest monthly slide in its history

Bitcoin plummeted in value by more than $44bn (£30.9bn) in January, marking the steepest monthly fall in its short history.

The slide extended further on Thursday after the Indian government said it would ban all cryptocurrency trading and Facebook announced a ban on digital currency adverts. Bitcoin fell by more than 10%, dropping below $9,000, marking a sharp reverse from its peak of almost $20,000 just before Christmas.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt