PARIS, FRANCE – SEP 28, 2018- Directly above view of New Amazon Cardboard box against yellow … [+]
Amazon’s 2020 is getting off to a predicable start. Hot takes, years in review and predictions. Among the better ones is a cooling over antitrust based on numbers and moves the company is the making in the physical world thanks to comments from Ralf Kleber, Head of German Operations for Amazon. While no timings for the plan have been given, antitrust issues and Germany being Amazon’s #2 sales territory makes this move likely to happen in 2020. Die Welt broke the story.
“The fact is: we know that customers shop offline and that they like diversity,”… Kleber announced that Amazon wanted to significantly accelerate shopping via voice-controlled systems like Alexa. To facilitate distribution, the Alexa speaker Echo Dot is sold at a strategic low price of under 50 euros. “Amazon has never made a secret of the fact that you don’t have to realize the full profit margin with all electronic devices right away,” said Kleber. Alexa should “make it easier for customers to use all kinds of devices and services”.
Amazon’s deal with food delivery giant, Deliveroo, has also been advanced to a full investigation after Amazon failed, per the enquiry, to provide it with enough information to satisfy its concerns. The deal (Amazon led a $575m round) which reportedly would give Amazon a 16% stake in Deliveroo. The Guardian has more details.
Deliveroo has been seeking investment to boost its performance against other deep-pocketed rivals such as Uber Eats, owned by the taxi app company Uber, and Just Eat, the FTSE 100 delivery platform that is the subject of a bidding war. However, the CMA’s decision to refer the transaction to a full investigation on Friday will cast doubt on whether the investment can go ahead. The regulator has the power to block the investment completely or demand specific remedies from the companies. The CMA said the deal could leave customers, restaurants and grocers facing higher prices and lower-quality services. Amazon and Deliveroo had been given five days from 11 December to come up with changes but did not offer alterations to the deal. The CMA says it will conclude its investigation by 11 June 2020.
In less predicable and more interesting news, BBVA – a prominent bank – will join forces with a restaurant (El Celler de Can Roca) and confectioner (Rocambolesc) to sell a collection of products. More can be found from the BBV press release or Finextra.
BBVA says its intention is to move into offering banking products on the platform, using the pilot project as a way to trial the functionality of Amazon as an online store front for the bank’s financial services. In a statement, the bank says: “Currently BBVA already sells close to 60 percent of its products over digital channels. Selling through Amazon would extend online sales opportunities, complementing the bank’s proprietary digital channels.” Amazon has not yet moved into selling financial services directly, and BBVA recognises that financial institutions must adapt to this way of selling.”
Finextra has more details.