In this file:


·         Amazon To Partner With Mexico’s Central Bank On New Mobile Payment Service

·         Amazon Won't Crush Kroger By Competing With Itself

·         Elizabeth Warren Proposes Breaking Up Tech Giants Like Amazon

·         Amazon suppliers panic amid purge aimed at boosting profits

·         Jeff Bezos is finally ending secrecy over Amazon’s role in carbon emissions



Amazon To Partner With Mexico’s Central Bank On New Mobile Payment Service


By Shaun Williams, WCCF Tech

Mar 5, 2019


Today’s news brings us south of the (U.S.) border to Mexico, where Amazon is currently pushing to roll out a brand new mobile payment service called ‘CoDi’ backed by the central bank of Mexico, formally known as Banco de Mexico, and informally called Banxico.


A move like this would give Bezos and his company a very strong leg-up on the competition in Mexico since the government of Mexico itself would be backing, in effect, the new CoDi payment platform.


CoDi is aimed at offering both online and in-person payments through the use of their smartphone with no additional charge or retailer fee.


What’s interesting here is that Amazon launched its primary online payment processing service, ‘Amazon-Pay’, back in 2007 and the service has indeed grown since then. Austria, Germany, Spain, France, India, Italy, Japan, and of course, the United States, among many other countries, currently have some form of Amazon-Pay implemented.


It’s not quite clear yet if this new service named ‘CoDi’ in Mexico will differ that much from Amazon Pay or if it will basically be the same thing, just in Mexico. Amazon may be looking to get a headstart on rival Apple Inc as Apple Pay isn’t currently in Mexico, either.


Amazon certainly has its eye on the future with today’s news concerning CoDi. Mexico only saw about 4 percent of its retail sales be done online last year...





Amazon Won't Crush Kroger By Competing With Itself

It would make little sense to take a step backward into bricks and mortar when consumer trends are so clearly shifting toward online purchases.


By Kevin Curran, Real Money/TheStreet

Mar 07, 2019


Amazon's (AMZN)  own holdings might prevent the Jeff Bezos-led behemoth from crushing Kroger (KR) with physical stores.


After a dismal quarterly report and weaker guidance, many were wondering if the Seattle-based Amazon was aiming to take another scalp in Kroger. This worry was particularly prominent as a Wall Street Journal report on Friday suggested Amazon was planning to open "dozens of grocery stores in several major U.S. cities."


Not so fast, says Action Alerts PLUS portfolio manager Jim Cramer.


"My contacts at Whole Foods were quite surprised [by the WSJ story]," he commented. "What that would mean is that Amazon would compete with Amazon. I don't think Jeff Bezos is that distracted."


The argument to make from this standpoint would be that lower cost goods could easily be targeted for the new grocery locations.


Whole Foods is famous for selling overpriced varieties of kale and pumpkin spice infused foods, not generally popular items from PepsiCo (PEP) or Coca-Cola (KO) . The new Amazon-branded locations could swoop in to take care of this less health conscious market while not impinging on Whole Foods at all.


However, the ambitious new grocery operation would compete not only with its Whole Foods bricks-and-mortar operations, but also with its Amazon Fresh e-commerce driven grocery delivery service, which has been growing rapidly.


According to a 2018 survey from One Click Retail, Amazon's market share of U.S. online grocery sales was nearly 20%, twice that of second-place Walmart (WMT) . The dominance in market share is largely driven by convenience that online delivery services offer.


It would make little sense to take a step backward into bricks and mortar when consumer trends are so clearly shifting toward online purchases.


For reference, a Statista report suggests that online grocery sales should grow to nearly $30 billion by 2021. If the trend continues to become the dominant mode of grocery shopping, the locations would become little more than distribution centers. It would appear that Kohl's (KSS) is already happy to provide Amazon with this opportunity with no added cost to open locations.


For now, Amazon is not committing to any stance on the matter in public...





Elizabeth Warren Proposes Breaking Up Tech Giants Like Amazon


By Astead W. Herndon, The New York Times (NYT)

March 8, 2019


Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who is bidding to be the policy pacesetter in the Democratic presidential primary, announced another expansive idea on Friday: a regulatory plan aimed at breaking up some of America’s largest tech companies, including Amazon, Google and Facebook.


The proposal — which comes on the same day Ms. Warren will hold a rally in Long Island City, the Queens neighborhood that was to be home to a major new Amazon campus — calls for the appointment of regulators who would “unwind tech mergers that illegally undermine competition,” as well as legislation that would prohibit platforms from both offering a marketplace for commerce and participating in that marketplace.


Ms. Warren’s plan would also force the rollback of some acquisitions by technological giants, the campaign said, including Facebook’s deals for WhatsApp and Instagram, Amazon’s addition of Whole Foods, and Google’s purchase of Waze. Companies would be barred from transferring or sharing users’ data with third parties. Dual entities, such as Amazon Marketplace and AmazonBasics, would be split apart.


“I want a government that makes sure everybody — even the biggest and most powerful companies in America — plays by the rules,” Ms. Warren said in a statement. “To do that, we need to stop this generation of big tech companies from throwing around their political power to shape the rules in their favor and throwing around their economic power to snuff out or buy up every potential competitor.”


“To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies,” she said.


The announcement is sure to reverberate from New York to Silicon Valley. Pressure for elected officials to place additional oversight on mega-tech companies has been building...


more, including links



Amazon suppliers panic amid purge aimed at boosting profits

Thousands of vendors are being affected, consultants say, as the company pushes suppliers onto its marketplace rather than selling products itself.


By Spencer Soper, Bloomberg

via The Seattle Times - Mar 7, 2019


Amazon has abruptly stopped buying products from many of its wholesalers, sowing panic.


The company is encouraging vendors to instead sell directly to consumers on its marketplace. Amazon makes more money that way by offloading the cost of purchasing, storing and shipping products. Meanwhile, Amazon can charge suppliers for these services and take a commission on each transaction, which is much less risky than buying goods outright.


Amazon is determined to boost profits at its core e-commerce business, even if that means disrupting relationships with longtime suppliers. Because many suppliers source products from manufacturers months in advance, they’ll have to quickly shift their sales tactics if the expected Amazon orders don’t come in.


“If you’re heavily reliant on Amazon, which a lot of these vendors are, you’re in a lot of trouble,” said Dan Brownsher, Chief Executive Officer of Channel Key, a Las Vegas e-commerce consulting business with more than 50 clients that sell more than $100 million of goods on Amazon annually. “If this goes on, it can put people out of business.”


Brownsher is among several consultants who said Amazon’s move has affected thousands of vendors.


Pushing more suppliers onto the marketplace is part of Amazon’s larger effort to reduce overhead by getting more suppliers to use an automated self-service system that requires no input from Amazon managers.


“We regularly review our selling partner relationships and may make changes when we see an opportunity to provide customers with improved selection, value and convenience,” Amazon said in an emailed statement, declining to answer specific questions about the action.


The abrupt cancellation of orders prompted panic this week at the ShopTalk retail conference that drew more than 8,000 retailers, brands and consultants to Las Vegas. Some attendees said Amazon stopped submitting routine orders last week for a variety of products, often without explanation. The drought continued this week, affecting more vendors and leaving them frustrated about the lack of communication from Amazon.


One vendor who has been selling products to Amazon for five years said he got a canned response...





Jeff Bezos is finally ending secrecy over Amazon’s role in carbon emissions


    Amazon will finally disclose its carbon footprint this year, a move the online giant has previously resisted.

    Amazon recently announced its Shipment Zero goal under which the company aims to have 50 percent of all deliveries reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

    Companies including FedEx, DHL and UPS have reported to the CDP, an environmental nonprofit that releases climate performance grades.

    Amazon won’t report through the CDP, which in the past has given Amazon an F for non-participation.


Noah Higgins-Dunn, CNBC

Mar 8, 2019


Amazon can be relentless in pursuit of its goals — making two-day shipping possible anywhere in the U.S. and building its own fleet of cargo planes are good examples. But when it comes to one of society’s biggest challenges, dealing with climate change, the online giant has not been seen as a corporate leader. That is beginning to change.


Amazon recently announced its Shipment Zero goal, under which the company aims to have 50 percent of all deliveries reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Amazon also is finally tracking its carbon footprint and for the first time will release a carbon report this year. It’s a type of climate change disclosure that has become more common among major corporations but which the Jeff Bezos-led company has long resisted.


“Amazon has not been a leader when it comes to disclosing its carbon footprint,” said Sue Reid, vice president of climate and energy for Ceres, a nonprofit that advocates investors and companies to tackle sustainability issues like climate change.


True to form, Amazon is going its own way with the climate report. Rather than releasing its findings to the CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project — an organization that collects data from major companies every year and compiles it into what the nonprofit claims to be the most comprehensive collection of self-reported environmental information — Amazon is developing its own approach to tracking and reporting carbon emissions.


Amazon would not disclose how it plans to achieve net zero status or report its carbon emissions beyond its blog post...