In this file:

 

·         Amazon workers go on strike in Germany, demand better pay and working conditions

·         Amazon shareholders will vote to ban facial recognition tech

·         Amazon is trying to soften its image as regulatory scrutiny of Big Tech grows

·         Bezos On Amazon: Just A 'Small Player In Global Retail'

 

 

 

Amazon workers go on strike in Germany, demand better pay and working conditions

 

    Workers at four Amazon logistic centers across Germany went on strike Monday, with others potentially joining over the Easter holiday period.

    It’s part of a long-running campaign for better pay and conditions.

    An Amazon spokeswoman said the company saw very limited participation in the strike across Germany, adding there was no operational impact so customer deliveries would not be delayed.

 

Reuters

via CNBC - Apr 15, 2019

 

Workers at four Amazon logistic centers in Germany went on strike on Monday, the latest action in a long-running campaign for better pay and conditions.

 

Trade union Verdi said workers at warehouses in Rheinberg, Werne, Bad Hersfeld and Koblenz had stopped work, with the strike set to last until Thursday in some centers, and others potentially joining over the Easter holiday period.

 

An Amazon spokeswoman said the company saw very limited participation in the strike across Germany, adding there was no operational impact so customer deliveries would not be delayed.

 

Verdi has organized frequent strikes at Amazon in Germany since 2013 to press demands for the retailer to raise pay for warehouse workers in accordance with collective bargaining agreements in Germany’s mail order and retail industry.

 

Amazon has repeatedly rejected Verdi’s demands and...

 

more

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/15/amazon-workers-go-on-strike-in-germany.html

 

 

Amazon shareholders will vote to ban facial recognition tech

Amazon's board opposes it and wants government regulation instead.

 

Steve Dent, Engadget

Apr 15, 2019

 

Amazon shareholders will vote to ban the company's controversial facial recognition technology next week in a key symbolic process. Amazon set the vote date, May 22nd, after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected the company's request to have the motion squashed. A group of shareholders, led by nonprofit Open MIC, asked Amazon's board to stop selling the deep learning tools until a third party can confirm "it does not cause or contribute to actual or potential violations of human rights."

 

On a technical basis, a vote to ban the technology might not mean much, as shareholder resolutions aren't binding and are rarely approved. Still, it would lend credence to claims by activist investors that the technology could "endanger or violate privacy or civil rights and disproportionately impact people of color, immigrants and activists."

 

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) tested Amazon's tech and found that it falsely matched 28 members of Congress to suspected criminals, struggling particularly with people of color. Amazon argued that the tech wasn't being used in the right way, but that claim was undermined by a US police department in Oregon that uses it...

 

more, including links

https://www.engadget.com/2019/04/15/amazon-shareholder-vote-facial-recognition/

 

 

Amazon is trying to soften its image as regulatory scrutiny of Big Tech grows

 

    Amazon has made a number of moves in recent months to show it understands the criticism coming from regulators.

    The company has raised its minimum wage, changed a pricing policy for merchants and scaled back some of its most aggressive promotional tactics.

    CEO Jeff Bezos spent a good part of his latest shareholder letter focusing on how much the company helps other businesses.

 

Eugene Kim, CNBC

Apr 14 2019

 

Amazon’s relentless pursuit of growth in retail, cloud computing, advertising and consumer devices has put the company squarely in the sights of Washington lawmakers who are concerned about Big Tech’s growing influence over consumers. But rather than fiercely fighting every battle, Amazon looks like its ready to play nice.

 

In March, Amazon dropped a policy that prevented merchants from offering lower prices on other websites following an investigation request by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). Last month, the company scaled back some of its most aggressive promotion tactics after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called out abusive business practices. And late last year Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 following criticism of the company’s working conditions by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT).

 

Amazon also confirmed to CNBC that it would soon start accepting cash at the Amazon Go cashierless stores as a growing number of cities and states push for laws that require all stores to serve the unbanked. It’s all part of a strategy to be more likable at a time when tech companies are drawing heat for behavior that looks increasingly anti-competitive.

 

“I believe Amazon has made the connection between likability and immunity from regulation,” said NYU business professor Scott Galloway, author of “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google.”

 

This is a different company from the vigorously defensive, win-at-all-cost Amazon we’re used to seeing...

 

more, including links

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/14/amazon-is-trying-to-soften-its-image-as-regulatory-scrutiny-grows.html

 

 

Bezos On Amazon: Just A 'Small Player In Global Retail'

Despite its “small player” status, Amazon has big ambitions – which will extend to a major expansion in physical retail

 

Jon Bird, Contributor, Forbes

Apr 14, 2019

 

The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, played down the size and influence of Amazon in his latest annual letter to shareholders, published this week. “Amazon remains a small player in global retail,” Bezos wrote. “We represent a low single-digit percentage of the retail market, and there are much larger retailers in every country where we operate. And that’s largely because nearly 90% of retail remains offline, in brick and mortar stores.”

 

Cynics might say that the statement was intended for politicians intent on breaking up Amazon, but nevertheless it is factual. If you look purely at the U.S., Amazon will account for almost half of all online retail in 2019, but only about 5% of the total market. Zoom in more closely on grocery, and while Amazon captures up to 30% of online grocery spending (as much as all its competitors combined), Amazon and Whole Foods control only 4% of the total grocery market. (Walmart has 21%.)

 

Despite its “small player” status, Amazon has big ambitions – which will extend to a major expansion in physical retail, specifically in convenience and grocery. “As a company grows, everything needs to scale”, notes Bezos in the annual letter.

 

The growth will come from at least four different sources.

 

Firstly, Bloomberg predicts that the “frictionless checkout” Amazon Go format will roll out to 3,000 locations by 2021, up from 10 today and 50 by the end of 2019.

 

That would make Amazon Go one of the leading convenience chains in the country. Bezos...

 

more, including links

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonbird1/2019/04/14/bezos-on-amazon-just-a-small-player-in-global-retail/