In this file:
· Amazon Just Got Some Really Bad News (but It Could Be Great if You're a Customer)
· Amazon Workers in Minnesota Plan Prime Day Strike
· Amazon's healthcare supply chain push is losing steam, survey suggests
Amazon Just Got Some Really Bad News (but It Could Be Great if You're a Customer)
A federal court just said that the company's immunity for 'free speech' doesn't apply to products sold in its marketplace.
By Jason Aten, Inc.
July 8, 2019
Just before the 4th of July holiday weekend, Amazon got some really bad news from a federal appeals court in Pennsylvania. Any time "bad news" is followed by "from a federal appeals court," you know it's probably a big deal.
That court overturned a district court ruling that said that Amazon couldn't be held liable as a "seller" when you purchase third-party items on its site. The case resulted from a woman who bought a dog leash that broke, causing it to recoil and fly up and blind her. She sued Amazon, claiming the site was negligent.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit agreed.
You can imagine why that's bad news for Amazon, but very good news if you use the site to buy, well, anything.
Amazon and third-party sellers.
Amazon sells a lot of stuff. Often, when you make a purchase, it turns out that it's not actually Amazon that sells it to you, even though they facilitate the sale. In those cases, third-party sellers use the company's marketplace platform to sell their products and Amazon simply takes a cut.
In the past, courts had bought Amazon's claim that it was protected as a platform under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act--the same law that protects companies like Facebook or Twitter from being sued over what users post or share on those sites.
There's a difference between speech and sales.
But now, a federal court has said that there's a difference between third-party "speech" on the site--say a product review--and the sale of that product, since Amazon has a role in facilitating that transaction.
The court did rule in Amazon's favor that the company has immunity for that third-party "speech" shared on the site, but not when things go bad after you buy something from its marketplace.
This matters for consumers because often you have no idea who the seller is, and it isn't even always automatically clear that the gadget you just bought came from somewhere other than Amazon.
In fact, Amazon only allows buyers and sellers to communicate through its messaging tools, meaning that purchasers have no real way to track down a buyer that chooses not to respond. That's exactly what happened in this case--neither the plaintiff nor Amazon has been able to even find the seller.
Here's what it means for Amazon and customers...
more, including links
Amazon Workers in Minnesota Plan Prime Day Strike
By Stephanie Mlot, Geek.com
Amazon warehouse workers in Minnesota plan to strike during next week’s Prime Day shopping extravaganza.
Workers at a Shakopee, Minn., fulfillment center have arranged a six-hour work stoppage on July 15—day one of the retail giant’s 48-hour summer sale.
“Amazon is going to be telling one story about itself, which is they can ship a Kindle to your house in one day, isn’t that wonderful,” strike co-coordinator William Stolz told Bloomberg.
“We want to take the opportunity to talk about what it takes to make that work happen,” he continued, “and put pressure on Amazon to protect us and provide safe, reliable jobs.”
Employees plan to strike for six hours in total: three hours at the end of the day shift, and three hours at the start of the night shift. Workers will also rally outside the facility, some 25 miles from Minneapolis.
The protest, Bloomberg pointed out, would mark the first time Amazon’s U.S. workers have walked off the job during a key sales day.
In a show of solidarity, some of the company’s white collar engineers intend to fly to Minnesota to join the demonstration.
Amazon, meanwhile, contends that it already offers what workers are demanding.
“We provide great employment opportunities with excellent pay—ranging from $16.25 to $20.80 an hour, and comprehensive benefits including health care, up to 20 weeks parental leave, paid education, promotional opportunities, and more,” Amazon said in a statement published by the Washington Post...
more, including links
Amazon's healthcare supply chain push is losing steam, survey suggests
Alia Paavola, Becker's Hospital Review
July 8, 2019
Amazon's entry into the healthcare supply chain — namely its push to distribute medical supplies and equipment — has lost momentum, according to Bloomberg, which cited a survey conducted by investment banking company UBS Group.
This year, hospital purchasing managers indicated that they were buying fewer medical supplies from Amazon than last year, but they're turning to Amazon for more office supplies, according to the survey.
The UBS survey found that while hospitals still expect to increase medical supply purchases from Amazon, the percentage of respondents in talks for sourcing agreements with the online retailer has declined from 11 percent last year to 7 percent this year...