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·         Amazon price alerts are leading sellers to raise prices on Walmart or risk losing perks

The company’s price alert system may be found anti-competitive

 

·         Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has sold roughly $2.8 billion worth of stock in the last week, new filings show

 

 

Amazon price alerts are leading sellers to raise prices on Walmart or risk losing perks

The company’s price alert system may be found anti-competitive

 

By Nick Statt, The Verge

Aug 5, 2019

 

Amazon is indirectly causing third-party sellers to raise prices on their products if those products are listed on competing storefronts at lower prices, according to a report from Bloomberg. This is potentially anti-competitive, and it may become a central piece of evidence in the federal government’s ongoing antitrust investigations into US tech companies.

 

Amazon is not going so far as to openly demand its third-party sellers raise prices, according to Bloomberg. In some cases, Amazon may want the seller to lower the prices of its items on Amazon.com to match the prices on Walmart and elsewhere. Walmart also encourages its sellers to match prices across platforms. But Walmart isn’t as influential as Amazon’s Marketplace, which is the dominant online platform in the US for third-party sellers.

 

Amazon scans a merchant’s prices for listings on its Marketplace platform and compares them to that same merchant’s listings on other platforms, like Walmart and eBay. It then notifies the seller of the disparity and informs the business that it may lose promotional benefits — like a higher placement in search results, Prime shipping, and access to “buy now” buttons — due to the difference in price, which would lead to lower sales.

 

“One or more of your offers is currently ineligible for being a featured offer on the product detail page because those items are priced higher on Amazon than at other retailers,” reads one alert sent to sellers that price products differently on Amazon and Walmart.

 

Because of its scale, Amazon Marketplace has also become the most important retailer for online businesses, a platform most cannot do without. The result of this price-alert system has the effect of getting sellers to raise prices elsewhere, rather than risk lower revenue from Amazon, Bloomberg reports.

 

Amazon’s increasingly cluttered Marketplace — which now hosts more e-commerce than Amazon’s own retail business — has become more expensive for sellers over the years. Fees have gone up. Amazon now charges significant rates to advertise products to improve visibility. Those fees make it harder to lower your prices on Amazon; instead, sellers are likely to raise their prices elsewhere.

 

Amazon used to have a policy that required price parity across marketplace platforms, instead of simply encouraging it. Amazon eliminated that policy in the EU in 2013 and removed it for US sellers in May of this year. But the price alerts appear to be having the adverse effect of keeping prices high across all platforms, rather than influencing sellers to lower them.

 

That may give ammunition to regulators at the Federal Trade Commission, which is currently looking into Amazon as part of a broad antitrust probe...

 

more, including links

https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/5/20755342/amazon-marketplace-antitrust-sellers-raise-prices-walmart-competition-ftc

 

 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has sold roughly $2.8 billion worth of stock in the last week, new filings show

 

·         Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold roughly $990 million worth of stock at the end of last week, new filings show.

·         That’s in addition to the $1.8 billion worth of stock he sold the last three days of July.

·         Bezos previously said he would sell $1 billion in stock each year to fund his space company, Blue Origin.

 

Eugene Kim, CNBC

Aug 5, 2019

 

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, is cashing out his Amazon shares at a dizzying pace.

 

Bezos sold $990 million worth of Amazon shares last Thursday and Friday, new filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show, after unloading $1.8 billion worth of stock earlier last week. That means he’s sold roughly $2.8 worth of Amazon shares in the past week.

 

The transactions were made as part of a pre-arranged 10b5-1 trading plan, according to the filings. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the latest sale.

 

Bezos has previously said he’s selling about $1 billion in Amazon stock each year to fund his space exploration company, Blue Origin. With a fortune still valued at close to $110 billion, Bezos said in an interviews published last year by Business Insider that “the only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel.”

 

He hasn’t provided an explanation as to why he’s accelerating stock sales, but Bezos is also deploying capital for the “Day One Fund,” which was announced in 2018 to help homeless families and create preschools.

 

According to the filings, Bezos offloaded over 530,000 Amazon shares...

 

more, including links 

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/05/amazon-ceo-bezos-sells-over-2point8-billion-worth-of-stock-in-a-week.html