In this file:


·         FTC investigation into Amazon reportedly gearing up

·         Amazon Probed by U.S. Antitrust Officials Over Marketplace

·         Amazon Expands in Brazil With Prime Subscription Service 

·         Amazon Moves Towards Distributed Ledgers And Blockchain

·         Amazon, Home Depot sign on as tenants to multi-story Seattle warehouse



FTC investigation into Amazon reportedly gearing up

The probe is part of a broader antitrust look into big tech by Congress, regulators and attorneys general.


By Ben Fox Rubin, C|Net

September 11, 2019


A federal probe into Amazon's market dominance is reportedly underway.


The Federal Trade Commission has started interviewing small businesses that sell products on Amazon, asking them how much of their business relies on Amazon, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing three merchants who've been interviewed.


The Wall Street Journal earlier this year reported that the FTC and the Department of Justice agreed to divvy up antitrust investigations into big tech companies, with the Justice Department looking into Google and Apple, while FTC will investigate Facebook and Amazon.


The FTC declined to comment Wednesday. Amazon didn't respond to a request for comment.


These companies are now facing multiple investigations, many that are just getting started or were just announced, by  Congress, US attorneys general, and the FTC and Justice Department. These investigations are all looking into potential monopolistic practices, such as using their huge platforms to stifle competitors.


The US investigations follow years of investigations and fines directed at big tech companies in Europe. Those have included a $5 billion fine last year against Google for antitrust practices using its Android operating system. The European Commission in July announced an antitrust probe into Amazon, too


Two days ago, 50 attorneys general announced an antitrust probe into Google. Just days earlier, Google confirmed a Justice Department investigation into its business, as well. And on Friday, Facebook became the target of an antitrust investigation...


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Amazon Probed by U.S. Antitrust Officials Over Marketplace

The FTC is interviewing merchants to determine whether the e-commerce giant is using its market power to hurt competition.


By Spencer Soper and Ben Brody, Bloomberg 

September 11, 2019


A team of Federal Trade Commission investigators has begun interviewing small businesses that sell products on Inc. to determine whether the e-commerce giant is using its market power to hurt competition.


Several attorneys and at least one economist have been conducting interviews that typically last about 90 minutes and cover a range of topics, according to three merchants. All were asked what percentage of revenue their businesses derive from Amazon versus other online marketplaces like Walmart Inc. and EBay Inc., suggesting regulators are skeptical about Amazon’s claims that shoppers and suppliers have real alternatives to the Seattle-based company. One merchant, Jaivin Karnani, said he was surprised the FTC returned his call the very next day.


The interviews indicate the agency is in the early stages of a sweeping probe to learn how Amazon works, spot practices that break the law and identify markets dominated by the company. The length of the interviews and the manpower devoted to examining Amazon point to a serious inquiry rather than investigators merely responding to complaints and going through the motions, antitrust experts say.


Amazon shares fell less than 1% to $1,812 at 9:36 a.m. in New York.


“Early in an investigation, that’s a sign of staff doing a serious job,” said Michael Kades, who spent 20 years at the FTC. “They’re spending lots of time with witnesses and trying to really understand what they’re saying.”


Amazon hasn’t disclosed an investigation by the FTC, and the agency rarely confirms scrutiny of individual companies. But Chairman Joe Simons told Bloomberg in August...





Amazon Expands in Brazil With Prime Subscription Service


By Zacks Equity Research,

via Nasdaq - September 10, 2019


AmazonAMZN has rolled out Prime Subscription services in Brazil, in order to strengthen presence in the Latin America.


Notably, Prime members in Brazil will now enjoy unlimited nationwide free shipping and a maximum 48-hour delivery time in more than 90 municipalities. Products eligible for Prime delivery will include all types of goods ranging from clothes to electronics.


In addition to these benefits, the Prime subscribers will have access to movies, music, and digital books and magazines on the Prime platform. This will likely increase Amazon's subscriber base and give the online retailer an edge over online streaming services like Netflix.


Notably, the Brazilian Prime package will cost 9.90 reais ($2.42) a month, or 89.00 reais a year.


The latest move of the company, which will strengthen its footprint in Brazil, is in sync with continued focus on expanding presence in the Latin American region., Inc. Price and Consensus ...


Amazon Expands in Brazil ...


Brazil Holds Promise ...


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Amazon Moves Towards Distributed Ledgers And Blockchain


David A. Teich, Senior Contributor, Forbes 

Sep 10, 2019 


In a webinar earlier this year, Amazon provided information on Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) and Amazon Managed Blockchain. From what was shown, it’s clear that the products are very early, still in preview, that they aren’t integrated, but that Amazon does seem to be moving forward based on a clear understanding of the different benefits of ledgers and blockchain. Before discussing the products, let us review the basics.


Blockchain is just that, a chain of blocks of transaction data. The body of transactions creates a ledger, a record of all the transactions. In the blockchain world, each member of the blockchain network has a copy of the chain, which is why we discuss distributed ledgers. The core of the blockchain is the ledger, but to provide the openness for different blockchain implementations a lot of overhead must be added. That overhead has a negative impact on performance.


Two key aspects of the original blockchain concept are immutability and verifiability. The first means that individuals can’t change the already entered records. The history always remains. The second means that each member of the chain can verify the chain. This is done through mathematical proofs of keys in each transactions. Each key has the mathematical term called a “hash” and those hashes are linked via formulas every member can use. Immutability and verifiability provide the trust that supports the model.


Companies are looking at different levels of implementation of the technology. The trust in the ledger is one aspect while blockchains can be both public or private depending on the application.


Amazon has realized this and the products they are rolling out are an attempt to address the scale of use cases.


Amazon QLDB needs one quick caveat...





Amazon, Home Depot sign on as tenants to multi-story Seattle warehouse


Brian Straight, FreightWaves

Sep 10, 2019


“If you build it, they will come.”


They prophesy has come true as a multi-story warehouse building built in Seattle by commercial real-estate giant Prologis (NYSE: PLD) has its first tenants: Amazon and Home Depot.


Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) will take almost 500,000 square feet of space and Home Depot (NYSE: HD) nearly 100,000, according to the Wall Street Journal. The three-story building is reportedly 590,000 square feet and located minutes from downtown Seattle and the port.


FreightWaves previously reported that the first floor occupies more than 239,000 square feet, has a 28-foot clear height, 130 truck courts, and 60 truck aprons. The second floor, with more than 170,000 square feet, has a 24-foot clear height and an elevated 130-foot court served by two ramps that can accommodate big rigs. Level 3, at more than 180,000 square feet, has a 16-foot clear height and two loading docks supported by three forklift-accessible freight elevators.


Vertical warehouses are not common in the U.S. – the Seattle facility may be the first in America – but are growing more popular in Asia and Europe. Typically, a vertical warehouse allows for more storage of goods closer to their end destination...