|Bid||1,865.68 x 800|
|Ask||1,867.05 x 800|
|Day's Range||1,857.25 - 1,886.64|
|52 Week Range||1,566.76 - 2,035.80|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.51|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||82.63|
|Earnings Date||Jan. 29, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||2,173.48|
Now, Amazon is beginning to embrace them. Amazon said on Saturday it has partnered with thousands of neighborhood stores -- locally known as kirana stores -- across India to use them to store and deliver goods. “It’s good for customers, and it helps the shop owners earn additional income,” tweeted Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos .
(Bloomberg) -- Sonos Inc. Chief Executive Officer Patrick Spence accused Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc. of using their market power to thwart competition a week after filing a lawsuit against the world’s largest search engine.“Today’s dominant companies have so much power across such a broad array of markets and continue to leverage that power to expand into new markets that we need to rethink existing laws and policies,” said Spence Friday at a congressional antitrust hearing in Boulder, Colorado, led by Representative David Cicilline, the Rhode Island Democrat who is investigating competition in the technology sector.Sonos, a 1,500-person company, sued Google Jan. 7 for allegedly infringing five patents covering multi-room audio technology. Spence said Google’s dominance enabled it to violate the speaker company’s intellectual property. He said that Google tries to prevent customers from using its voice assistants alongside another company’s on Sonos speakers. While Amazon doesn’t go that far, he said, it has used its power to “to subsidize the conquest” of the booming smart-speaker market, particularly by under-pricing its offerings.Sonos has worked with the committee since before it decided to file the lawsuit, according to a person familiar with the discussions. It has also responded to questions that the committee sent to customers of the large technology platforms.Google has disputed Sonos’ claims and said it will defend itself. The search giant, which faces antitrust probes by 48 state attorneys general as well as the U.S. Justice Department, says it faces robust competition. Cicilline is using the hearing to air grievances by smaller companies, following a series of Washington meetings that focused on the tech giants.“It is apparent that the dominant platforms are increasingly using their gatekeeper power in abusive and coercive ways,” Cicilline said in his opening statement.The panel also heard from David Barnett, the founder of Boulder-based PopSockets, which makes phone holders and stands. He alleged that Amazon frequently engaged in “bullying,” including deliberately selling counterfeits, threatening to go to unauthorized resellers and dropping prices without consulting. “We have $10 million less to innovate this year” because of PopSockets’s decision to end its relationship with Amazon even though it’s more difficult to sell elsewhere, Barnett said.“It seems like Amazon is so dominant that there is no alternative,” said Representative Ken Buck, a Colorado Republican on the committee.Amazon said in a statement that PopSockets is a “valued retail vendor” and added: “We’ve continued to work with PopSockets to address our shared concerns about counterfeit, and continue to have a relationship with PopSockets through Merch by Amazon, which enables other sellers to create customized PopSockets for sale.”The company said it refuses to work with some resellers to ensure low prices, and rejects the notion that it’s dominant, saying it represents just 4% of U.S. retail.The panel also heard from Kirsten Daru, general counsel of Tile Inc., which makes devices that pair with phones to help people locate lost items such as keys or purses.Apple Inc. is reportedly preparing to unveil a competing service, and Daru’s 100-employee company alleges the phone maker has started putting up roadblocks to Tile’s business, such as burying permissions that allow the phone and Tile devices to communicate and prompting users to disable permissions that have been set.“You’re playing up against a team that owns the field, the ball and can change the rules at any given time,” Daru said in an interview before the hearing, adding that a majority of the company’s customers are on Apple’s operating system.Apple said that its treatment of permissions, which focused on location, were designed to protect user privacy and that it’s working with developers whose customers may want particular apps to be able to track them at all times.Daru said Apple also removed Tile devices from its retail stores, and that it bid on search terms related to the would-be rival to drive up the cost of advertising 50% each week during the fall.Cicilline has said his goal is to develop a final report with recommendations for Congress this year. He told reporters on Tuesday that he wants to wrap up his probe by the end of March and said he’s hopeful the tech giants will cooperate with requests for chief executives to give information without subpoenas, preferably in public hearings.“It’s hard to imagine that we’d conclude the investigation without hearing from some of the large technology CEOs, particularly in companies whether there’s such really centralized decision making,” he said.(Updates with comments from PopSockets CEO from eighth paragraph)\--With assistance from Mark Gurman, Rebecca Kern and David McLaughlin.To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at email@example.com, Paula DwyerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) have jumped 9% in 2020 to help it ascend into the $1 trillion market cap club. Is it time to buy?
(Bloomberg) -- Major technology and internet companies have long fueled the U.S. stock market’s climb to record levels, but that trend has come with one notable exception: Amazon.com Inc., which has languished in a fairly narrow trading range for months.Amazon shares haven’t notched an all-time high since September 2018, in contrast to mega-cap peers like Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Facebook, which have been hitting records on a near-daily basis. Many of these names experienced pronounced draw-downs over the past year and a half, mostly due to disappointing earnings reports or outlooks. But they regained their momentum last year, as their growth assuaged investor caution. Amazon, however, remains about 8.5% below its own peak.Because of its long-term prospects, Amazon is about as close as a stock can be to a consensus choice among Wall Street firms. Over the near term, though, it is “the most hotly debated among investors” as “debates persist on both AWS and next day shipping efforts,” according to UBS analyst Eric Sheridan, referring to its Amazon Web Services cloud-computing business.Since the start of 2019, Amazon shares are up about 24%, below the 32% rise of the S&P 500, as well as the much larger gains seen in other bellwethers. Microsoft and Facebook are both up more than 60% since the start of last year, while Apple has doubled. The rally resulted in trillion-dollar valuations for Apple, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet, a milestone that Amazon briefly eclipsed in 2018.The underperformance reflects concerns over Amazon’s earnings trends, even as it has continued to grow revenue at a double-digit clip. Major investments into initiatives like one-day shipping are seen as headwinds, and shares “may be range bound ‘tactically’” given the impact of this spending, Morgan Stanley wrote on Thursday. The firm added that “near-term profitability is likely to still disappoint” because of these investments, even as it sees the effect as temporary and one-day shipping deepening Amazon’s competitive moat within e-commerce.Another key issue is the waning dominance of Amazon Web Services, which has long been a major driver for earnings and margins, but has faced growing competition from rivals like Alphabet and especially Microsoft. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, which cited IDC data, Amazon Web Services was 12 times larger than Microsoft’s cloud business in 2014. By 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, it was just four times larger.James Bach, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote that Amazon was particularly facing “stiffer competition” with government contracts. “Microsoft’s extensive sales experience, installed base within U.S. agencies and broad range of edge-computing products all make a compelling offering,” he wrote. Microsoft is “uniquely positioned to claim market share as federal agencies upgrade and secure IT systems.”In October, Microsoft beat out Amazon for a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract, a deal Amazon had been seen as the favorite to win. The company subsequently claimed it lost the contract because of political interference by President Donald Trump, and filed a lawsuit challenging its validity.Amazon earlier this week named a new sales chief for AWS. Deutsche Bank wrote that the “magnitude of personnel changes” at AWS, along with rising competition, underscored the “increased risk of further deceleration” at the business.Separately, Morgan Stanley this week wrote that a quarterly survey of chief investment officers suggested some cause for caution about AWS growth. “Quarterly survey results can be volatile, but AWS saw a notable [quarter-over-quarter] drop in net expected budget share gains” over the next three years, analyst Brian Nowak wrote. “It will be important to continue to monitor these metrics going forward as we think about AWS forward growth.”Amazon is expected to report fourth-quarter results later this month. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Wall Street is looking for revenue growth of nearly 19% and expecting net income to fall by nearly a third. AWS revenue is seen growing more than 30% on a year-over-year basis, according to a Bloomberg MODL estimate.Wall Street remains almost unanimously positive on the stock. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, 53 firms recommend buying the stock, compared with the four with a hold rating. None advocate selling the shares.To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Vlastelica in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at email@example.com, Steven Fromm, Janet FreundFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- European Union privacy watchdogs are gearing up to police digital assistants after revelations that Amazon.com Inc. workers listened in on people’s conversations with their Alexa digital assistants.Bloomberg first reported in April that Amazon had a team of thousands of workers around the world listening to Alexa audio requests with the goal of improving the software.Similar issues have been raised over Google and Apple Inc.’s digital assistants, triggering privacy fears across the world, as intimate conversations in some users’ homes were laid bare to technicians fine-tuning the technology.EU regulators are now working on a common approach on how to police the technology, said Tine Larsen, head of the data protection authority in Luxembourg, where the U.S. retail giant has its European base and employs a staff of more than 2,000.“Because it’s a question of principle, the members of the EDPB should work out a common position in line with the consistency mechanism to apply data protection rules in a harmonized way for this type of treatment,” she said, referring to a panel of regulators from across the 28-nation EU.The revelations of the snooping into people’s homes came after regulators across Europe were handed beefed-up powers with its General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018, including the right to levy fines of as much as 4% of a company’s global annual sales for the most serious violations. But the move toward common guidelines for digital assistants means companies should avoid fines -- for now.Larsen’s comments echo those of Helen Dixon, head of the Irish watchdog, responsible for overseeing the likes of Apple and Google.She told Bloomberg in November that the regulator first has to “bottom out fully on whether it’s true” when companies say they need to do transcripts of people’s interactions with the assistants. That’s why a focus will be first on coming up with guidelines, instead of investigations or inquiries, she said.Amazon said in a statement that “to help improve Alexa, we manually review and annotate a small fraction of 1% of Alexa requests” and that “access to data annotation tools is only granted to a limited number of employees who require them to improve the service.”EU regulators are working on a common position on the privacy issues surrounding voice assistant systems, said Johannes Caspar, head of the watchdog in Hamburg, Germany. “We urgently need common and reliable industry standards on this to better regulate” privacy protections, he said in an email.Caspar’s office initiated a number of probes into the issue, including one into Facebook over audio transcriptions from its Messenger users, he said. The questions his office has asked of Facebook have been discussed within the EDPB, the EU body of national regulators. The plan is to use the results to have a more coordinated approach by all European regulators affected by the issue, he said.Europe Mulls New Tougher Rules for Artificial IntelligenceThe U.K., which is set to leave the EU at the end of the month, will soon publish the results of a consultation into security features for smart speakers and other connected devices, with proposals for mandatory industry requirements that could lead to potential new regulation, U.K. Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan told Bloomberg Wednesday.Siri ChangesApple, whose Siri virtual assistant is embedded in its operating phone and desktop computer operating systems, pointed to an August blog post about the issue.“We know that customers have been concerned by recent reports of people listening to audio Siri recordings as part of our Siri quality evaluation process — which we call grading,” it said. “We heard their concerns, immediately suspended human grading of Siri requests and began a thorough review of our practices and policies. We’ve decided to make some changes to Siri as a result.”Google, which offers similar technology, referred to its September announcement that it would add new security protections to the way its workers listen to audio snippets, meant to help improve the product’s quality.In a blog post in September, Google said it would tell users that their audio may be listened to if they opt in to a feature that also improves audio quality. “We believe in putting you in control of your data, and we always work to keep it safe. We’re committed to being transparent about how our settings work so you can decide what works best for you,” the company said.While Amazon is escaping penalties over Alexa, Luxembourg, which is the company’s main privacy watchdog in Europe, is probing the company for other potential breaches.This follows complaints from activists that the online retailer is illegally tracking and profiling internet users without their permission, as well as not providing full access to users’ data.Amazon ‘Cooperating’The company says it’s “cooperating” with the authority, “which is at an advanced stage of its fact finding,” according to an emailed statement. The data commission declined to comment on any probes, citing local rules.French privacy activists La Quadrature du Net, filed one of the complaints on behalf of more than 10,000 customers. They urge regulators to crack down on “behavioral analysis and targeted advertising” by Amazon and levy a fine that is “as high as possible” due to the “massive, lasting and manifestly deliberate nature” of the alleged violations without the consent of its users.None of Your Business (Noyb), a group created by Austrian activist Max Schrems, followed up with a separate complaint last January over data access concerns, accusing Amazon of violating EU law by not handing over all personal data requested by a user of its Amazon Prime service.Arthur Messaud, a lawyer with La Quadrature du Net, and Schrems said they’d had no updates from the Luxembourg regulator, which is bound by strict secrecy provisions under national law, meaning it can’t reveal details until after any fines have been levies and all avenues of appeal have been exhausted.(Updates with Google response from 15th paragraph)\--With assistance from Natalia Drozdiak.To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at email@example.com, Peter Chapman, Giles TurnerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
A sturdy labor market, rising income and improving confidence certainly encouraged consumers to spend more. While bargain hunters did hit the streets, enthusiasm for online shopping was palpable.
The 2019 holiday season mirrors gains from increased investments and opportunities in the retail sector. The online channel continues to be the preferred shopping medium for customers.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Sitcoms are an underrated way of portraying the economic challenges faced by average people. “Atlanta” shows the travails of working-class black Americans navigating a world of hassle, insecurity and poverty. The Canadian program “Kim’s Convenience” depicts immigrant small-business owners and their second-generation children off to a rocky start on their rise into the middle class. Broad economic trends form the backdrop to both of shows -- the loss of dependable manufacturing jobs, the geographic concentration of economic opportunity, immigration, prejudice and social mobility. But perhaps no show captures the reality of the modern American workplace as well as NBC’s “Superstore.”The premise of “Superstore” is charmingly simple -- the misadventures of the employees of a big-box discount store called Cloud 9 (a fictional analog of Walmart). They represent a diverse cross-section of the American populace: young, old, black, white, Asian, Hispanic. One is disabled, one is an unauthorized immigrant, one is homeless, another is a teenage mom. They’re not the burly hard-hat-wearing men that one might associate with the term “working class.” But perhaps that stereotype ought to change because retail workers have outnumbered manufacturing workers in the U.S. since 2003:The Cloud 9 workers are both benefiting from and suffering from the big change that U.S. retail has undergone in recent decades as local, family-owned stores were replaced by national chains. Between 1948 and 1997, the share of single-establishment retail companies fell from about 70% to less than 40%.That shift has raised efficiency, but often at the expense of workers. Bargaining between employees and managers that might have been done face-to-face at a mom-and-pop is done at arm’s length behind a protective veil of corporate policy. When a manager in “Superstore” dares to violate corporate policy and gives a new mother paid time off, he is promptly fired by his supervisors. This sort of faceless, pitiless way of dealing with employees reduces their power, allowing companies to squeeze them in a thousand small ways. It also probably makes the average store a colder and more forbidding work environment.Another way retail companies squeeze their employees is with irregular scheduling. The workers in “Superstore,” like many real workers, have little assurance that they will be given enough hours to earn enough to live on. But when they do get lots of hours, they often find themselves working unpaid overtime. This is technically illegal, but employers have many ways of getting around the rules.The obvious way to fight back against corporate exploitation would be to form a union. A number of “Superstore” plots revolve around efforts to do exactly this. But it’s an uphill struggle for several reasons. First, retail jobs don’t require years of training to master, and striking workers can be replaced relatively easily. Second, a unionized store will be at a competitive disadvantage versus nonunion competitors, which could lead to job losses or even a shutdown. And third, big chain companies are very skilled at dissuading workers from voting to unionize.These problems could be solved by government policy. If the U.S. government mandated that all the retail workers in a given region be represented by a single union -- a policy known as sectoral bargaining -- it would mean one less reason for employers to fear unions because all stores would be competing on a level playing field. Extending union agreements to nonunionized workers would be a way to rapidly restore labor’s power without the cumbersome process of voting in unions everywhere. These fixes would require an extensive rewrite of U.S. labor law, but it might be a way to make retail work as good as the manufacturing jobs of the past.Regulation can also help. Restricting irregular scheduling doesn’t just improve workers’ quality of life, it boosts productivity. Tightening up the rules regarding unpaid overtime and ensuring adequate parental leave should also be a priority.Even sectoral bargaining and regulation, of course, won’t protect retail workers from the onslaught of technology. Walmart’s most formidable competition comes from Amazon.com Inc., which has much lower overhead in terms of land and personnel. If unions force physical stores to raise wages so much that consumer prices start going up, customers could have even more incentive to shop at the online giant, putting stores out of business. Plenty of chain stores have closed in recent years amid what some refer to as the retail apocalypse and retail employment is declining as a share of the population, much as manufacturing did:Presumably, sectoral unions would be smart enough to hold down wages to fend off the threat, but this means less money in workers’ pockets.So in addition to retail workers’ trials and tribulations, “Superstore” shows a way of life in decline. No matter what happens with labor laws, stores will keep closing if online retail becomes cheaper than it already is. In that case, the U.S. economy will simply have to find something else for all those working-class people to do.To contact the author of this story: Noah Smith at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- French supermarket operator Casino Guichard Perrachon SA has been a favorite plaything for short-selling hedge funds. So for its recovery to take two steps backward is a blow for the group and its chief executive officer, Jean-Charles Naouri.The owner of the Monoprix and Franprix chains looked as if it was gradually getting out of the woods, with Casino making a series of disposals and completing a refinancing, and its parent Rallye SA attempting to work through its 2.9 billion euros ($3.2 billion) of net debt after entering a creditor protection program last year.But things are never so straight-forward for the two companies, which are inextricably tied. (Rallye is Naouri’s investment vehicle.) Now a profit warning, together with some bondholders rejecting Rallye’s plan to repay 1.6 billion euros of debt over 10 years, throw into question Casino’s nascent recovery.The retailer on Thursday halved its forecast for the expansion in trading profit in 2019 to 5%, after fourth-quarter retail sales were worse than expected. Strikes in France during the crucial holiday shopping period shaved about 2% off of its fourth-quarter sales. It wasn’t alone. Fnac Darty SA, which sells books, music, electronics and home appliances, also said the unrest over a proposed pension overhaul hurt its revenue. But Casino shares fell as much as 13%, the most in more than a year, indicating that investors weren’t convinced the problems are confined to the disruption.While both Casino and Rallye were saddled with debt, the underlying French business has been in acceptable shape, with exposure to faster growing segments such as convenience stores. If this stability is now under threat, that is a concern, not just for Casino’s progress, but Rallye’s restructuring too.Bondholders rejecting Rallye’s plan — with the company failing to win support in four out of five euro-bond classes — is a sign the coast isn’t yet clear on that front either. But the vote isn’t binding on the Paris court that’s set to rule on the plan by the end of March.However, the profit warning doesn’t make the situation any easier. First, Rallye’s main asset is its 52% holding in Casino, so a weaker share price might make creditors, particularly the banks, feel less comfortable with the plan. Second, the revised profit guidance makes it even more difficult for Casino to generate cash to pay the dividends to Rallye that are necessary for the group to reduce its own borrowings.Casino has said that it will not make a distribution this year. After that it can make a payment, but its ability to do so will be capped by the terms of its recent refinancing. There could be special dividends from a sale of the Leader Price discount chain to Aldi, which is being discussed, or offloading assets in Latin America, but returning to regular pay-outs looks even more challenging.Of course the share price decline may have another effect: Making a takeover of Casino more likely. Rivals in France’s highly competitive supermarket industry, such as Carrefour SA, have a duty to a look to see if they can make hay from the retailer’s misery. Casino also has an online partnership with Amazon.com Inc. It’s also worth watching what Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky and his partner Patrik Tkac have up their sleeves after they acquired a 4.6% stake in Casino last year.But until any suitor shows their hand, Casino investors and bondholders face the prospect of a long, drawn out grind toward better times. As for short sellers, they get another spin of the wheel.\--With assistance from Marcus Ashworth.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
In April 2019, Tile.com, which helps users find lost or misplaced items, suddenly found itself competing with Apple Inc, after years of enjoying a mutually beneficial relationship with the iPhone maker. Apple carried Tile on its app store and sold its products at its stores since 2015. It even showcased Tile's technology at its biggest annual event in 2018 and the startup sent an engineer to Apple's headquarters to develop a feature with the company's voice assistant Siri.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. India’s government has scoffed at Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos’ offer to invest $1 billion in the country, firing the latest salvo at an e-commerce giant that’s been accused of predatory business practices.Trade minister Piyush Goyal delivered a stinging rebuke two days after Bezos arrived in New Delhi and touted his efforts to help digitize small and medium enterprises. The investment would bring Amazon’s bet on the Indian market to about $6.5 billion. Goyal told a gathering of foreign ministers from around the world he welcomed an investigation into the company’s alleged “predatory pricing and unfair trade practices.”“They may have put in a billion dollars,” Goyal said at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi on Thursday. “But then if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year, then they jolly well have to finance that billion dollars. So it’s not as if they are doing a great favor to India when they invest a billion dollars.”Bezos has attracted significant opposition during a tour of India intended to underscore its importance as a growth driver for Amazon. The country’s antitrust regulator initiated a formal investigation hours before his arrival, and retailers affiliated with the Confederation of All India Traders organized sit-ins and public rallies in multiple cities to protest Amazon’s traditional cut-price approach and exclusive-selling practices.Outside the venue of Amazon India’s annual event for small retailers Wednesday, demonstrators held banners proclaiming “Amazon, go back!” and with Bezos’ face crossed-out. The CEO has sought a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi but that hasn’t come through.Amazon has sought to counter the negativity with a PR offensive. From Delhi, Bezos went on to Mumbai where he visited a neighborhood store. It’s these small stores that are up in arms against the retail behemoth. The chief executive then rubbed shoulders with Bollywood personalities -- Amazon is plowing money into creating Bollywood-dominated content for its Prime Video service to lure movie-mad Indians. On Friday, the company declared it planned to create a million jobs within the country by 2025. The retail giant said it had already created 700,000 jobs in six years of operating its marketplace there.Increasing HostilityStill, Goyal’s comments were an indication that Modi’s government is trying to safeguard the interests of smaller Indian traders, the traditional voter base of his Bharatiya Janata Party, as elections approach in the state of Delhi, home to the country’s capital.Soon after Goyal spoke, the chief of his party’s foreign cell, Vijay Chauthaiwale, tweeted barely-veiled criticism of the Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos. The U.S. newspaper has been criticized by the BJP and its allies for its coverage of the Modi government’s increasingly right-wing policies.The flare-up suggests India is turning increasingly hostile to the monopolistic practices of foreign e-commerce players that dominate the burgeoning market. Responding to widespread complaints, India restricted foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and this has forced Amazon and Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart, the two biggest e-commerce players in India, to overhaul business models to comply with new rules introduced in December 2018.In 2016, New Delhi had said foreign-owned e-commerce platforms could operate as marketplaces -- facilitating transactions between sellers and consumers -- but not sell directly. Flipkart and Amazon had established wholesale networks to reach their customers. But the more recent regulations target this workaround, banning foreign e-commerce sites from selling goods from companies in which they own a stake or have commercial arrangements with.Yet resentment toward Amazon and Walmart lingers. On Thursday, Goyal also questioned why an e-commerce marketplace should make losses.“Anybody who tries to use the e-commerce marketplace model to get into the multi-brand retail space surreptitiously will have to be questioned, will have to be investigated,” Goyal said.(Updates with job creation in the sixth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Archana Chaudhary in New Delhi at firstname.lastname@example.org;Saritha Rai in Bangalore at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at firstname.lastname@example.org, Muneeza Naqvi, Abhay SinghFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party on Friday slammed editorial policies of billionaire Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post, even as his e-commerce firm Amazon announced plans to create a million jobs in the country by 2025. Vijay Chauthaiwale, chief of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) foreign affairs department, said there was "a lot of problem" with the newspaper's coverage of India, but gave no examples. The swipe at the Post came a day after a cabinet minister gave short shrift to Amazon's investment plans for India.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos rubbing shoulders with Bollywood's best and brightest stars on his tour of India, but his plans to expand influence in the country haven't been met with enthusiasm by all. Indian Trade Minister Piyush Goyal has been unimpressed with Amazon's announcement of a $1 billion dollar investment, saying the online delivery service hasn't done India any big favors. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDIAN TRADE MINISTER, PIYUSH GOYAL, SAYING: "They may have put in a billion dollars, but then if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year then they jolly well have to finance that billion dollars. So it's not as if they're doing a great favor to India when they invest a billion dollars." Bezos announced the investment on Wednesday (January 15) saying it would bring small businesses online in the country, and would be adding to the $5.5 billion the company had committed since 2014. That was followed on Friday by a proposal to create 1 million jobs in India by 2025. But despite repeatedly reaching out for a meeting, three Reuters sources suggest Bezos is unlikely to have talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit, as he looks to allay antitrust concerns. On Friday (January 17) Modi's ruling party took a swipe at the Bezos-owned Washington Post, saying there were problems with the paper's coverage of India. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment. Amazon and Walmart owned Flipkart are facing mounting criticism from India's brick-and-mortar retailers, which accuse the U.S. giants of violating Indian law by racking up billions of dollars of losses, to fund deep discounts and discriminating against small sellers. The companies deny the allegations.