The Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys general filed a long-expected antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, with the FTC accusing the company of monopolistic behavior on a broad scale and suggesting a breakup as one form of injunctive relief. The company used its market power to block competition, inflate prices and degrade product quality, the FTC alleges.
Amazon Prime Day 2, this time dubbed Big Deal Days, is now set for Oct. 10-11, the company announced, with the fall version now appearing to be a locked-in flash sale event catering to bargain-seeking shoppers who seemingly can’t get enough during the July extravaganza. Target and Walmart, not wanting to be left out, have competing events that coincide or run ahead of Amazon.
Amazon aggregators, companies using massive capital to acquire and roll up top sellers to gain economies of scale, continue to fall on hard times as market forces have squeezed the model and forced them to shift their focus from an arms race to a profitable growth trajectory. They now look to grow existing brands and launch new products, only sparingly doing new acquisitions, an expert says.
In an unusual move, Amazon and Shopify have formed a partnership that lets Shopify merchants integrate Buy With Prime at checkout through an Amazon app in Shopify’s store, with the latter quick to note that merchants still control their brand and customer data within its administrative dashboard. The app will be available to all U.S. merchants in September.
Amazon will start charging a 2% per-item fee to merchants using Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP) starting in October, Bloomberg reports, while the company is offering influencers the equivalent of $25 a video to populate content promoting its listings as it seeks a bulwark against Chinese social giant TikTok.
When is Amazon Prime Day not Prime Day, but actually is? When it’s rebranded as Prime Big Deal Days. The ecommerce giant has once again announced a second sales event in October, as it did in 2022, when it was called Prime Early Access Sale. Amazon said only that it will be running in 19 countries. Last year it performed poorly compared to the July event, according to Bank of America.
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In a battle of the Chinese ultra-fast-fashion giants, Temu has filed a lawsuit against Shein, accusing it of various nefarious practices aimed at deterring apparel manufacturers from doing business with Temu in order to thwart competition from the newer entrant to the U.S. market. Shein has accused Temu in a separate lawsuit of impersonating its brand by creating fake Twitter accounts.
Prime Day 2023 was a winner, based on data from Adobe Analytics, with an estimated $12.7 billion spent over the two days in the U.S., up 6.7% from $11.9 billion last year, and Amazon called day one on July 11 its single largest sales day ever, with 375 million items sold worldwide. Considering the state of the economy and consumer sentiment, that kind of a result is quite an achievement.
While it’s been widely reported that Federal Trade Commission head Lina Kahn is planning to drop a massive antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, analysts at Baird argue in a research note that the move would be wrong-headed because the company’s success is based on innovation and investment, not monopolistic practices. The FTC has already accused Amazon of duping millions into signing up for Prime.