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Fresh antitrust blow to Amazon


Global marketing news – 11 August 2016

Fresh antitrust blow to Amazon

Amazon’s Japanese offices have been raided by antitrust regulators.

The raid was confirmed to have occurred earlier this week by a spokeswoman for Japan’s Fair Trade Commission, saying that Amazon Japan had forced retailers on its site to set their prices lower in order to undercut rival ecommerce companies.

The Japanese antimonopoly act makes it illegal for a company to control or limit the business activities of a company that it has a business relationship with.

Expert anti-monopoly lawyer, Nobuyoshi Suzuki, has said that it could lead to the company being sued for compensation by effected retailers.

Amazon also faced antitrust regulators last year, when the EU opened an investigation into whether it used its market power to force e-book publishers to sign harmful agreements.

Walmart pay big for Jet.com

Walmart has announced that it has acquired e-commerce company Jet.com.

Included in the deal worth 3.3 billion US dollars, is the ecommerce company’s customer and supplier lists, whilst it will also see Jet.com’s founder Marc Lore continue his leading role.

Walmart is said to have considered the deal attractive due to Jet.com’s proprietary technologies that include a system that was able to identify in real-time, the flow of orders through the site.

Using this system Walmart would now be able to reduce shipping costs and delivery speeds from its already existing stores and warehouses.

Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, said that the move showed “Walmart being even more committed to winning in e-commerce.”

The deal is now the biggest e-commerce acquisition in the US, and will see Walmart attempt to reduce the gap to Amazon, which is currently worth 85 billion US dollars of sales each year.

Weibo sees yet more success

Weibo has posted better than expected results for the second quarter of 2016.

In a conference call to financial analysts, the Chinese social media platform revealed that it has seen total revenue of 146.9 million US dollars, an amount up 36% since last year, and marketing revenue of 127 million dollars, up 45% over the same period.

Weibo also saw its monthly active user number hit 282 million by the end of the second quarter, an increase of almost exactly a third over the last 12 months.

The steady user growth Weibo has seen since it became listed in the US has in fact been so precise that in the 10 quarterly reports since, the metric has consistently been between 30 and 38% each time.

Meanwhile, Twitter has seen its user growth fall steadily in the same period, down to 3% in June.

Alibaba to expand into Russia

Alibaba has announced plans to expand further into the Russian market.

The company’s Director General of its Russian branch, Mark Zavadsky, revealed to reporters this week that the plan was to work more “with local Russian companies”.

Echoing CEO Jack Ma’s comments in June, Zavadsky said that the expansion will have three phases beginning with the shipping of items from China into Russia.

He added that Alibaba would then launch a project that would allow Russian retailers to send items to China under a “simplified customs clearance”.

The move is expected to enable Alibaba to significantly reduce its shipping time to larger Russian cities, allowing home deliveries to take place well within a week of ordering.

FoodPanda acquire Hungerstation

Online food delivery startup, FoodPanda, has announced it is to acquire Saudi Arabian competitor, Hungerstation.

Founded in 2012, Hungerstation will continue to operate under its own name as an individual company.

FoodPanda, which is run under the name Hellofood in the country, has said that the deal will make it possible for it to offer delivery services from “2,000 restaurants spread across 30 cities” in Saudi Arabia.

Ralf Wenzel, CEO of Foodpanda, says that “Hungerstation and Hellofood consolidate market leadership in the region”, and that as a result the business will become profitable for the first time.

Webcertain’s global marketing news bulletins are daily 5-minute videos, providing marketers with the latest international digital marketing news in an easy-to-digest format.

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Elin Box

Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain
Elin is a Content Marketing Manager at Webcertain. She is responsible for Webcertain’s Self-learning platform, producing in-depth guides on a range of international digital marketing topics. She also helps run the Webcertain blog and is the writer of the Webcertain search and social report, an annual report summarising digital marketing best practices in over 50 countries. She is passionate about educating and empowering people to make the best decisions for their business and is proud to help share Webcertain’s wealth of digital marketing knowledge with the world. Elin is from the UK.

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