Amazon vs. everybody

$12m settlement for Breonna Taylor’s family

48 days until Election Day.

Louisville announced a $12 million dollar settlement with the family of Breonna Taylor. (The cops who killed her still haven’t been arrested.)

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren fired her police chief for concealing information about the police killing of Daniel Prude.

Bill Gates is apoplectic at U.S. coronavirus response as the nation’s fatalities approach 200,000.

Hurricane Sally makes landfall.

Meanwhile, Amazon continues taking over the world.

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📦 Amazon Plans to Put 1,000 Warehouses in Suburban Neighborhoods

“Historically, Amazon gnawed away at brick-and-mortar rivals from warehouses on the exurban fringes, where it operated mostly out of sight and out of mind. That worked fine when the company was promising to get products to customers in two days. Now Walmart and Target Corp. are using their thousands of stores to beat Amazon at its own game by offering same-day delivery of online orders. Walmart also recently started is own Prime-style subscription service, upping the competitive ante.”

“Beyond Amazon’s retail rivals, the mass opening of small, quick-delivery warehouses poses a significant threat to United Parcel Service Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service. Being fastest in the online delivery race is so critical to Amazon’s business that it doesn’t trust the job to anyone else and is pulling back from these long-time delivery partners. Amazon is basically duplicating UPS’s logistics operation. Many of Amazon’s new hubs are within walking distance of UPS facilities.”


🛒 As Walmart+ prepares to launch, is it that different from Amazon Prime?

“About 57 percent of shoppers in the U.S. said they had a Prime membership in 2019, according to Kantar Consulting’s ShopperScape. That means Walmart has to co-exist with Amazon in the same household, said Timothy Campbell, a principal analyst with Kantar.”

“‘Amazon Prime has all these virtual benefits, whereas Walmart+ is primarily about online grocery,’ he said. ‘More than that, all its advantages tend to leverage the store whether it’s gas discounts or Scan and Go.’”

“About 90 percent of people in the U.S. live within 10 miles of one of Walmart’s 2,700 stores, according to the company. Walmart overtook Amazon for the first time this year in grocery market share, holding about 30 percent of the online grocery market compared to Amazon at around 27 percent, according to an August report from TABS Analytics.”

(NBC News)

💰 Microsoft Seeks Startup Partnerships in Battle With Amazon Over Cloud

“Microsoft Corp. and Amazon. com Inc. are embracing a new tactic to win the supercharged battle for cloud-computing business, luring fast-growing startups by promising to help sell their services.”

“Amazon has a 45% market share in providing the so-called public cloud infrastructure, ahead of Microsoft with almost 18%, according to research firm Gartner Inc., which puts other rivals at below 10%. Amazon said the cloud generated about 12.5% of the company’s total sales last year. Microsoft, which calculates cloud revenue differently, said those sales represented more than 30% of its total turnover.”

“Amazon popularized the cloud model, but Microsoft has stepped up its challenge to win more of the lucrative and fast growing business. The two have been battling fiercely, including over multibillion-dollar government contracts. The Pentagon this month said it was moving ahead with a potentially $10 billion cloud-computing contract with Microsoft after losing bidder Amazon challenged the deal.”

(Wall Street Journal)

📱 Apple Debuts Subscription Bundles, Its Twist on Amazon Prime

“At an online event on Tuesday, the company said it will launch Apple One subscriptions that combine several services -- including Apple Music, Apple TV+ and iCloud storage -- at a lower price than users would pay if they bought each service individually.”

“The bundle initiative is a major bid by Apple to achieve the same loyalty that Inc. has won with its Prime program, which combines free shipping with video streaming and many other services for an annual or monthly fee. This bundle is the bedrock of Amazon’s success and has been mimicked by other companies before with mixed results.”

“Apple has no large e-commerce delivery and warehouse network like Amazon’s, however it has hundreds of millions of ardent hardware customers who have already embraced some of its digital subscriptions.”

(Yahoo Finance)

🎥 Twitch now lets anyone host an online movie party with the Amazon Prime Video library

“Watch parties have taken off in general over the last few months as people stuck at home figure out ways to make watching TV shows and movies more social and interactive. Unlike apps like Scener, which allows people to stream Netflix, Disney Plus, and HBO titles with friends in the United States, Twitch’s Watch Parties is specifically built for Amazon Prime Video.”

“Watch Parties is another way for Amazon to continue cross-promoting both of its products — and keeping people inside its ecosystem.”

(The Verge)

🚨 ‘We Didn’t Sign Up for This’: Amazon Workers on the Front Lines

“For years, Amazon has resisted the efforts of organized labor. On [April 2] the company fired a dissenting worker, Christian Smalls, at a fulfillment center in Staten Island. He was let go almost immediately after he led a group of colleagues from the building during lunch hour in protest of what they saw as the company’s inadequate response to the crisis. They were calling simply for the building to be temporarily closed and more stringently sanitized and for workers to be paid during the hiatus as several had become sick.”

“Not content merely to fire Mr. Smalls, executives planned to exploit him as part of a public-relations strategy meant to deflect attention away from safety issues. Internal notes from a meeting of executive leaders at Amazon obtained by Vice News reveal the company’s general counsel David Zaplosky calling Mr. Smalls ‘not smart or articulate’ and thus a useful tool in its ongoing plan to besmirch unionization efforts.”

(New York Times)


BBC: Amazon withdraws job adverts for union 'spies'

VICE: Inside Amazon’s Secret Program to Spy On Workers’ Private Facebook Groups

Washington Post: Amazon fires two tech workers who criticized the company’s warehouse workplace conditions