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Amazon News Brief – Private Label, Antitrust Concerns

Online merchants are wise to watch what ecommerce heavyweight Amazon is up to – here’s today’s roundup of news of interest to online sellers for August 12, 2016.

Amazon has been expanding its private-label food line since the spring, it now has Happy Belly coffee, Mama Bear baby food, and Happy Belly nuts and trail mix, via Geekwire.

Japanese antitrust regulators raided the offices of Amazon.com Inc.’s local arm, according to the Wall Street Journal. “A spokesman for Japan’s Fair Trade Commission on Monday confirmed a report by the Nikkei business daily on the raid. The report said Amazon Japan had allegedly forced retailers to set their prices lower on Amazon to give the site an advantage over rival e-commerce sites.”

Amazon worries that employees who leave the company could help rivals; a reminder comes from the Star Tribune, which says chainstore Target has hired two former Amazon employees to join its supply-chain team to speed deliveries.

CNBC shares data showing the impact the July shopping event known as Amazon Prime Day had on back to school shopping last year and what it means for retailers going forward. Quoting Dani Cushion, chief marketing officer at Cardlytics, it said “Back-to-school spend is shifting forward with events like Amazon Prime Day and the continued adoption of year-round school schedules. Because of this, retailers should consider starting their back-to-school campaigns early to capture more of that spend.”

And while not directly impacting sellers, this tidbit’s worth a mention: “Jeff Bezos completes his biggest stock sale ever, has now unloaded $1.4B in Amazon shares this year,” via Geekwire.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.