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Spencer Soper

Recent and archived articles by Spencer Soper

10 May 2019 | 3:51 PM

Amazon to boost quality control after selling toxic kid products

Amazon.com Inc has agreed to tighten quality control standards on its marketplace following an investigation that determined dozens of children’s school supplies sold on the site had illegal levels of toxic metals, lead and cadmium.

To resolve the issue, Amazon agreed to require merchants to have their products tested for toxic materials, Ferguson said. — Reuters
7 May 2019 | 4:22 PM

Amazon casts itself as friend, not foe, of small businesses

Amazon.com Inc, seeking to portray itself as a job creator fuelling small-business innovation rather than an out-of-control corporate beast that needs to be tamed, said it helped mom-and-pop companies create 1.6 million jobs in 2018, up from 900,000 the year before.

Amazon released a report May 7, during the US National Small Business Week, for circulation to elected officials as part of a charm offensive aimed at steering the conversation away from its e-commerce dominance and the damage it’s inflicted on competition. — AP
19 Apr 2019 | 12:51 PM

Amazon launches free music streaming to juice Alexa-device sales

Amazon.com Inc is hoping an ad-supported music-streaming service will help it sell more speakers and other devices that work with its voice-activated Alexa platform.

An Amazon.com Inc Echo smart speaker sits on display inside an Amazon 4-star store in Berkeley, California. — Bloomberg
22 Mar 2019 | 12:59 PM

Amazon to launch mobile ads, in a threat to Google and Facebook

Amazon.com Inc has hit on a new way to grab a chunk of the US$129bil (RM522.42bil) digital advertising market now dominated by Google and Facebook Inc: sell video spots on the e-commerce giant’s smartphone shopping app.

Selling video advertising on smartphone apps expands a product Amazon developed for its own devices like the Fire TV streaming device and Kindle e-readers to non-Amazon devices like Apple smartphones, which more people use to shop, said analysts. — Dreamstime/TNS
19 Mar 2019 | 3:00 PM

Most Amazon brands are duds, not disrupters, study finds

The explosion of Amazon.com Inc’s private-label products – batteries, baby wipes, jeans, tortilla chips, sofas – has prompted concern that the world’s biggest online retailer could use its clout to promote these house brands at the expense of merchants selling similar products on the web store.

In a study, the New York e-commerce research firm examined 23,000 products and found that shoppers aren’t more inclined to buy Amazon brands even when the company elevates them in search results. — Reuters
11 Mar 2019 | 1:02 PM

Fighting fakes was a big reason behind Amazon’s big vendor purge

Amazon.com Inc on March 9 hinted that fighting counterfeits was a reason for its sudden and unexplained purge of thousands of vendors that sowed panic among long-time suppliers.

Amazon wants to make sure it is only buying inventory directly from brand owners. — Reuters
8 Mar 2019 | 1:31 PM

Amazon suppliers panic amid purge aimed at boosting profits

Amazon.com Inc has abruptly stopped buying products from many of its wholesalers, sowing panic.

Pushing more suppliers onto the marketplace is part of Amazon’s larger effort to reduce overhead by getting more suppliers to use an automated self-service system that requires no input from Amazon managers. — Reuters
4 Mar 2019 | 7:58 PM

Holdout Jeff Bezos confronted by Amazon moms demanding daycare

Amazon has long resisted pleas to provide a backup daycare benefit for employees, even though other tech companies have offered the perk for years.

27 Feb 2019 | 5:10 PM

Costco emerges as US consumer favourite while Amazon love wanes

Costco Wholesale Corp may be a latecomer to e-commerce, but US consumers love it even more than Amazon.com Inc, according to a customer satisfaction survey released Feb 26.

13 Feb 2019 | 4:37 PM

GM, Amazon discuss backing electric truck maker Rivian

General Motors Co and Amazon.com Inc are in talks about investing in electric-vehicle maker Rivian Automotive LLC in a deal valuing the startup at US$1bil (RM4.07bil) to US$2bil (RM8.14bil), said people familiar with the matter.