retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon yesterday "notified its third-party merchants that they could once again use FedEx’s Ground network to ship orders placed under Amazon’s Prime membership program, nearly a month after imposing a ban on the service.

"The move ends a standoff between Amazon and onetime shipping partner FedEx, whose lower-priced Ground network was blocked for the final rush before Christmas and several weeks thereafter."

Amazon has said that it banned FedEx Ground because the service was not meeting its standards, and now is reversing the decision because FedEx's service has reached acceptable levels.

Reuters reports that Amazon has committed "to give more data on counterfeit goods to law enforcement in a further crackdown on fakes listed on its e-commerce sites … the company plans to disclose merchant information to European and U.S. federal authorities every time it confirms a counterfeit was sold to customers, increasing the frequency and volume of reporting to law enforcement."

The move, according to Reuters, "comes as Amazon faces public scrutiny over how it polices counterfeits and allegedly unsafe products on its platform. Fakes have long frustrated top labels like Apple Inc and Nike Inc, discouraging some from selling via Amazon at all."

Bloomberg reports that "Amazon said it planned to ask a judge to temporarily block Microsoft Corp. from performing any substantial work on a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract until its lawsuit challenging its validity resolved … Amazon claims it lost the Pentagon cloud contract because of political interference by President Donald Trump, according to the judge overseeing the case.

"Amazon filed the lawsuit under seal in November to formally protest its loss of the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, cloud contract."

Reuters notes that "the Department of Defense has stood by its decision, with its Secretary Mark Esper rejecting any suggestion of bias and saying the decision was conducted freely and fairly, without any outside influence."
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