retail news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Amazon announced yesterday that it has "plans for three new operations facilities in Alabama and celebrates the launch of a new fulfillment center that will support customers across the state."

Amazon announced plans for new distribution facilities all the time, but this one struck me as notable because these operations are in Alabama - the same state where it fought back a controversial unionization effort, and now is dealing with a court-ordered re-vote because it was credibly accused of being heavy-handed in its resistance.  Fascinating…

•  Amazon and Weber Inc. said yesterday that they have "jointly filed a lawsuit against 12 defendants for selling products that illegally bear the WEBER registered trademark in Amazon’s store. The defendants attempted to offer counterfeit versions of the global grill maker’s grill covers, violating Amazon’s policies, infringing on Weber’s registered trademarks, and breaking the law.

"The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and alleges that the defendants conspired to deceive customers about the authenticity and origin of their products and create a false affiliation with Weber. Amazon closed the defendants’ selling accounts and proactively refunded the impacted customers."

•  From the New York Times:

In a major ruling that bolsters the European Union’s efforts to clamp down on the world’s largest technology companies, Google lost an appeal on Wednesday to overturn a landmark antitrust ruling by European regulators against the internet giant.

"The decision by the Luxembourg-based General Court related to a 2017 decision by the European Commission, the bloc’s executive branch, to fine Google 2.4 billion euros (about $2.8 billion) for giving preferential treatment to its own price-comparison shopping service over rival services.

"The penalty was the first of three issued by Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s top antitrust enforcer, against Google. And with the other cases also being appealed — and additional European investigations underway against Amazon, Apple and Facebook — the case has been closely watched as a signal of the court’s view of the European Commission’s aggressive use of antitrust law against the American tech giants.

"Google can appeal the decision to the European Union’s highest court, the European Court of Justice."