business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  From The Information:

"Amazon has reached a deal with Snap that will let people buy Amazon products directly from ads on the Snapchat app, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed. The previously unreported arrangement closely resembles an ad partnership announced last week between Amazon and Meta Platforms, which lets people buy products through Amazon ads on Instagram and Facebook without leaving those apps.

"The two deals suggest Amazon is trying to make it easier for people to buy Amazon goods without visiting the Amazon website. Broadening Amazon’s reach could help the ecommerce giant compete with fast-growing rivals such as ByteDance’s TikTok and Shein. TikTok is building an online shopping business, TikTok Shop, while Shein is aggressively expanding its fast-fashion shopping business in the US … The deal is also good news for Snap, which has been struggling to revive its ad business after an industry wide slump that was exacerbated by Apple’s ad-targeting changes in 2021."

I'll repeat what I said about the Instagram and Meta deals with Amazon - not only does it help all these companies compete with TikTok, but it gives Amazon the ability to tap into the social media ecosystem, an area in which it has not been successful on its own.

•  From CNBC:

"Amazon will buy renewable energy from a solar project in Garrett County, Maryland, that is being built on a brownfield - the former site of a 120-year-old coal mine. The new project is expected to create 200 jobs and will include more than 300,000 solar panels, making it the largest solar farm in the state.

"Amazon will use the new facility to power its Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers as well as fulfillment centers and physical stores. It will also proved clean power to local communities. It is one of 78 new solar and wind projects Amazon has announced investments in so far this year.

"The former coal site, which had to be cleaned of toxins, is particularly attractive because it already has access to an energy interconnection and substations. Creating this related infrastructure is often the biggest roadblock to new clean energy projects. The solar panels can service the surrounding community quite easily."

•  From CNBC:

"Amazon on Monday announced it will cut more than 180 jobs in its Amazon Games division as it refocuses its efforts on Prime Gaming, according to an internal company memo viewed by CNBC.

"The company will close its Game Growth and Crown Channel initiatives as part of the restructuring. Now, Amazon will focus on upcoming launches such as 'Throne and Liberty' and 'Blue Protocol,' as well as future initiatives such as 'Tomb Raider' and 'The Lord of the Rings' games, Christoph Hartmann, vice president of Amazon Games, wrote in the memo to employees."