Following the latest widespread publicity about Amazon and Apple to become US$1 trillion companies and negative reports of Amazon's use of labour-hire workers, US independent Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a new tax bill targeting Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos and contrasted Mr. Bezos's vast personal wealth with poor compensation of the companies' lowest-paid workers.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Senator Sanders bill is aimed at ending what he said is middle-class taxpayers' subsidization of large profitable companies owned by billionaires.
The move came days after Amazon announced it would acquire Aditya Birla's retail food and grocery chain More in India as part of a consortium with Samara Capital.
In late August, LZ Retailytics said that Amazon is intensifying its efforts in the B2B channel by courting wholesalers for co-operation in Germany.
"This move will likely offer a stepping stone for some small to medium wholesalers; while spelling the end for others. It seems unlikely that the largest wholesalers would offer their assortment on Amazon’s marketplace," LZ Retailytics said.
The small wholesalers are already having to fight against the two big players, Metro AG and Transgourmet (Coop CH), which together have combined retail sales of EUR8.3bn. And let’s not forget the German number one grocer Edeka’s own foodservice banner; as well as Lekkerland, the retail analyst said.
"A better target group can arguably be found outside of the typical HoReCa environment: offices and kiosks. Even if Amazon’s wholesale move is not hugely successful, it could be enough to destroy some of the smallest players in the market. However, in the short term, we do not expect the online giant to completely shake up the German wholesale industry."
A consortium of Amazon and private equity fund Samara Capital is reportedly set to purchase supermarket chain More from Aditya Birla Group (ABRL), according to The Economic Times of India and Retail Insight in early September.
Two executives familiar with the matter were cited by The Economic Times as saying that the investment bank Goldman Sachs opted out of the consortium.
With an enterprise value ranging between US$576.94m and US$591.03m, the transaction is said to assist ABRL in clearing its entire debt.
It will be carried out through an existing facility management back-end firm and is scheduled to be completed in the next days.
Following the completion of the transaction, Samara will own a 51 percent stake and the remaining will be held by Amazon.
One executive was quoted by the publication as saying: “Since the back-end company where Samara and Amazon are investing has no restriction on FDI, there is no problem.”
“Amazon does not want to run into any regulatory hurdles and hence wants Samara to acquire the majority 51 percent.”
More is the fourth largest supermarket chain in India, operating 575 stores. Following the takeover, the new owners will be asking Aditya Birla to set up 100-150 new stores annually. Amazon India will be using the physical stores' network to support its omnichannel strategy and Prime Now platform in the region.
“Online food and grocery retailing is not possible without physical stores and hence Amazon wants More as its part of the omnichannel ecosystem in India,” the executive said.