In the U.S., the spotlight is on Amazon, and for good reason. The company's recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market, it's potential foray into the pharmaceuticals business and its omnipresent share of e-commerce sales during the holiday season are generating positive headlines. When you add the company's nationwide search for its second headquarters, the media coverage only gets more intense.
But in Europe, it's a bit different.
To start, we'll skip across the pond to Great Britain. Amazon's promise of next-day deliveries in the UK could be investigated amid customer complaints that it is failing to meet that pledge. The UK Advertising Standards Authority is considering a formal inquiry into Amazon's Prime service, reported BBC (Dec. 18).
Next, when we jump across the English Channel, we see some developing news in France. The French economy minister filed a lawsuit against Amazon for allegedly imposing unfair commercial relationships to suppliers in the country, and is seeking a fine of $11.8 million. Investigators claim Amazon imposed a series of abusive clauses to its commercial partners in France, including the possibility to change or terminate contracts unilaterally, reported CBS News (Dec. 18).
Meanwhile, a bit further east in Europe: Amazon will pay $118 million to end a tax dispute in Italy. Loopholes allowed Amazon to pay less in taxes between 2011 and 2015, according to Italian investigators. Amazon confirmed the agreement without disclosing the amount it would pay, reported Yakima Herald-Republic (Dec. 15).
Although Amazon ended its legal worries in Italy with the settlement, the company still needs to resolve the issues it is facing in France and the UK. As always, stick with the Food Institute for the most recent developments.
After a week's vacation, I returned to my desk Oct. 15 and read through the past week's editions of Today in Food to refresh myself on what I had missed. Immediately, I found a common thread in our Washington section: class action lawsuits focused on labeling.read more
Food retailers are likely to be pressured by low online penetration and a highly competitive market through 2023, according to research from Morgan Stanley. While the U.S. grocery industry generated $840 billion in sales in 2017, growing 4% annually, and is the largest retail category at 18.5% of sales, the grocery category has the lowest online penetration in the U.S., at 3%, compared to more than 10% for total retail...read more
Chris focuses on fresh, canned and frozen fruit and fresh and dried vegetables for the Food Institute Report. In addition, he assists in compiling data for various Food Institute publications throughout the year. He is a proud Rutgers University alumnus with a degree in English, and has a background in web writing for a variety of industries, including legal, foodservice and small-to-medium sized businesses. In his downtime you can find him watching New York Yankees baseball, hiking, enjoying live music and spending time with his dog Kaiden. He invites you to contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about anything food-related.
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