Inside Amazon - March 16th, 2020

Inside Amazon (Mar 16th, 2020)

Grocery and Prime Deliveries delayed / Spain warehouse to stay open / EU tax evasion

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Hello Inside Amazon Readers,

A lot happened in the world of Amazon this weekend - and I've dug in to get the best insider news from all over the internet (and a few inside sources.) This takes me several hours every day to hunt down this great content and package it up here for you. I hope that saves you time - and I hope you agree with me that it is well worth the premium subscription price of less than $10 a month, which will help me continue to bring the best insider news.

This week, Inside Amazon is officially moving to a premium subscription model, so only Premium Subscribers will receive all newsletters five days a week. Meanwhile, our "Free Friday" edition will be available to everyone still.

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🔽  AMZN 1,752 -36.33 (-2.14%) as of 11:32 am EDT. Market Open.

1. As shoppers have begun emptying brick-and-mortar grocery store shelves amid the new coronavirus, requests for Amazon grocery delivery has surged, causing a technical glitch in Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh deliveries. Amazon released a statement last night acknowledging COVID-19's impact on the system that affected delivery orders, saying, "We’re contacting customers, issuing concessions, and are working around the clock to quickly to resolve the issue.” Amazon delivery drivers faced long lines and delays picking up orders for grocery delivery as well as Prime Now. Amazon sent a notice to shoppers on March 2 that its delivery capacity was being stretched with increased demand. Although shoppers took to Twitter with complaints about deliveries being delayed, Amazon Fresh's last tweet as of this writing was from Feb. 12 promoting Valentine's candy delivery.  -- BLOOMBERG

2. INSIDER NEWS. In private chat boards, Amazon warehouse employees explain why Whole Foods, Prime Now and Amazon Fresh deliveries are delayed and suspended. 

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3. Three cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in two of Amazon's warehouses in Spain, according to Spanish Media, workers say the company will not close the facilities. The three employees tested positive for the virus in a warehouse in San Fernando just outside of Madrid and near Barcelona. The local worker's union said it will take legal action against Amazon. "They're putting financial gain before workers' health," said a union spokesperson. -- BUSINESS INSIDER

4. Amazon has been accused of tax evasion in the E.U.

5. Lawmakers in the U.K. are looking at a digital services tax that may be as high as two percent of big tech business revenues in the country. 

6. re:MARS 2020, the annual Amazon AI event scheduled for June 16 through 19, has been canceled. The annual event focusing on machine learning, automation, robotics, and space was slated to be held in Las Vegas, however, event organizers posted a statement on the event website explaining the cancellation is due to concern over the COVID-19 pandemic: "All guests who have purchased tickets will receive a full refund of registration fees. Hotel rooms booked through our conference website will be canceled free of charge. Over the course of the coming weeks, we will explore other ways to engage the community." -- TECHCRUNCH

7. Amazon has launched a new music app, "Amazon for Artists," that provides business insights for artists, with services including monitoring how their music is performing on streaming services. Available for both iOS and Android, the app is tied to a companion website that gives tutorials for artists and their teams to learn more about the app, as well as beat practices, opportunity areas and other resources. Data on the website is updated every few hours and includes archives that go back to 2018. The app is available for download from the mobile app store. -- VARIETY

8. Amazon is in talks with Walmart and Target to license its "Just Walk Out" technology used in its cashier-less stores.

9. Hunters is being asked to cease production.

10. Amazon is offering products to help meet the challenges that workers are facing working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. A search on for "work from home" brought up a page that includes books and "pluggable technologies" such as docking stations, surge protectors, external hard drives, and a variety of other computer peripherals. -- AMAZON

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Written and curated by Kathleen Walder, a writer and humorist who began her journalism career using a typewriter.  She co-hosts KatSoup, a podcast and weekly program on Ohio’s Radio Reading Service for the visually impaired and print disabled. Her blog, Date-a-palooza, takes a jaundiced look at the world of online dating. Follow her on Twitter @kswalder.

Edited by Beth Duckett, staff writer at Inside.

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