• Amazon invested in Deliveroo, a British food delivery startup. The startup’s recent $575 million raise was led by the ecommerce company, which closed its own UK food delivery service in late 2018 after about two years of operation. The funding also comes just after Amazon announced that it would pay current employees to start their own delivery firms—a tactic meant to bolster its fulfillment potential.
  • As it works to speed up delivery times, Amazon will offer same-day delivery to Prime members in Orlando, Florida, including Disney World. This move is reminiscent of the debut of Amazon Lockers at Coachella in April, and also builds on the company’s embrace of on-demand retail.
  • Amazon may acquire Ad Server, a branch of Sizmek, an advertising platform that went bankrupt in March 2019. The merger would improve Amazon’s ability to sell ads, as well as assess their effectiveness, which will help it compete with Google’s ad business. This also comes just after Google Chrome’s new update, which limits ad tracking. This move benefits consumers, but curbs Amazon’s ability to match its wealth of customer data with audience data from third-party sites.
  • Amazon and Adobe announced a non-exclusive partnership called Branded Stores for Amazon Sellers, permitting smaller Amazon vendors to create “first-party commerce experiences,” while continuing to utilize Amazon fulfillment and transaction services. The partnership enhances Adobe’s recently launched Commerce Cloud and makes Amazon more appealing for third-party sellers that can use the program to compete more effectively with direct-to-consumer brands.
  • Amazon no longer allows vendors to resell Apple products—the latest sign that the ecommerce marketplace is prioritizing major sellers over smaller ones. This January 2019, Amazon enacted a new policy that limited which sellers are considered “authorized providers” of various brands in order to bulk up its third-party vendor business, which is now bigger than the company’s first-party business. As the policy reads with Apple, vendors seeking authorization must either 1) receive authorization from Apple itself or 2) buy a minimum of $2.5 million worth of “refurbished inventory” every three months from Apple or through a major retailer such as Target or Walmart that sells Apple products. If this works, other big brands such as Nike will push Amazon to do the same for them, shutting out vast networks of unauthorized resellers.
  • Days after the company began construction on a new air hub outside of Cincinnati, set to open in 2021, Amazon has secured a lease for another in Florida. As of December 2018, Amazon has 40 of its own operating aircrafts, which it will soon bring to 50-plus with the Cincinnati expansion. Expect more as the air hub in Florida develops. It currently operates about 22 hubs across the U.S.