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Today’s hot topic: German Cartel Office and Amazon

05.12.2018

Photo by Fabian Hurnaus from Pexels

Digital platforms create a great chance to the companies worldwide to grow their business and expand in a way that are never seen before. Germany is keeping up with this digital development and taking the advantages to become even more competitive compared to the other countries. According to Germany Trade and Invest, E-commerce was the leader of investment in German Start-ups in 2017 with the amount of 1 810 million euros. One of the worldwide leaders in the e-commerce industry is Amazon, the latest report indicates total net revenue of 56.6 billion U.S dollars. Being such a global leader, Germany is one of the locations for the company and Germany is actually Amazon’s second biggest market. Earlier in 2018 new jobs were open in Berlin for departments such as research and development, providing support to Prime Video and Alexa. And the future seems bright, Amazon.de has been estimated to employ over 18,000 by the end of 2018.

Despite the digital development brings great opportunities, the cons can’t be avoided. The problems concerning the privacy issues and equality among the users on different platforms. Today’s hot topic in the news is definitely about the situation between Amazon and the Federal Cartel Office of Germany. Several Newspapers such as Bloomberg and Reuters provided information concerning the topic on 29th of November, 2018. According to Reuters, the Federal Cartel Office Bundeskartellamt gave an statement on Thursday 29th of November receiving complaints from the traders of how Amazon is handling the business.  Reuters has gathered the opinion from Andreas Mundt, the President of Cartel,“Mundt said the investigation would examine the business conditions that Amazon imposes on traders using its site, including a lack of transparency over how it ends relations with merchants, delayed payments and shipping conditions”. According to the sources, the reaction to the situation was Amazon “will cooperate with the Bundeskartellamt and continue working hard to support small and medium-sized businesses and help them grow," stated with an email by the Amazon spokesperson.  The occur has awaken the industry and lead to a lot of discussion “EU governments largely backed new draft rules Thursday for how online platforms should treat customers fairly, including setting clear terms of service and improving how they handle complaints.”  as Bloomberg mentions in the article.

As a digital B2B platform PINPOOLS sees this an interesting topic for a discussion and to follow how the situation develops between Amazon and Bundeskartellamt. Germany plays a big role in Europe with digital technology and the development is expanding all the time, but the new opportunities needs to be taken into a consideration from the ethic side as well. How much information can the companies use of their users and what are the consequences? In the chemical industry, PINPOOLS gives an opportunity for transparency to its users to ensure the utilization of the platform, in order to value the customers and maintain the high level of independent service in Europe.