LONDON — The European Commission said Tuesday that Amazon breached European antitrust rules by using independent sellers’ data for its own benefit.It has also announced a second formal investigation into the company’s e-commerce processes.- Advertisement – The commission’s second antitrust investigation will look at how the company choses which sellers offer products via Amazon Prime, its paid-for premium service. It will investigate the possible preferential treatment of Amazon’s own retail business and those that use its logistics and delivery services (known as “fulfilment by Amazon” sellers) over other sellers.It will also look into the Amazon’s “buy box” function, which offers customers a one-click button to add a product to their shopping cart. U.S. regulators and third-party sellers have previously questioned Amazon over which products get placed in the all-important buy box. Amazon maintains that the buy-box features the offer it thinks customers will prefer overall, while factoring in things like price, delivery speed and Prime.Vestager said that, while going through 80 million transactions and 100 million products listed on Amazon marketplace, “it became increasingly clear that there might something that we should look into further on the buy box.”The company will have now the chance to examine the commission’s conclusions and reply in writing or via an oral hearing.Clarification: The European Commissions has confirmed that its Statement of Objections, published Tuesday, does not constitute legal charges against Amazon.— CNBC’s Anne Palmer contributed to this report. – Advertisement – The commission, the executive arm of the European Union, launched a probe into the online retailer in July 2019 on concerns over anti-competitive behavior.Amazon said it disagreed with the commission’s assertions and “will continue to make every effort to ensure it has an accurate understanding of the facts.” It said that it represents less than 1% of the global retail market.“No company cares more about small businesses or has done more to support them over the past two decades than Amazon,” the e-commerce giant said.- Advertisement – In a statement, the commission said Amazon was using the data of third-party sellers — such as order numbers, revenues and number of visitors — to inform its strategic business decisions, like reducing the price of products.The issue arises because of Amazon’s dual role in selling products itself, and acting as a platform for independent — sometimes rival — sellers.“Data on the activity of third-party sellers should not be used to the benefit of Amazon when it acts as a competitor to these sellers,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition chief, said in the statement.- Advertisement –
As I was born in Zagreb, I have been living in Vinkovci for ten years now, weekend trips to Crikvenica have always been the most popular weekend destination for Zagreb residents. It has always been, let’s go for petrol and go to Crikvenica for the weekend. However, since I started working as an animator in tourism at the age of 16,5, unfortunately I have never been to Crikvenica with my team, but that was the rule of young people in Zagreb. The sea before the sea, ie the real annual. That’s what we said.Also, Crikvenica has always been a destination that we called Zagreb in a nutshell, because a lot of Zagreb residents, except on weekends, decided to spend their summer in Crikvenica. Certainly, for the most part, the decision to spend the annual in Crikvenica was made by previous positive experience. At the same time, due to its proximity, the first sea from Zagreb, as the people of Zagreb called it from miles away, has been a favorite destination for retirees all these years, both due to its proximity due to short travel and lower travel costs.In the whole story, a whole economy was born long ago, organized buses as well as weekend arrangements that offer cheap transportation to Crikvenica for the weekend and back. Crikvenica has partly lived since the weekenders from Zagreb, and it lived well. But times are different, Crikvenica has developed from year to year, raising its quality of accommodation. Exactly this year, Crikvenica is celebrating 130 years of tourism, a great jubilee, for which the weekenders were certainly responsible in part. After last year’s record tourist season, this year has started like never before. Thus, from January to May 2018, 50.835 guests stayed on the Crikvenica Riviera, achieving a total of 158.315 overnight stays, which is 26,64% more arrivals and 27,22% more overnight stays compared to the same period in 2017.Crikvenica bans entry of buses during the weekend in the destination that bring tourists on day trips Under the prism of reducing crowds, the City of Crikvenica brought The decision to stop and park tourist buses in the area of the City of Crikvenica during the tourist season, more precisely from June 15 to September 15. The decision of the City of Crikvenica was made according to which buses that bring tourists on day trips from June 15 to September 15, and they are mostly pensioners, will no longer be able to enter the city area.As stated in the explanation of the Decision, in the area of the City of Crikvenica during the summer tourist season, especially on Saturdays and Sundays, the arrival of a large number of tourist buses with several thousand tourists was noticed. It was assessed that the arrival of buses and one-day tourists should be reduced to an acceptable level, having in mind the sustainable capacity of roads, public areas, especially beaches. Therefore, in cooperation with the tourist community and bodies dealing with tourism, a proposal for a decision has been made which intends to regulate the arrival of these tourists, point out the city of Crikvenica. The decision refers to stopping and parking of tourist buses in the zone of special traffic regime in the area of the city of Crikvenica (settlements Selce, Crikvenica, Dramalj and Jadranovo), while the fine for stopping and parking of tourist buses in the zone of special traffic regime is 40.000,00 kuna (excluding VAT) per vehicle.Of course, the decision directly concerns “weekenders” as young people, and mostly retirees. Regardless of the perhaps good intentions of the city of Crikvenica to raise the quality of guests, it is not done in this way, practically banning some of the tourists from whom Crikvenica has lived very well all these years. It is important to emphasize that the Decision does not apply to tourist buses that bring or take away guests who have secured accommodation in accommodation facilities.The Pensioners ‘Union and the Croatian Pensioners’ Union reacted: Minister Cappelli, prevent discrimination against domestic older tourists!The Pensioners’ Union (SUH) and the Matica umirovljenika Hrvatske (MUH) opposed the decision of the City of Crikvenica on Thursday and consider it discriminatory against pensioners. Pensioners’ associations also addressed a letter to the Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli, in which they point out that it is well known that pensioners come on such one-day tourist trips, and assess that this discriminates against one category of tourists, domestic tourists, who are mostly elderly. age.”We express our extreme concern over the recent decision to stop and park tourist buses in the area of the City of Crikvenica and the knowledge that a similar decision could be voted for the area of the City of Novi Vinodolski and possibly other cities. Namely, the above-mentioned decisions refer exclusively to buses that bring tourists on day trips, and it is well known that these are pensioners. This discriminates against only one category of tourists, and that is domestic tourists, who are also mostly elderly people. Since the problem is multi-layered, please pay attention to the most important things. One-day excursions are part of the tourist offer, and given that the Republic of Croatia is economically oriented towards tourism as the main driver of development, limiting the tourist offer damages the image of Croatia as a tourist country, and will not bring anything good to local communities.”They point out from the Association of Pensioners and add that the largest number of one-day tourists are Croatian pensioners, who come to tourist destinations in favorable arrangements (from 80 to 120 kuna) because that is the only thing that is financially acceptable. See the full press release hereNamely, the average pension in the Republic of Croatia for March 2018, according to official HZMO data, amounts to HRK 2.345. The poverty line according to the CBS in 2017 amounted to HRK 2.180. Such pensions are received by 52,5 percent of our retirees or more than 600.000 people. I welcome the city’s desire to solve the problem of congestion in the city and bring order, but not in this way, by discrimination or banning some tourists, so there is a strategic and planned development, for which Crikvenica had more than enough time and capital, thanks to income from tourism.If in Crikvenica they think that they are now a destination for 4 stars, which they certainly are not, it is defined not only by desire, but by the quality of service, accommodation and content, and ultimately the price. Let them raise the prices in the destination by 40 percent if they think they are at the level of 4 stars and they will immediately make it clear what the price range of the destination is.But is the price increase realistic in line with the current tourist product of Crikvenica? It is not a question of mere price, but of value for money. A 4-star destination does not make a hotel a category, that it is one of the prerequisites, but the destination or motive for arrival is not accommodation, but a tourist destination. The destination must be at that level, with its decoration, quality and content for this type of guests. After all, it is a matter of strategic and sustainable development of the entire destination, including transport infrastructure that has not developed in line with tourism growth. There is less and less parking, greenery, beaches, and more and more tourists and the entire infrastructure is cracking at the seams. And that is the main reason for all the problems.As Nedo Pinezić pointed out in one of his columns… „A good destination is like a good theatrical performance. Spectators choose a different place in the theater at a different price, from the ground floor to the box, but everyone watches the same play. ” It is a good formula for product marketing and it is successfully applied in the most developed tourist countries”Smart enough. Whether this is a good or bad decision, time, ie the market will show its own.