Mar 2, 2019

Amazon wins a cashless ban carveout

Banned? Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty

In an example of the power of Big Tech, as Philadelphia moved to ban cashless stores, Amazon lobbyists went to work and won a carveout that makes an exception for its Go stores — but still outlaws the competition.

  • The loophole permits stores based on membership, like Costco, to go ahead with cashless.
  • Amazon managed to slip in with Prime, which allowed it to take advantage of the membership loophole, Councilman Bill Greenlee's office confirmed to Axios.
  • Sweetgreen is still barred.

That it wriggled out of the law is emblematic of Amazon's outsized market power, says Stacy Mitchell, a critic of the company and a researcher at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. "Amazon can walk into virtually any city in this country and tell people what to do."

  • Amazon declined to comment.

New Jersey's law has loopholes, too. There, car rentals and parking booths are exempt.

What to watch: The current version of New York's bill to ban cashless does not have carve-outs, so it would impact Amazon Go.

Go deeper

These swing voters don't like Trump’s environmental rollbacks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Swing voters in four battleground states decisively oppose President Trump’s sweeping rollbacks of environmental regulations — but it’s unlikely to sway their votes.

Why it matters: It’s voters living in states like these, including Florida and Pennsylvania, who fill pivotal roles electing America’s presidents, so we should listen.

Focus group: What some Florida swing voters think of Bloomberg

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Contributor

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Some swing voters here are unbothered by the way Michael Bloomberg is spending heaps of his own money to help him win the race — but they're split over whether they'd actually vote for the New York billionaire over President Trump.

Why it matters: Bloomberg is the only Democrat who was even slightly intriguing to these voters. They're happy with Trump and don't feel like they recognize the current Democratic Party relative to when they voted for Barack Obama.

In photos: India welcomes president with massive "Namaste Trump" rally

First Lady Melania Trump, President Trump and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the "Namaste Trump" rally at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told a massive crowd at a rally in Ahmedabad, northwest India, Monday he hopes to reach a trade deal with his ""true friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to the country "except he's a very tough negotiator."

Why it matters: The countries are forging deeper ties, particularly in the military dimension, as India’s location, size and economic growth making it the "obvious counterweight to China" for American policymakers, per Axios' Dave Lawler and Zachary Basu. Modi demonstrated the importance of the visit with a "Namaste Trump" rally at a packed 110,000-capacity Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad — the world's largest cricket venue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - World