Nov 6, 2017

Amazon discounts 3rd party sales with its own cash

An Amazon worker fulfills a customer order. Photo: Ross D. Franklin / AP

Amazon is investing its own money to discount items sold on its platform by third parties, the Wall Street Journal reports, amid growing competition for holiday sales with rivals like Dollar General and Walmart.

  • Third-party sellers are still earning the same margins on sales made on the Amazon platform. Amazon is investing its own money to provide discounts as high as 9%, according to the report. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
  • Though the move could drive higher sales for vendors, some are worried that the practice could devalue products in the eyes of consumers, or lead to violations of pricing agreements between sellers and their suppliers, the WSJ said.

Why it matters: Third-party sales represent roughly half of all goods sold on Amazon, and therefore the firm must exert greater control over pricing to make sure it's beating the competition.

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.