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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

14 mins ago - Podcasts

Bob Nelsen on AstraZeneca and his plan to revolutionize biotech

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Monday reported promising efficacy data for their COVID-19 vaccine, which has less stringent storage requirements than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and may be distributed earlier in developing countries.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of vaccine and therapeutics manufacturing with Bob Nelsen, a successful biotech investor who on Monday launched Resilience, a giant new pharma production platform that he believes will prepare America for its next major health challenges.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Updated 20 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Unpacking Joe Biden's decision to tap John Kerry as his climate envoy

Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is naming former Secretary of State John Kerry as a special presidential envoy for climate change.

Why it matters: The transition team's announcement sought to show that it will be an influential role, noting that Kerry — a former Massachusetts senator and the Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee — will be on the National Security Council.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries

Waiting, in New Delhi. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

While the 95% efficacy rates for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are great news for the U.S. and Europe, Monday's announcement from Oxford and AstraZeneca may be far more significant for the rest of the world.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca plan to distribute their vaccine at cost (around $3-4 per dose), and have already committed to providing over 1 billion doses to the developing world. The price tags are higher for the Pfizer ($20) and Moderna ($32-37) vaccines.