Threats to Amazon – The New York Times


“If they can automate more low-level work tasks, they will be less dependent on human labor,” Van Alstyne said. Robots are used in all Amazon already, and the company is race to extend their use in order to meet the stringent demands of Prime delivery logistics. But Amazon’s automation efforts could expose the company to additional liability.

Threats to Amazon

In order for Amazon robots to store, select, package and ship goods, all of these products must be in the company’s fulfillment centers, allowing Amazon to control the entire delivery process instead of outsourcing the delivery. ‘shipping to partners. Amazon is quick build warehouses to bring even more products in-house – a move that could strengthen the legal record that they are responsible for the safety of those products.

Lawmakers are more and more agitated reform section 230, the provision of the Communications Decency Act that protects platform companies from liability for harmful content on their platforms. While the provision is most often seen in relation to hate speech and disinformation on social media platforms, section 230 reforms could also open Amazon up to responsibility for harmful or defective products sold on its platform. With more and more products stored in-house, it will be increasingly difficult for Amazon to legally argue that it is simply a third-party platform and not the seller.

Amazon’s ambitions as a retailer complicate these third-party claims – ambitions that Matthew Hytinen, 41, a former supplier manager at Amazon who left the country in 2016, argues are monopolistic.

“How much should the market owner be able to leverage and control all of our data? Mr. Hytinen asked, adding that full visibility into customer buying habits allows Amazon to identify its most in-demand products, then manufacture, advertise and sell its own version, often surpassing its competitors.

“The problem is, this is an unfair entry,” Van Alstyne said. “I anticipate this will be addressed in subsequent legislation. “

Data privacy regulations, the most actively enforced in the European Union, could complicate a key pillar of the company’s business. Amazon is one of the largest cloud computing companies in the world and is responsible for more than a third the country’s data storage market. Amazon Web Services Revenue Increased Almost 39% one year ago, Up to $ 16.11 billion in the last quarter – and any regulations that create red tape on the storage and use of data could affect the company’s revenue in that vertical.


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