• From Bloomberg:
"Amazon continued blocking sellers from offering lower prices on rival sites, despite assuring antitrust enforcers it ended its policy that artificially inflated prices for consumers, according to newly unsealed filings in California’s antitrust lawsuit against the e-commerce giant.
"The Seattle-based company planned to expand penalties on sellers who presented lower prices outside Amazon, even after it claimed in 2019 that it stopped punishing third-party merchants who posted better deals on Walmart, Target, eBay, and, in some instances, their own websites, according to previously redacted portions of the suit that were made public Friday.
"Amazon knew its sellers lived 'in constant fear' of account suspensions or fast-selling products being taken down, according to an internal company document cited in the complaint.
"California Attorney General Rob Bonta is seeking a court order blocking Amazon from continuing to engage in what he alleged is anticompetitive behavior, as well as compensation for consumers in the most populous U.S. state. A similar suit filed by Washington, D.C., was dismissed in 2021."
• Bloomberg reports that Amazon's continuing desire "to gain a slice of the global gaming pie, which today is worth in the region of $200 billion each year," continues to by stymied, largely by the company's inability to develop a successful video game.
" It’s very hard to create a successful video game," Bloomberg acknowledges. "Like the movies, the top-grossing game charts are awash with sequels and tried-and-tested formats. Experimentation is expensive in time, money and risk." Amazon has spared no expense, spending an estimated $500 million a year on Amazon Game Studios, with "little to show for its efforts."
While CEO Andy Jassy has been publicly supportive, it appears that he's decided to punt: "As part of companywide layoffs this month in the face of spiraling costs, Amazon let go of around 100 employees from AGS … the feeling among the team was that Amazon seemed to be shifting its emphasis to acquiring more titles developed by third parties.
"That is undoubtedly the smart move. If Jassy wants a meaningful return on games, the quickest way to do that is to partner with outsiders with a proven ability to make great games."