Brussels (Brussels Morning) Amazon has launched an online store in Sweden, its first in the Nordic countries, with plans to expand further across Europe, CNBC reported Wednesday.
Amazon already operates online stores in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK. More recently, it launched an online store in the Netherlands.
Until now, Swedes could order products from Amazon stores in other EU member states, but they did not have access to the full product range and faced high delivery fees. Alex Ootes, Vice President for EU Expansion at Amazon, said the online store will feature more than 150 million products, including tens of thousands of Swedish products, ensuring that Swedish consumers would have a wide range to select from and low prices..
While advocates note that Amazon provides a new platform for local retailers and convenience for consumers, critics point to the threat it poses to local companies and express concern over Amazon’s treatment of employees.
According to a Google-sponsored study of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), the EU’s plan to rein in US tech giants could cost the bloc up to Euros 85 billion in economic growth, Reuters reported yesterday, Wednesday. Under the EU-proposed rules, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google would have to share data with rivals and not be allowed to favour their own services.
ECIPE warned that planned regulation of tech giants could have a chilling effect on the EU economy, possibly reducing the labour force by 0.9%. The proposed Digital Services Act could result in loss of some Euros 85 billion in GDP and Euros 101 billion in lost consumer welfare. According to the ECIPE, these figures are derived from an examination of ex-ante regulations of general purpose technology.
The ECIPE expressed its reservations about ex-ante regulations, where companies are regulated before competitive harm or market failure is proven, cautioning that such an approach is unsuitable for sectors that are rapidly evolving.
Once the EU Commission publishes new rules on 2 December, member states and the EU Parliament will have to approve them before they come into force.