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Amazon Games Maker Asmodee Sue Over Alleged Counterfeiting

Amazon, Games Maker Asmodee Sue Over Alleged Counterfeiting

June 24, 2021 at 08:11PM
by PYMNTS

Amazon’s campaign against counterfeiting has broadened with their Thursday (June 24) announcement that the online giant is linking up with games maker Asmodee Group in a lawsuit. The legal action is against New York City-based defendants that, the lawsuit charges, “attempted to offer” counterfeit products on Amazon’s marketplace.

The defendants allegedly counterfeited Asmodee’s award-winning card game sets “Dixit: Daydreams Expansion” and “Dixit: Revelations Expansion.” The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington state, alleges that two defendants used Asmodee’s registered trademarks without authorization to deceive customers about the authenticity and origin of the products.

Amazon said that it closed the defendants’ selling account and refunded the affected customers. The retailer said that the defendants’ actions were illegal and violated Amazon’s policies and infringed on Asmodee’s trademarks.

“If a counterfeiter attempts to take advantage of our customers or partners like Asmodee, our Counterfeit Crimes Unit will hold them accountable through civil litigation or criminal referral to law enforcement,” said Kebharu Smith, director of counterfeit crimes unit. He said the retailer makes “significant investments” in technology that employs machine learning (ML) along with the use of expert investigators.

He added that Amazon will hold alleged counterfeiters accountable through civil litigation or criminal referral to law enforcement.

The news release said that “in 2020, Amazon invested more than $700 million and employed more than 10,000 people to proactively protect its store from fraud, counterfeit, and abuse.” The company said it works hard to verify information provided by potential sellers.

In 2020, Amazon said, only 6 percent of “attempted new seller account registrations passed” its “robust verification processes and listed products for sale.”

Amazon said in May in its 2020 Brand Protection Report that the company had “seized and destroyed more than 2 million [counterfeit] products” before they were sent to customers.

“We’ve helped our selling partners keep their virtual doors open, and despite increased attempts by bad actors, continued to ensure that the vast majority of customers shop with confidence from our broad selection of authentic products,” said Dharmesh Mehta, Amazon’s vice president for customer trust and partner support, in the May news release.

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Amazon Gopuff Both Seek To Acquire Grocery Delivery Startup Flink

Amazon, Gopuff Both Seek To Acquire Grocery Delivery Startup Flink

June 09, 2021 at 06:17PM
by PYMNTS

Amazon and U.S. delivery company Gopuff, which is backed by SoftBank, are both looking at buying up Germany-based Flink, sources told Bloomberg. Flink has already spurned a bid from Gopuff.

The status of Amazon’s and Gopuff’s competing buyout bids is unclear, but delivery apps are increasingly looking at buying up potential rivals in Europe.

Flink, a grocery-delivery startup, raised $240 million earlier this month. Backers included Prosus, investment company Bond and Mubadala Capital. The Berlin-based Flink, which launched just six months ago, has partnered with the Rewe Group supermarket chain.

“The order growth we have seen over the past weeks has been explosive,” said Co-founder Oliver Merkel. Flink said it already has more than 50 local hubs and is opening a new hub every two days. The delivery company also noted that it reaches more than three million customers every day. Flink — which means “quick” in German — delivers groceries in Germany, France and the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, Gopuff has big expansion ambitions. Last month, the company announced it was acquiring the on-demand delivery platform Fancy in the U.K. The value of the deal was not disclosed. In a press release, the company noted that the deal marked its first foray into international markets. Daniel Folkman, Gopuff’s senior vice president of business, said his company plans to expand onto the continent as well. “At Gopuff, we have been consistently focused on responsible growth, strategically establishing the physical infrastructure and footprint needed to bring Instant Needs to new geographies and customers,” said Folkman.

Fancy vows to deliver products in 30 minutes or less using “micro-fulfillment centers” in six cities across the U.K. The goal of using micro-fulfillment centers is to supply products to the actual consumer, thereby cutting down on the time needed to deliver online orders. Fancy and Gopuff share similar delivery models, as Gopuff calls itself the go-to platform for consumers’ immediate, everyday needs.

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Amazon Goldman JD.com Target Vietnam's Growing eCommerce Market

Amazon, Goldman, JD.com Target Vietnam’s Growing eCommerce Market

June 02, 2021 at 02:31AM
by PYMNTS

Amazon, JD.com and Goldman Sachs are among the big names honing in on a burgeoning Vietnamese market for eCommerce, Bloomberg reported.

Vietnam’s digital economy is forecasted to grow to $52 billion by 2025, which would represent an annual 29 percent increase from 2020, according to Bloomberg.

Many Vietnamese residents are only just now trying online shopping due to the pandemic, and the country has long been reliant on cash. Less than 5 percent of Vietnamese consumers own credit cards, and only around one-third have bank accounts, Bloomberg reported.

But the aforementioned big companies are now targeting Vietnam’s growing middle class. Investors funneled $1.9 billion into Vietnam’s online sector between 2016 and the first half of 2020, according to Bloomberg.

Online sales are likely to account for 10 percent of Vietnam’s retail sales by 2025, and as much as 50 percent in areas like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Bloomberg reported.

Officials are looking at reducing cash payments and making way for a more transparent, digital-friendly and modern economy, according to Bloomberg. That includes boosting cashless payments for public services and improving the regulatory framework for ePayments.

But there are still some issues to contend with, including the fact that shoppers are wary of fraud and online stores that usually don’t allow returns. Hanoi-based economist Nguyen Tri Hieu said, per Bloomberg, Vietnamese people don’t trust what they can’t see. That has led to some sites offering promotions, price cuts and more.

The pandemic did give a boost to eCommerce, though, with a 30 percent jump in everything from food to electronics in 2020 as people were staying inside to avoid the coronavirus, Bloomberg reported.

PYMNTS reported that women could be a big economic driver in Southeast Asia, potentially contributing around $280 billion to the eCommerce market between 2025 and 2030. A report from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) found that boosting the amount of women selling online could increase sales volume.