Amazon reclassified as grocer by UK, subjecting it to more regulation

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2022
The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) says Amazon is to be subject to the same regulations as grocers or supermarkets, a decision Amazon called "chilling."




Legally placing Amazon under the same category as retailers such as the UK's main supermarkets, means it will have to adhere to a code of practice. According to the Financial Times, the code specifically prevents larger grocers from unfairly treating their suppliers.

"Households across the UK are increasingly using Amazon to buy food and other essential items," Adam Land, senior director for remedies, business and financial analysis at the CMA, said. "Today's decision to designate Amazon helps to ensure a level playing field for companies active in the groceries sector as people's buying habits evolve."

Amazon does not offer own-brand food, and instead distributes groceries through its Amazon Fresh service, plus online stores. According to the CMA, Amazon's 2017 acquisition of supermarket Whole Foods, and the launch of Amazon Fresh, meant it comes under grocer regulations.

According to the Financial Times, Amazon has disputed the designation. It said that reclassifying it as a grocer for the purpose of regulation created a "chilling precedent."

"We strive to build successful, long term relationships with our suppliers and look forward to working with the Groceries Code Adjudicator," an Amazon spokesperson told the publication. "We are proud to work with thousands of suppliers and offer a great shop window for their products in the UK and around the world."

Separately, Amazon has recently announced that it will be raising the price of subscription service Amazon Prime.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    Spolied food infested with maggots. Cancelled orders, Partial deliveries. $10 delivery fees. No more free delivery over $35 with Prime. Automatically added tips. Prime price increase. Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods are so expensive and the service so outrgeously bad I cancelled Prime altogether and i'm phasing out Amazon and Whole Foods permanently.
    rotateleftbytedarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 21
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,967member
    This seems rather arbitrary.  Unless Amazon’s turnover has a very large grocery component in the UK. 
       

    bloggerblogwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 21
    Buy a grocery store and deliver groceries, and people somehow think you're a grocery store??? Who knew?
    ronnpaxmanMacProJapheyforegoneconclusioncrowleyentropysOferwilliamlondoncommand_f
  • Reply 4 of 21
    I understand if the WholeFoods entity of the company is regarded as a grocer, but the whole of Amazon?! That’s just dumb
    dewmeJFC_PAwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 21
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,727member
    hmlongco said:
    Buy a grocery store and deliver groceries, and people somehow think you're a grocery store??? Who knew?
    Ha ha. Funny how that works. 
    Oferwilliamlondondarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 21
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,727member
    I understand if the WholeFoods entity of the company is regarded as a grocer, but the whole of Amazon?! That’s just dumb
    You sell groceries - you fall under grocery store regulations
    You sell electronics - you fall under electronics store regulations
    You sell medications - you fall under pharmacy regulation 
    etc etc
    You sell the lot - you fall under all of them. 
    Makes sense to me.
    JapheycrowleyentropysrotateleftbyteOferwilliamlondonmuthuk_vanalingamcommand_fchasmdarkvader
  • Reply 7 of 21
    Yes sir, we carry "chilling precedent" in the frozen foods section...
    dewmeforegoneconclusionOferTRAGcommand_fwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 21
    lukeilukei Posts: 378member
    “Amazon does not offer own-brand food, and instead distributes groceries through its Amazon Fresh service, plus online stores. “

    It does in the UK, I have had pizza, pasta and butter with packaging branded Amazon
    ronnrotateleftbytewilliamlondoncommand_fchasmdarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 21
    payecopayeco Posts: 578member
    “Amazon does not offer own-brand food” This is false. While the food isn’t branded “Amazon”, the company does own food brands that they sell on their site.
    foregoneconclusionronndarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 21
    Yep...365 has always been the store brand for Whole Foods, so that brand IS Amazon's store brand since the purchase of Whole Foods. 
    ronnwilliamlondonchasmdarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Haha, what a bunch of crybabies. 
    ronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 21
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,072member
    I am trying to work out what the regulatory crime is here?

    the west is subjecting itself to red tape overreach, but classifying an entity selling groceries as a grocery store just like every other entity selling groceries is not an example of bad policy.
    edited February 2022 muthuk_vanalingamcommand_fdarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 21
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 924member
    entropys said:
    I am trying to work out what the regulatory crime is here?

    the west is subjecting itself to red tape overreach, but classifying an entity selling groceries as a grocery store just like every other entity selling groceries is not an example of bad policy.
    Though that may depend on whether their electronics etc. are subject to regulation under the “groceries” criteria. 
    chadbagwilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 21
    entropys said:
    I am trying to work out what the regulatory crime is here?

    the west is subjecting itself to red tape overreach, but classifying an entity selling groceries as a grocery store just like every other entity selling groceries is not an example of bad policy.
    This ruling just puts Amazon under the same rules as every other food retailer in the country. it is about time too. Their **** is way too expensive and most of it is very poor quality (from Wholefoods in London). No surprise really. Their store in Kensington was once home to BIBA. If you are old enough you can remember that place. 
    command_fwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 21
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,967member
    JFC_PA said:
    entropys said:
    I am trying to work out what the regulatory crime is here?

    the west is subjecting itself to red tape overreach, but classifying an entity selling groceries as a grocery store just like every other entity selling groceries is not an example of bad policy.
    Though that may depend on whether their electronics etc. are subject to regulation under the “groceries” criteria. 
    That is the question.  If the whole Amazon is being classified as a Grocer and falls under those regulations, that is regulatory oversight reach and an arbitrary way of attacking Amazon through regulation.  If it is just their Grocery operations then it makes perfect sense.  

    I got the sense from the article that the whole Amazon company is being classified as a Grocer, though I could be wrong.  That doesn’t seem right as I doubt that their grocery turnover in the UK (or anywhere) is very high compared to their other operations or lines of business/ product categories.  
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 21
    y2any2an Posts: 178member
    I thought this was AppleInsider not AmazonInsider. What on earth has this to do with Apple?
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 21
    chadbag said:
    This seems rather arbitrary.  Unless Amazon’s turnover has a very large grocery component in the UK. 
       

    They literally own a grocery store. 
    ronndarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 21
    chadbag said:
    JFC_PA said:
    entropys said:
    I am trying to work out what the regulatory crime is here?

    the west is subjecting itself to red tape overreach, but classifying an entity selling groceries as a grocery store just like every other entity selling groceries is not an example of bad policy.
    Though that may depend on whether their electronics etc. are subject to regulation under the “groceries” criteria. 
    That is the question.  If the whole Amazon is being classified as a Grocer and falls under those regulations, that is regulatory oversight reach and an arbitrary way of attacking Amazon through regulation.  If it is just their Grocery operations then it makes perfect sense.  

    I got the sense from the article that the whole Amazon company is being classified as a Grocer, though I could be wrong.  That doesn’t seem right as I doubt that their grocery turnover in the UK (or anywhere) is very high compared to their other operations or lines of business/ product categories.  
    It’s not about the size of their grocery turnover. It’s the fact that a) Amazon is now well and truly in the grocery business (they literally own a grocery chain) and b) the sheer size and market power of Amazon in total means they can use that dominance to exert significant control over the grocery sector and its supply chain. 

    As an aside, no one is breaking up Amazon here or forcing them to change how they do business. They are not under “attack”. 
    muthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidtronndarkvaderwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 21
    y2an said:
    I thought this was AppleInsider not AmazonInsider. What on earth has this to do with Apple?
    I think wider technology stories are relevant/of interest to the readership here. The bigger issue of regulation of online sales is also very relevant to Apple, this story brings context.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 21
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,066member
    chadbag said:
    This seems rather arbitrary.  Unless Amazon’s turnover has a very large grocery component in the UK. 
       

    My grocery store sells book and magazines. Does that make them a bookstore?

    it has a pharmacy too. That makes it a drugstore.

    Amazon sells and delivers groceries. Food handling is important to public health, so there are regulations for that. It is, in part, a grocery store … just like every convenience store.

    That it would object to this is as bewildering as your comment.
    darkvaderwatto_cobra
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