Dans le NYT, Paul Krugman s’emporte contre le “monopsone” de Amazon

Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not O.K. - NYTimes.com

Dans son édito du NYT, Paul Krugman estime que Amazon est trop puissant et que les méthodes de l’entreprise finissent par faire du mal aux Etats-Unis.

Plusieurs points sont intéressants :

  • Les produits de Amazon sont plébiscités par les consommateurs, mais ceux de la Standard Oil de Rockfeller l’étaient tout autant
  • A l’occasion d’une dispute commerciale sur les marges dans la vente de livres, Amazon a commencé à ralentir la livraison, augmenter les prix ou rediriger les consommateurs de livres Hachette.
  • Ces stratégies commerciales ressemblent trait pour trait à celles de l’époque des “barons voleurs”, comme Standard Oil qui pouvait refuser de livrer du pétrole aux entreprises qui contestaient ses conditions
  • Amazon n’essaie pas d’exploiter ses consommateurs, mais ses producteurs. Ce n’est pas un monopole, mais un monopsone – un acheteur unique en situation de tirer les prix d’achat vers le bas.
  • Ce pouvoir est bien plus grand que ce suggèrent les seules parts de marché. Le simple fait de ne pas vendre un livre sur Amazon risque d’entraver le processus de bouche à oreille qui est au coeur de la vente de biens culturels.
  • L’exemple de Hachette montre qu’on ne peut pas faire confiance à Amazon.
  • La principale question est celle de l’influence déloyale d’Amazon qui va bien au-delà de la question de son combat avec Hachette. Par exemple, le blog Bits du NYT a repéré que le dernier livre des ultralibéraux frères Koch était disponible en livraison immédiate tandis que celui du démocrate Paul Ryan n’était disponible que sous 2 à 3 semaines.
  • Finalement, pour Krugman, la question qui se pose n’est pas de savoir si Amazon bénéficie aux consommateurs, mais si l’entreprise abuse de sa position. Pour lui, la réponse ne fait pas de doute.

Au-delà de l’angle des critiques de Amazon qui s’axe de moins en moins sur le droit de la concurrence, et de plus en plus sur la diversité d’information, c’était l’occasion d’apprendre le mot “monopsone” qui décrit la situation de quelqu’un qui est le seul acheteur sur un marché.

L’article est ici : Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not O.K. – NYTimes.com.

 

Pendant ce temps, dans le vrai monde : Amazon’s Twitch Acquisition Is Official

Amazon’s Twitch Acquisition Is Official | TechCrunch

Un milliard en cash pour une plateforme de vidéos en ligne créée il y a 3 ans. Y’aurait peut-être de belles opportunités à aider Ogaming ou Pomf et Thud en France ? Non ca n’intéresse personne ? L’emploi, la croissance, la jeunesse, toussa ?

Amazon’s Twitch Acquisition Is Official | TechCrunch.

Silicon Valley’s lobbying methods in India raise questions and look right out the Shock Doctrine playbook.

Now it’s time for Silicon Valley to profit from the new Indian ecommerce laws it helped shape | PandoDaily

I was surprised to find this long and well-researched article from Mark Ames on Pando on the new US investments in India’s e-commerce sector, and the hight stakes politics that are involved – disrupting and reshuffling the political demographics of the world’s largets democracy.

The question is to know whether it will be possible to allow foreign companies to invest in Indian e-commerce.

As explained, there is an investment war going on. India’s Flipkart.com recently raised $1 billion from global venture capital firms, the largest venture investment ever into an Indian Internet company, and 2014’s second largest investment round after Uber. But less than 24 hours later, Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon would invest $2 billion into building up Amazon.in’s operations, the largest investment to date by an e-commerce company in India.

With the help of US e-commerce corporations and their affiliated intellectual machine – essayists, entrepreneurs, think tanks, academics – the Obama Administration has been pressuring India hard to open up its market — failing with the previous government, but apparently succeeding with Modi.

The ruling center-left government already accused Omidyar Network and the Ford Foundation of illegally lobbying parliament – “one of the most brazen examples of Silicon Valley strategically meddling in a sovereign nation’s politics.” as Mark Ames puts it. Modi’s plans are now to open up India’s e-commerce market as one of his first major policy moves, with the help of representatives from eBay/PayPal, Amazon and Google.

But betting with Modi is a risky bet that, if it goes bad, could redefine just how catastrophic “disruption” can be. He’s portraited as a populist playing with racism and hatred with a role in the brutal anti-Muslim pogroms in 2002, which left some 2000 Muslims murdered, and hundreds of thousands internally displaced.

For indians, the risk of opening their market is to rapidly centralize and monopolize power over large sectors of their economy. Netflix, Amazon, iTunes could become “superdominant entities that would enjoy real cost advantages over real-world rivals.” Quoting Stiglitz, “the real harm will not be to the retail sector. That is not the real problem. The harm will be to the Indian supply chain going into the retail sector.”

But as Mark Ames nails it, “the disruptive powers of Silicon Valley e-commerce could be one of Modi’s most effective political weapons.” What could be the next steps after opening up the e-commerce market? Gutting labor laws, opening India to foreign insurance giants and allowing huge outflows of capital. It would be the end of India’s socialist-minded supportive political economy. It would be the victory of India’s booming tech sector, its entrepreneurial class, its financial class, the winners in the new retail sector, and of course India’s wealthy, whose billionaires overwhelmingly support Modi… a destroyed economy and a country full of deadly riots, pogroms and hatred.

As Mark Ames explains it well, the question is not progress versus tradition, it’s that we should all be worried to see giants like Google, Amazon or eBay resort to the strategies of the 60’s US multinationals, using their money and power to open up countries and industries with the aim of increasing market access and profitability, and removing protective mechanisms, regardless of the cultural or social costs, and usually contributing to the creation of debt, poverty, and wealth disparity, often to the benefit of a small elite.

All of this with the help of an intellectual machine – essayists, entrepreneur, think tanks, academics – that allow them to go way further than simple lobbying but ends up providing the ideas, the conceptual framework and the ivy-league educated personnel that will eventually lead the country to their wills and needs.

Have you heard of Indonesia in 1965-66 under General Suharto – if not, watch The Act Of Killing? The Ford Foundation was already there, financing university exchange to ensure that a free market-minded “Berkley Mafia” to fill the ranks of the new administration in the years to come. Estimates of those killed range from half a million to a million.

Now it’s time for Silicon Valley to profit from the new Indian ecommerce laws it helped shape | PandoDaily.

Plot Thickens as 900 Writers Battle Amazon - NYTimes.com

Just as any supermarket would do, Amazon is feuding with its producers in order to get better prices. But they forgot that writers are not exactly your ordinary poultry producers – they have an ego, many fans, a vision, and thousands years of history as an industry. They don’t appreciate to be treated as producers and not as writers. And they are probably right.

Via: Plot Thickens as 900 Writers Battle Amazon – NYTimes.com.