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charlesarthur : shopping   22

Facial recognition… coming to a supermarket near you • The Guardian
Tom Chivers:
<p>Facewatch is keen to say that it's not a technology company – it's a data management company. It provides management of the watch lists in what it says is compliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). If someone is seen shoplifting on camera or by a staff member, their image can be stored as an SOI [subject of interest]; if they are then seen in that shop again, the shop manager will get an alert. GDPR allows these watch lists to be shared in a “proportionate” way; so if you’re caught on camera like this once, it can be shared with other local Facewatch users. In London, says [CEO Nick] Fisher, that would be an eight-mile radius. If you’re seen stealing repeatedly in many different cities, it could proportionately be shared nationwide; if you’re never seen stealing again, your face is taken off the database after two years.

[Big Brother Watch director Silkie] Carlo is not reassured: she says that it involves placing a lot of trust in retail companies and their security staff to use this technology fairly. “We’re not talking about police but security staff who aren’t held to the same professional standards. They get stuff wrong all the time. What if they have an altercation [with a customer] or a grievance?” The SOI database system, she says, subverts our justice system. “How do you know if you’re on the watch list? You’re not guilty of anything, in the legal sense. If there’s proof that you’ve committed a crime, you need to go through the criminal justice system; otherwise we’re in a system of private policing. We’re entering the sphere of pre-crime.”

Fisher and Facewatch, though, argue that it is not so unlike the age-old practice of shops and bars having pictures up in the staff room of regular troublemakers. The difference, they say, is that it is not relying on untrained humans to spot those troublemakers, but a much more accurate system.</p>

Is it different from the no-fly list that the US government has operated for years, where there's little or no recourse if you're on it? Facewatch has been around for quite a while; maybe it's finally hitting its stride.
facialrecognition  shopping  crime 
6 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Samsung shuts down its AI-powered Mall shopping app in India • TechCrunch
Manish Singh:
<p>Samsung has quietly discontinued an app that it built specifically for India, one of its largest markets and where it houses a humongous research and development team. The AI-powered Android app, called Samsung Mall, was positioned to help users identify objects around them and locate them on shopping sites to make a purchase.

The company has shut down the app a year and a half after its launch. Samsung Mall was exclusively available for select company handsets and was launched alongside the Galaxy On7 Prime smartphone. News blog TizenHelp was first to report the development.

At the time of launch, Samsung said the Mall app would complement features of Bixby, the company’s virtual assistant. Bixby already offers a functionality that allows users to identify objects through photos — but does not let them make the purchase.</p>

Amazon had something similar on the Fire Phone. Strange, because it seems like a useful app, yet keeps dying a death.
samsung  ai  bixby  shopping 
10 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Is online shopping AR’s killer app? • On my Om
Om Malik:
<p>This week, I came across the Nike Fit, which seems like such a smart use of a much-hyped technology: augmented reality. Nike Fit allows you to point your phone at your feet and get the most accurate measurement. The size data that is collected enables you to find the right match for your foot from Nike’s mind-boggling array of shoe choices.

This is a product and use of technology that makes perfect sense. It affirms my confidence in the long-term prospects for AR and the possibilities of visual sensors. According to Nike’s PR, for what it’s worth, about “60% of people at any given time are walking around in the wrong size shoe.” And in North America alone, “half a million people complain about purchasing the wrong shoe size a year.”

In the past, we would go to a store, where a clerk would measure our foot using the Brannock Device to determine the correct fit. It would take him a trip back or two to the storeroom to find the right shoe. But we don’t go to the stores all that much anymore. Instead, we increasingly shop online and get everything shipped to our homes. </p>

My initial reaction was that this is a "no", but then again we do adapt to unusual ways of doing things. It would be good to be able to be certain of getting the right size of anything like that. Of course there's the question of what that does to the high street. Nothing good, probably.
online  shopping  augmentedreality 
may 2019 by charlesarthur
Time to bring Google Shopping case to a close
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE, ES) is a member of the European parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs committee:
<p>More than 18 months ago Google’s abuse of its power in online shopping resulted in a €2.42bn fine from the EU. By promoting its own shopping comparison service at the top of its own search results, Google had crossed the line between being dominant and breaking the law.

Commissioner Vestager told Google it had 90 days to change its ways or face further penalties. "What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules," she told the world. “It has denied other companies the chance to compete on their merits and to innovate, and most importantly it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice and innovation.”

Over 500 days later it is hard to see that Google has done enough to avoid further action.

According to the few companies that have, so far, survived Google’s abuse of dominance, the market has further deteriorated. The “point of no return” is plainly visible for what is left of Europe’s once prosperous and vibrant shopping comparison industry…

…I’ve already gone on the record to say that technical solutions can stop Google’s abuse without disrupting online shoppers or merchants. A rotation mechanism on the shopping search results page itself could allow the appearance of Google and its competitors. Google would be unable to exploit its search algorithms while users would get greater choice and relevant results.

Indeed, this approach would suit today’s mobile devices, perhaps rebooting the consumer-focused innovation in shopping comparison that died away once Google began to dominate the sector.

If the Commission feels the need, then other more radical options are still on the table. There are, for example, voices calling for the “unbundling” of Google’s various services, breaking up a tech giant that has problems not just in shopping but also in areas such as Android and AdSense.</p>

Interesting idea about the rotation mechanism, but who would choose who gets to be in it? I still prefer a system where you do well in organic search. It's honest and nobody adjudicates.
google  shopping  antitrust 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
Walmart mysteriously vanishes from Google Express • Android Police
Corbin Davenport:
<p>When Google Express re-launched in 2017 as a free service, it had two major retail partners — Walmart and Target. Both companies have a massive amount of stores across the United States, so Express became a great shopping tool as a result. However, Walmart seems to have been quietly removed from Express.

Visiting the former Walmart store page now simply shows a "Walmart is outside your delivery area." error message, even if you live in an area with a nearby Walmart store. The Twitter account for Express confirmed the removal, but did not provide further details.

The removal of Walmart definitely cripples Google Express, but it's not a death blow. Target is still partnered with Express, and sells many of the same items that Walmart did, including groceries and other home goods. Costco also has groceries, if you have a membership.

It seems likely that Walmart left Google Express to draw customers to its own services. </p>

Which means that soon there won't be a Google Express.
google  express  shopping 
january 2019 by charlesarthur
Amazon ruined online shopping • The Atlantic
Ian Bogost:
<p>The whole affair always felt unsettling. When the buttons launched, I called the Dash experience Lovecraftian, the invisible miasma of commerce slipping its vapor all around your home. But last week, a German court went further, ruling the buttons illegal because they fail to give consumers sufficient information about the products they order when pressing them, or the price they will pay after having done so. (You set up a Dash button on Amazon’s app, selecting a product from a list; like other goods on the e-commerce giant’s website, the price can change over time.) Amazon, which is also under general antitrust investigation in Germany, disputes the ruling.

Given that Amazon controls about half of the U.S. online-retail market and takes in about 5 percent of the nation’s total retail spending, it’s encouraging to see pushback against the company’s hold on the market. But Dash buttons are hardly the problem. Amazon made online shopping feel safe and comfortable, at least mechanically, where once the risk of being scammed by bad actors felt huge. But now online shopping is muddy and suspicious in a different way—you never really know what you’re buying, or when it will arrive, or why it costs what it does, or even what options might be available to purchase. The problem isn’t the Dash button, but the way online shopping works in general, especially at the Everything Store.</p>

Bogost is always worth reading, because he always finds a fresh way to come at a story.
amazon  shopping 
january 2019 by charlesarthur
Google rivals claim product search remains unfair • BBC News
<p>Google is not complying with European demands that it make the search for products fairer, rivals say.

In <a href="">an open letter to the EU's competition commissioner</a>, 14 European shopping comparison services said the measures put in place by the search giant to improve things, actually make matters worse.

They urged the commission to demand a new remedy.

Google said it had complied with the European Commission demands.

The search giant has faced a seven-year long battle with the European Commission over its dominance in the search market.

In June 2017, European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager ruled that Google had abused its power by promoting its own shopping service at the top of search results, and demanded that it provide equal treatment to rival comparison sites in future.

She issued a record fine of €2.42bn ($2.7bn; £2.1bn) - the largest penalty the European Commission has ever imposed. She also demanded that Google end its anti-competitive practices within 90 days or face further costs.

Google is still appealing against the fine, but has come up with a system that it says makes shopping fairer.

It changed the shopping box, which is displayed at the top of search results, so that it is no longer populated with just Google Shopping ad results, but gives space to other shopping comparison services, who can bid for advertising slots.</p>

The Google "solution" is unsatisfactory in so many ways, as the letter sets out. Its market dominance in Europe shuts out others; this "solution" just lets it charge them a door fee to reach people, instead of competing equally.
Google  shopping  europe 
november 2018 by charlesarthur
Flipkart acquires speech recognition start-up • Financial Times
Simon Mundy:
<p>The buyout reflects a growing consensus among ecommerce executives that strong growth will require a broadening of the market beyond English-speaking, relatively prosperous Indians who already do some shopping online.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, Flipkart chief executive, said that “the next wave of growth of internet users” was coming from beyond India’s major cities. He added that most of these new users would want to access online services in vernacular languages — which most would never before have written using a keyboard.

“Given the complexities in typing on vernacular keyboards, voice will become a preferred interface for new shoppers,” he said.

A joint report this month by Bain & Company, Google and Omidyar Network found that only 40% of India’s 390m internet users made any transactions online, with this group skewed overwhelmingly towards higher-income people.

Analysts say this is partly a reflection of the fact that Indian ecommerce offerings have failed to keep up with a shift in the country’s online demographics beyond the fluent English speakers who were first to get online.

KPMG estimates that in 2011, there were 68m Indian web users who were comfortable using English, against 42m who preferred using a local language. By 2016, the latter group outnumbered English speakers 234m to 175m. And in 2021, KPMG forecast, there would be 536m local language speakers online, against 199m English speakers.</p>

Significant point: in developing countries, voice is already the prime method for search, and can be for shopping too.
flipkart  voice  shopping  development 
august 2018 by charlesarthur
Google broke up a Vietnamese con scheme after an employee was scammed buying a Bluetooth headset • South China Morning Post
Jillian D'Onfro:
<p>When a Google executive found a high-end Bluetooth headset selling at a steep discount on the company’s shopping site earlier this year, he didn’t consider that the deal may have been too good to be true.

He ordered the product and waited. And waited. The expected delivery date passed. He tried calling the website’s customer service number. It was disconnected. The headset never arrived. The money was lost.

In reality, the merchant wasn’t based in the U.S., as its website indicated. Google Shopping had redirected the buyer to a bogus seller, who took the Google employee’s credit card information with no intention of ever sending out a headset.

The prospective buyer kicked the case over to his co-workers to start an investigation. But instead of simply banning the bad actor from listing new products, Google Shopping’s trust and safety team initiated a global probe that ultimately tracked down 5,000 merchant accounts wrapped up in a sophisticated scheme to defraud users.

“I think we caught them right at the tip of when they were trying to scale up,” Saikat Mitra, Google Shopping’s director of trust and safety, told CNBC.</p>
google  shopping  fraud  scam 
may 2018 by charlesarthur
Google rivals ask EU to toughen measures in antitrust case • WSJ
Natalia Drozdiak on how that “Google Shopping” compliance is going:
<p>New third-party data show that Google’s product ads appear in almost all of the product-ad spots it displays as part of the EU remedy. In a report published Monday, search analytics firm Searchmetrics said that only 2% of product-ad spots in Germany show competitors’ ads. In the U.K. the proportion is 0.4%. The researchers tested by recording product-ad results on Google for 2,500 popular keywords in each country.

The new system [introduced by Google, where it bids alongside other shopping sites for shopping ad slots on search results pages] is “nothing game-changing,” nor is it “meaningful enough to be considered a fair and even playing field,” says Harald Schiffauer, managing director of Nextag Inc.’s, a German site that bids actively in the Google system.

“It’s really hard to compete,” said Philipp Peitsch, managing director of Idealo, a price-comparison engine owned by Axel Springer SE. “I don’t think it’s a fair proposal.”

Google declined to comment on rivals’ individual allegations, but previously said that its remedy gives rivals the same opportunity as Google to show shopping ads to users.</p>

Google says it has set up the Shopping business as if it were a stand-alone, must-make-profit company. It would be great to see how that company is formed. Does it buy its own computers? Hire its own people? Rent its own offices? Or does it have a very cheap room inside Google staffed with Googlers?

I seem to recall that Foundem, which has done many piercing analyses of the proposals, forecast this outcome.
Foundem  google  shopping  antitrust  eu 
january 2018 by charlesarthur
Is this the society we really want? • NewCo Shift
John Battelle:
<p>Do we really want to buy our food at automated, faceless Amazon stores? Do we really want to cleanse all human contact from what is now one of our most human and most social activities — the gathering of our sustenance? When did society collectively decide that we no longer value the produce guy, the butcher, or the cashier who knows our kids and asks how our mother in law is faring?

My first take on Amazon Go is this: F*cking A, do we really want eggplants and cuts of meat reduced to parameterized choices spit onto algorithmized shelves? Ick. I like the human confidence I get when a butcher considers a particular rib eye, then explains the best way to cook that one cut of meat. Sure, technology could probably deliver me a defensibly “better” steak, perhaps even one tailored to my preferences as expressed through reams of data collected through means I’ll probably never understand.

But come on.

Sometimes you just want to look a guy in the eye and sense, at that moment, that THIS rib eye is perfect for ME, because I trust that butcher across the counter. We don’t need meat informed by data and butchered by bloodless algorithms. We want our steak with a side of humanity. We lose that, we lose our own narrative.</p>

It is the trend in cities - but Battelle is right: human interaction is essential. Else you're in some vaguely dystopian Black Mirror episode.
amazongo  shopping  human 
january 2018 by charlesarthur
Why Google's auction-based proposal does not comply with EC remedy requirements • Foundem
This is an interactive HTML presentation (hooray! The web lives!) by Foundem, the original - and successful - complainant against Google over how shopping searches are ranked.

Google, as noted previously, has suggested that to comply with the EC complaint, it will split its shopping service off from the rest of the business and bid for auctioned-off shopping ad slots.

This obviously doesn't make any difference, unless it were to completely sell it off from Alphabet. Google wins if Google Shopping doesn't win an auction slot, because it gets the ad revenue; Google wins if Google Shopping does get the auction slot, because people may click through. Google wins.

But there doesn't seem to be any way to slice this satisfactorily if Google can sell shopping ad slots - as long, that is, as it suppresses shopping searches in the "organic" search results.
shopping  google  ec  antitrust 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
Google to create shopping service unit to satisfy EU • Bloomberg
Aoife White:
<p>Google will create a standalone unit for its shopping service and require it to bid against rivals for ads shown on the top of its search page, in an effort to satisfy European Union concerns over the display of product results, three people familiar with the investigation said.

Google faces a Thursday deadline to comply with an EU antitrust order for it to give equal treatment in how the search engine shows competitors’ comparison-shopping sites, according to the people, who asked not to be named as the negotiations are private. While the shopping service will remain part of Google, it will operate separately and use its own revenues to bid for ads.

Google was ordered by regulators to stop promoting its own shopping search results over competitors’ and to make changes by Sept. 28 designed to give rivals a better chance to compete, the EU said in June when it fined the company €2.4bn ($2.8bn). The company could be fined up to 5% of daily revenue if it fails to comply…

…While Google Shopping can bid for those slots, it will be run separately to ensure that its bids reflect its own operating costs and aren’t subsidized by Google. Regulators have accepted that the panel is for advertising and slots cannot be given away, the person said. Each slot will be labeled with the name of the service providing the link, such as "By Google," similar to pages that showed up on French and Dutch versions of Google last week.</p>

Not sure that this is going to satisfy rivals. But it might satisfy the EU.
google  shopping  antitrust 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
Google’s influence over its network of influencers • Search Neutrality
Shivaun and Adam Raff run Foundem, the "vertical search" (shopping) site which first complained to the EC about Google's demotion of their site in organic results:
<p>We accept that many of the academics and other professionals within Google’s extensive network of influencers sincerely believe that their pro-Google opinions are their own and are not influenced by their (or their institution’s) financial ties to Google.  However, it is noteworthy how often these opinions are underpinned by an eerily consistent misrepresentation of the basic facts of the Google case that belies, at the very least, a failure to treat Google’s representations of the case with the healthy scepticism one would normally reserve for a defendant.

The criticisms of the EC’s Google Search verdict by Google-funded academics and think tanks have tended to rely on and mirror many of the same fundamental misrepresentations and omissions that Google’s own criticisms of the verdict rely on. For example:

• They tend to focus exclusively on Google’s anti-competitive promotion of its own services (through Universal Search), while ignoring Google’s anti-competitive demotions and exclusions of competing services (through anti-competitive penalties). This is an important omission because any defence of one practice inevitably undermines the defence of the other.

• They neglect to point out that pay-for-placement advertisements are not a substitute for the relevance-based search results they are anti-competitively replacing. This is not a minor omission: paid advertisements are not what users visit Google for, and, when they are used to promote the merchants willing to pay Google the most money for a click rather than those offering users the lowest prices, the resultant user harm is obvious.

• They ignore the inconvenient yet immutable fact that Google only introduced these pay-for-placement advertisements (which underpin all of Google’s misleading ad-based arguments) in February 2013—at least 7 years after the introduction of Google’s anti-competitive practices, 3 years after the start of the EC’s investigation, and 11 months after the commencement of “settlement” negotiations with Commissioner Almunia. (See our December 2016 Paper for some of the history, context, and consumer harm resulting from Google’s progressive blurring of the lines between search results and pay-for-placement ads).

The perception-shaping power of Google’s sophisticated and disciplined PR machine is far-reaching.</p>
google  shopping  antitrust  ec 
september 2017 by charlesarthur
EU fines Google €2.4bn ($2.7bn) over favoring Google Shopping in search results • Tech Narratives
Jan Dawson (who points out that he started out as an analyst covering EU regulation):
<p>In its decision, the EU explicitly says that this case sets a precedent, which certainly suggests it’s likely to find and act similarly in the other two cases [against Google, alleging abuse of dominance over mandated apps in Android, and insistence on Google Play for "approved" apps]. Secondly, the fine is substantial, but ultimately not the biggest punishment for Google here. Rather, the most significant outcome is restrictions on promoting other Google services in search, which applies for today onto to Shopping but by implication would also affect other linked products that get prominent promotion in search results, whether Maps, News, or potentially other categories too. Put that together with the precedent point, and we’re very likely to see similar restrictions on bundling and promoting other services in Android and possibly other areas too.

Thirdly, the decision is notable for a very European approach to defining markets, which I mentioned in one of those earlier pieces on Android: the EU tends to define markets in ways normal people probably wouldn’t, because that allows it to make findings that otherwise couldn’t be made. In this case, it’s defining Google Shopping as a comparison shopping service rather than just a more useful way to present shopping-related search results and/or ads, which is how Google sees them. Once you define Google Shopping in that way, then of course Google is unfairly promoting Google Shopping over other comparison shopping services – can you even name any others?

Google’s own algorithm, which benefits only from being as good as possible, rarely ranks any others above the fourth page of organic search results, suggesting their limited relevance. But as long as the EU is determined to take that approach, I see very little Google can do to fight against this decision, because it’s based on a market definition the EU gets to decide on, and which Google is essentially powerless to change. Overall, this feels like something of a watershed moment in Google’s relationship with the EU – I think any appeal is very unlikely to succeed, and at most will push back the implementation of the decision and the forced unbending of Shopping from search.</p>

Also: <a href="">EC announcement</a>; <a href="">Google response</a>.
google  ec  antitrust  decision  shopping 
june 2017 by charlesarthur
First resort • Remains Of The Day
Eugene Wei used to work at Amazon, where they obsessed about how to become the "site of first resort" for shopping:
<p>A few years back I was in a wedding party, and I had to purchase a specific shirt to match the other groomsmen. I could only find it at Barney's, and the local outlet didn't offer it in my size so I ordered it from their website. The package was stolen from our apartment lobby, so I wrote Barney's customer service asking for a replacement shipment. They refused and asked me to take it up with UPS or FedEx, or whoever the shipper was. If it were Amazon, they'd have a replacement package out to me overnight on the spot, no questions asked. Needless to say, I'll never order from Barneys again, but it's amazing to think that Amazon's customer service is superior to that of even luxury retailers.

In hindsight, thinking Google might surpass us in shopping seems farfetched, but there was a time eBay had surpassed Amazon in market cap and was growing their sales and inventory in a way that inspired envy in Seattle. It turns out there was more of a ceiling on the potential of auctions as a shopping format than fixed price shopping, but in the moment, it was hard to see that shoulder on the S-curve would be.</p>

His jumping-off point being the graph from a few days ago showing how peoples' search for items to buy often starts now at Amazon, at least in the US.
Amazon  shopping  online  retail 
april 2017 by charlesarthur
Amazon continues to grow lead over Google as starting point for online shoppers • GeekWire
Taylor Soper:
<p>Where do you start when shopping for something online? For a majority of people, it’s Amazon — not Google.

That’s one finding from a recent research report from Raymond James that surveyed 587 people about their online habits.

The study found 52% of respondents who said they start their online purchasing process at Amazon, which is up from 47% last year, and 38% from the year prior.

That compares to 26% who say they start at a search engine. This graph shows the changing habits clearly:

<img src="" width="100%" />

The trend toward Amazon and away from Google is highlighted even more so with younger shoppers aged 18-to-29, with 62% of respondents from that age group starting on Amazon versus 21% at a search engine.</p>

This is the basis of Google's argument in Europe for why it has no case to answer in the antitrust argument over suppression of comparison shopping sites in its (organic) search results. But that, of course, isn't the point of the antitrust case. It's not about "where does anyone ever search for shopping"; it's "what do people find on Google search, which has 90% of the search market".

But at the same time, this is clearly worrying for Google: if people aren't starting to shop on its site, it's left with lower-value search.
google  amazon  shopping  search 
april 2017 by charlesarthur
Sellers printing counterfeit books and selling under Amazon's brand • Hacker News
The jumping-off point for this was a tweet about a Python for Kids book, where the counterfeit is just not as good. This is the first comment:
<p>Counterfeits in comingled inventory has become pretty common on Amazon these days. "Fulfillment by amazon" has led them to comingle inventories on common products, meaning every seller's product gets jumbled together.

I've gotten counterfeit huggies diapers from amazon (invalid serial number for huggies 'points' and different build quality), Mach 3 razor blades, GE MWF Water filters, even a counterfeit baby bath.

The baby bath counterfeit was obvious I got a box with only Chinese characters on the box. Here is their response: "We had a recent issue with an Amazon seller selling “knock-off” Blooming Baths on our Amazon account. We have since had this seller removed entirely from Amazon, as these are counterfeit items and NOT the Blooming Bath. The product you have received is not ours, I suggest returning it and ordering again from Amazon or from Just make sure the seller you buy from is “Blooming Bath” if you buy from Amazon.

"Very sorry for this inconvenience."

I no longer trust Amazon for anything health related - it just seems too easy to get counterfeit products into their system.</p>
amazon  shopping  fake 
march 2017 by charlesarthur
Here's why Google's antitrust defence is faltering in Europe • Fortune
David Meyer:
<p>The third set [of antitrust complaints], unveiled Thursday, concerns AdSense for Search. This is Google’s advertising platform for the likes of online retailers and publishers and telecoms operators, who incorporate Google’s search functionality into their websites. The website publishers and Google share a roughly even split of the revenue from those ads.

According to the European Commission, when users searched for things in those boxes over the last decade, Google used various illegal tactics to stop them seeing ads coming from rival advertising platforms.

Sure, you might say, Google provided the box. So why can’t it dictate what goes in the box? The issue there is that Google has cornered approximately 80% of the European “search advertising intermediation” market, making it the dominant player by far—and saddling it with extra responsibilities as a result.

The Commission claims that, from 2006, Google forced website publishers not to source ads from Google’s competitors. Then, from 2009, it replaced this practice with demands for premium placement for ads coming from its own advertising network, and for the right to authorize ads coming from its rivals.

If this is all true, Google is in trouble. As competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager put it in a Thursday press conference: “We believe that all these restrictions allowed Google to protect its very high market share for search advertising. [It] stifled choice and innovation to the detriment of consumers.”</p>

The highlighted bit shows that the EC agrees with Foundem, the comparison shopping site that was the original complainant and which demolished Google's shopping claim in <a href="">a blogpost back in June 2015</a>.

What's depressing is that it has taken 13 months for the EC to reach the same conclusion.
google  shopping  antitrust 
july 2016 by charlesarthur
How artificial intelligence will transform our high streets • Tech City News
Rosh Singh, director of digital innovation at Kinetic Active:
<p>the environment we live in is already being transformed at an astounding rate. For instance, the death of the high street owing to the growth of eCommerce, is often lamented. But new technologies are actually making high streets more accessible, more engaging and more personal than ever before.

For proof, look no further than the rapid rise in campaigns linking out-of-home (OOH) media to mobile marketing. Kinetic recently formed a partnership with Exterion to experiment with beacons used in conjunction with digital out-of-home (DOOH) media. Eventually we will be able to know exactly who is standing in front of a screen at any given time, personalise digital copy based on in-app activity, and serve useful messaging that is unique to every individual.

In the future, knowing you are heading out shopping, the screens on your route would serve you intuitive nudges to remind you of vital items missing from your connected fridge or your cupboards, and share information like in-store discounts, details on busiest shop times or new stockists.</p>

I'm giving this a no-way-Jose.
shopping  tech 
june 2016 by charlesarthur
Google faces first EU fine in 2016 with no deal on cards: sources » Reuters
Foo Yun Chee:
<p>Google is likely to face its first European Union antitrust sanction this year, with little prospect of it settling a test case with the bloc's regulator over its shopping service, people familiar with the matter said.

There are few incentives left for either party to reach a deal in a six-year dispute that could set a precedent for Google searches for hotels, flights and other services and tests regulators' ability to ensure diversity on the Web.

Alphabet Inc's Google, which was hit by a second EU antitrust charge this month for using its dominant Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals, shows little sign of backing down after years of wrangling with European authorities.

Several people familiar with the matter said they believe that after three failed compromise attempts since 2010, Google has no plan to try to settle allegations that its Web search results favor its own shopping service, unless the EU watchdog changes its stance.</p>

The fines could be very big, up to 10% of global revenues - or just a slap on the wrist. How does Margrethe Vestager determine how big to make them?
google  shopping  antitrust 
may 2016 by charlesarthur
Can Google outsell Amazon and eBay? » WSJ
Google will launch buy buttons on its search-result pages in coming weeks, a controversial step by the company toward becoming an online marketplace rivaling those run by and eBay.

The search giant will start showing the buttons when people search for products on mobile devices, according to people familiar with the launch.

The buttons will accompany sponsored—or paid—search results, often displayed under a “Shop on Google” heading at the top of the page. Buttons won't appear with the nonsponsored results that are driven by Google’s basic search algorithm…

…Some retailers said they worry the move will turn Google from a valuable source of traffic into a marketplace where purchases happen on Google’s own websites. The retailers, who wouldn't voice their concerns publicly, fear such a move will turn them into back-end order takers, weakening their relationships with shoppers.

Mobile-only (to begin with). Wonder if this will be tried in Europe, where the concern over this is more substantial.
google  shopping 
may 2015 by charlesarthur

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