business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  The Financial Times reports that the European Union has concluded that "online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay should be liable for any faulty and unsafe goods they sell," and that during the pandemic they also should "take more responsibility during the coronavirus crisis for the numerous products with untenable health claims being marketed online."

The EU's consumerist arm recommends that these standards need to be institutionalized and mandated, as opposed to made voluntary,  According to FT, "Despite the coronavirus crisis, officials in Brussels are keen to push ahead with a new Digital Services Act, which will replace the two-decade-old Ecommerce Directive. Margrethe Vestager, the EU's competition commissioner, said on Monday:  "The crisis has shown that it's more urgent than ever to get the Digital Services Act because you really need to be able to trust what you do online as well as what you do offline."

As a consumer, I have no problem with this.  I think online platforms should be responsible for the products they sell, and the product sales that they enable through marketplaces.  Power demands culpability and accountability, and some of the wealth that these companies have accumulated ought to be devoted to the vetting of products and services.

•  The Economic Times reports that in India, "Amazon and Flipkart will lease over 3 million square feet warehousing space across major consumption centres as they expect a major bounce back in demand once the Covid-19 crisis ends."