business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Bloomberg reports that "Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will invest about $3.6 billion to double its stake in Sun Art Retail Group Ltd., taking control of China’s largest chain of hypermarts to try and fend off rivals like Inc. in e-commerce’s hottest growth arena.

"Alibaba will raise its direct and indirect stake in the grocery chain to about 72% by acquiring equity from Auchan Retail International SA, then make a general offer to shareholders to buy out the rest of Sun Art."

•  USA Today reports that while Amazon's Prime Day promotion is over, "the early holiday deals continue.

"Two days after the members-only shopping event, Amazon announced the kickoff of its 'Holiday Dash' sale Friday with more than a million deals worldwide throughout the holiday season.

"The deals posted at include 'deep discounts from small businesses and top brands' across multiple categories from toys to fashion, electronics, home, kitchen and beauty."

Seems likely that wherever and whenever possible, Amazon is going to keep its foot on the accelerator when it comes to end-of-year marketing and promotion.