business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  CNet reports that "Amazon has relinquished more than $61 million to settle claims by the Federal Trade Commission that it withheld tips from over 140,000 of it Amazon Flex drivers for more than two years. And now the agency is sending the settlement money to the drivers, the FTC announced Tuesday. 

"The FTC alleged in a lawsuit it filed earlier this year that Amazon had secretly withheld some tips from drivers starting in 2016 and only stopped the practice in 2019 when it learned of the FTC investigation.

"'The highest amount going to a single Amazon Flex driver is more than $28,000, while the average amount is $422,' the FTC said.

"Amazon Flex drivers are contractors who use their own vehicles to deliver groceries and other items for the Amazon Fresh and Prime Now services."

•  Axios reports that "social media giants are sprinting towards the live shopping market that's long been dominated by traditional television networks like QVC and HSN  … Pinterest on Monday launched Pinterest TV, a video platform with live series and original content featuring Pinterest creators hawking goods … Instagram introduced live shopping in September via the Instagram Feed, Instagram Stories, Instagram Video and Reels, Facebook's TikTok knock-off.

"TikTok rolled out a live shopping feature in September that lets brands include links to products in live videos.

Snapchat debuted its first 'shoppable' original show in 2020. 'Art of the Drop' lets users buy streetwear via a hybrid of entertainment and commerce video series.

"Amazon launched Amazon Live, a livestream app for creators to hawk goods to followers in July 2020."

It was Robert Louis Stevenson who once said, "Everybody lives by selling something."  In the case of the social media companies, it is more a matter of looking for new ways to a) keep people addicted to their sites, and b) creating new revenue streams.