Amazon's Monopoly Problem in the EU; Alibaba's $74 Billion Shopping Holiday

John Divine
·2 min read

Two out of the three major U.S. stock market indices rose on Wednesday, led by the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index, which bounced back with 2% gains following a two-day losing streak to start the week.

The generally higher markets belied worrisome trends in new virus cases in the U.S., which set another single-day record for new infections with more than 136,000 new reported cases. Rising case numbers alone can in theory simply be driven by more testing, but that's not the case here, as a growing percentage of those tested are turning up positive.

An even more clear-cut measure of the disease's public health impact, hospitalizations, also hit an all-time high, clocking in at almost 62,000.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average, coming off a multiday winning streak, was the only major index to slip on Wednesday, shedding 23 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 29,397.

Another antitrust issue for Amazon. The EU continues to send a pretty clear message to big business: Big Tech monopolies aren't welcome in this continent. The EU's antitrust arm, the European Commission, has leveled new charges at Amazon.com (ticker: AMZN), alleging the e-commerce giant is illegally using private data it collects on third-party sellers on its site to compete against those smaller players itself.

The EC is considered a much more active and hands-on regulator than its counterparts across the pond in the U.S. In 2018, the EC levied a record-setting $5 billion fine against Alphabet's ( GOOG, GOOGL) Google for abusing its dominance of the smartphone market with its Android system and preinstalled apps.

Alibaba shopping holiday reaps $74 billion. If you think Amazon's e-commerce presence is large, you may struggle to find words for Alibaba's ( BABA) online retail presence. The company, which established a so-called Singles' Day annual shopping holiday years ago that's held on Nov. 11, has stretched out its holiday deals promotion to span the first 11 days of November.

In that short period of time, Alibaba registered gross merchandise volume of nearly 500 billion yuan, or around $74 billion, through its platforms. As a point of reference, that's significantly more that what Amazon hauled in during its two-day Prime Day shopping event last month. Amazon's Prime Day brought in about $10.4 billion in sales.