Tag Archives: Online Service Providers

Amazon launches a new food brand, Aplenty | Instant News

Amazon.com Inc.
+ 0.21%

Monday said it had launched a new privately labeled food brand, Aplenty, which would include snacks such as pita chips, crackers and mini cakes, as well as seasonings, frozen foods and kitchen staples.

Amazon’s newest label comes after a pandemic year in which consumers cook and snack more at home.

Overall, online grocery sales also jumped 52% in 2020, according to the JLL’s Grocery Tracker 2021 report. JLL provides market research, retail business insights, and retail property management services.

“It’s unlikely that people will abandon online shopping even when vaccines are widespread – with increased efficiency and costs, many customers are already doing it
added convenience to their weekly routine, ”said the report.

See: Smoothies and salads: Kroger says these 4 items account for 28% of his production sales

However, the report said that the widespread COVID-19 vaccination would drive increased eating in restaurants and could impact the grocery business.

But home food will always lead to sales, and grocery retailers are working to continue to drive demand, with private labeling a key part of that strategy.

Kroger Co.
+ 0.50%

says his private label is a $ 26 billion business by 2020. The pilot for Home Chef’s fast food is coming soon.

Target Corp.

also launched another food brand in April, Favorite Day, which focuses on snacking.

In its latest revenue, Target said it has 10 proprietary brands with $ 1 billion in sales.

Too: Aim to launch another food and beverage brand in April, Favorite Day

Read: ‘Plexiglass will be awake for a while’: Shoppers remain anxious about COVID but head back to the store

And Albertsons Cos. Inc.
+ 2.49%

announced in late March that it had partnered with Google for a series of technologies that would make online grocery shopping easier and more convenient.

Amazon shares are up 3.3% for the year while on the S&P 500 index

has gained 9.8% for the period.


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Too Many Food Delivery Investors – WSJ | Instant News

It’s not a good week to be a side dish in the food delivery room.

After baking the delivery platform No. 2 England, Deliveroo in it public debut on the London stock exchange on Wednesday, investors moved to scorch US middlemen. Both can leave lasting burns in the sector.

Back in December, it seemed that investors were coveting food delivery stocks with almost as much vigor as vaccines. Now that the shoot has emerged, investors’ tastes appear to have changed. US market leader DoorDash shares close 86% above their public offering price on their first day of trading late last year, but it has been down nearly 30% in the months since restaurants started welcoming indoor dining again.

DoorDash, at least, still boasts a monster market value of over $ 50 billion on a fully diluted basis, nearly 8.5 times the size of its closest US pure game competitor. Other companies in this sector that have gone public recently have not been that lucky. Olo’s software-as-a-service platform, which counts shipping platforms as both a competitor and a customer, has seen its stock drop 24% since its public offering less than two weeks ago. Meanwhile, the eagerly awaited public offering for London-based food delivery platform Deliveroo closed 26% below its offering price on Wednesday.

It seems that investors’ appetite for food delivery can be spoiled by a story – like food – with a little hair on it. Even though revenues increased 54% last year amid the pandemic, Deliveroo has still managed to lose money, even based on adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Now, future profitability is even more questionable after Uber Technologies recently lost a UK court case that resulted in a reclassify the landmark from its ride-hailing driver as workers, entitling them to benefits such as vacation pay and a pension. The decision has left skeptics worried that food delivery drivers will be next on the regulatory menu. For Deliveroo, which accounts for roughly half of its sales in the UK, that would be very expensive.


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News Corp and Facebook Reach News Agreement in Australia | Instant News

Last month Facebook covered up news in Australia for five days amid arguing with the government over a proposal requiring companies to pay publishers for content.


Rick Rycroft / Associated Press

News Corp.

NWS -0.84%

said Monday it had reached an agreement to let

Facebook Inc.

FB 1.99%

features news in Australia from some of the media company’s major properties, including Australia’s national newspaper.

A three year agreement followed an agreement was reached in October 2019 involves News Corp publications in the US, including The Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones media properties.

“The deal with Facebook is a significant milestone in changing trade terms for journalism, and will have a material and meaningful impact on our Australian news business,” News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson

word in a statement. “This digital achievement has been in the making for more than a decade.”

The company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Australia has passed laws that will effectively require companies like Facebook and

Alphabet Inc.

Google pays publishers for content. Last month Facebook covered up news in the country for five days amid a dispute with the government over the proposal. Facebook reached an agreement to restore the news on its platform and get some changes to the law.

The latest News Corp deal also involved news.com.au news sites, metropolitan news heads such as The Daily Telegraph in New South Wales, Herald Sun in Victoria, The Courier-Mail in Queensland and regional and community publications, the company said.

Sky News Australia, meanwhile, struck a new deal with Facebook that expands and “significantly builds on” the existing arrangement, the company said.

News Corp. has reached a similar news licensing agreement with Google and

Apple Inc.

On Monday, Mr. Thomson praised the Australian government “for taking a principled stand for publishers, small and large, rural and urban, and for Australia.”

Write to Maria Armental at [email protected]

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Appearing March 16, 2021, print edition as ‘News Corp Closes Agreement With Facebook.’


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Big Tech Wants To Change Patent Laws in Germany, a Popular Place for Litigation | Instant News

Now, a coalition of German blue-chip companies and foreign multinationals, including major US technology companies, is pushing for laws that will reduce the country’s appeal to those wanting to assert their intellectual property.

Germany’s major patent courts, in Munich, Mannheim and Düsseldorf, systematically order orders, or temporary sales bans, for products subject to a patent lawsuit. That makes them attractive legal venues for patent holders.

The primary targets of the legislation are so-called non-practical entities, or NPEs, that accumulate a portfolio of patents they license instead of using them in their own products. Critics call them patent trolls.

The proposed rules aim to make it harder for plaintiffs to win court decisions. The initiative has divided Germany’s usually united business community, pitting some of the country’s biggest patent users against its biggest patent holders.

Volkswagen AG



Deutsche Telekom AG

and others support the bill.

Bayer AG


Siemens AG

and BASF SE has opposed it.

Foreign companies have joined. Apple, Samsung,

Nvidia Corp.


Microsoft Corp.

, among others, have joined European lobby groups pushing for the move. On the other hand are similar companies

3M Together.


Panasonic Corp.



A band

Nokia Corp.

, which over the years has accumulated many patent libraries.

Multinational corporations often steer cases to lucrative legal venues around the world using their remote subsidiaries. Patent litigators say the ability to get a court order could be key for patent holders choosing jurisdiction for a lawsuit.

“In the German legal tradition, if you are doing something you shouldn’t be doing, then first you have to stop,” said Florian Mueller, an independent intellectual property analyst. “Repair is an afterthought.”

Such orders are more difficult to enforce in the US, following changes in law and a series of Supreme Court decisions. This is especially so if the plaintiff is an NPE. Other friendly legal venues for patent holders have emerged outside the US, including China, Turkey and Russia, all of which have established frameworks for intellectual property protection.

Germany’s almost automatic orders, its large consumer market, and the fast working speed of its patent courts compared to other European countries have made it the venue of choice for some of the biggest patent fights in the West.

“Germany has undeniably become a haven for patent trolls.”

– Deutsche Telekom executive Stephan Altmeyer

In December 2018, a court in Munich ordered Apple to stop selling some iPhone models after the chipmaker

Qualcomm Inc.

filed a lawsuit, alleging that a fellow California company had infringed on Qualcomm’s patents on the iPhone modem chip. That command forced Apple to briefly deliver a custom made phone to Germany. Both the company then settled down.

The previous year, chip maker

Broadcom Inc.

sued Volkswagen and its Audi subsidiary, accusing the automaker of infringing Broadcom’s patents in navigation and entertainment systems. Rather than risk an order that would stop production, Volkswagen paid nearly 500 million euros, the equivalent of about $ 598 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Volkswagen declined to comment on the settlement. Broadcom did not respond to a request for comment.

Proponents of the proposed law say that Germany’s patent law, which has its roots in the 19th century, is out of date. When Carl Benz received a patent for his car in 1886, “it was one patent for one product,” said Ludwig von Reiche, managing director of Nvidia in Germany. He heads Germany’s IP2Innovate branch, the European lobby group that pushed for the bill.

Today’s increasingly digital vehicles may involve more than 100,000 patents on everything from internet connectivity, sensors and algorithms to individual microchip circuits, he said.

Proponents of the bill say the current system puts too much pressure on companies to choose expensive solutions. They also said the changes would curb the NPE, which they accuse of preying on the company in German courts to increase licensing fees from its sometimes large patent portfolio.

“Germany has undeniably become a haven for patent trolls,” said Stephan Altmeyer, vice president of patent strategy at Deutsche Telekom.

Lawsuits in the European Union pursued by the NPE tripled between 2011 and 2017 – the last year for which figures were available – according to


a data provider that tracks intellectual property litigation. In Germany, one-fifth of patent cases were brought by the NPE in that period, compared with 4% to 6% in other European countries.

The bill currently being processed in the German parliament was drafted by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government last year but has undergone changes following pressure from lobbyists on both sides. Proponents of the reshuffle hope the law can be adopted before general elections in September. Failure to do so could force subsequent governments to restart projects from scratch.

The law will require judges to carry out a proportionality check before rendering a decision, to ensure that the charges charged against the offender do not massively exceed the revenue claimed by the claiming party. It will also force courts to consider the impact of court orders on third parties – customers whose telephone service will be interrupted, for example, or patients who may not be given life-saving drugs.

It also promises to overcome the peculiarities of the German legal system. Patent infringement cases are handled in regional courts, which can reach a decision in less than one year. But a patent invalidity lawsuit – which tests whether the patents claimed by the plaintiffs are actually valid and is the preferred defense of companies sued for infringement – goes through the special German patent courts, which can take up to three times as long to render a decision.

The NPE says the planned changes are worrying. A ban on sales that the court imposed during the litigation level on the ground, they said. The order could “bring large companies to the negotiating table,” Pio Suh, managing director of IPCom GmbH, Germany’s NPE owned by Fortress Investment Group LLC, a New York-based investment management firm.

The pharmaceutical industry is particularly worrying, where investments to develop new drugs can run into billions of euros and patent infringements could wipe out revenue from certain drugs within months, according to industry executives, creating a strong disincentive to innovation.

Bill critics also argue that since damage in Germany is lower than in the US, and punitive damages do not exist at all, removing the automated order would skew the system and remove most of the barriers to abuses.

“It’s like making a fine for the fare of avoiding ticket prices,” said Beat Weibel, chief intellectual property advisor at Siemens. “We need serious consequences such as automated orders to balance the system.”

Write to Bertrand Benoit at [email protected]

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


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Grubhub Buyers Start a New Food Battle | Instant News

A Just Eat Takeaway.com delivery cyclist in Berlin in January.


Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz / Bloomberg News

Just Eat Takeaway.com

TKWY 5.87%

came aggressively for lunch to its European competitors. This is a good indicator of how companies will behave in the US

A business based in Amsterdam – which will become the world’s largest food delivery player by revenues outside of China afterwards i $ 7 billion takeover from Chicago


GRUB 4.58%

finished this year – said on Wednesday that sales are up 54% in 2020. Like most online food businesses, they are benefiting from large restaurant chains, including McDonalds, signing up to sell via its website and more consumers entering to order food during the pandemic. The company’s shares rose 4% in early trading.

Growth is expensive. JET incurred an annual loss of € 151 million, the equivalent of about $ 180 million at current exchange rates, leaving deeper losses than before the pandemic. Has poured money into the UK to fend off Uber Eats and


Supported Deliveroo, which is preparing an initial public offering in London. The Just Eat brand, which Takeaway.com previously acquired last year, has lost market share and is looking to take it back by 2021. The company also plans to invest heavily in France and Spain. The higher cost might explain why stocks have only risen 16% over the past year.

JET’s business model too put him in a position to be slightly disadvantaged during the crisis. As restaurants spend much of 2020 closed, players like Uber Eats who specialize in getting food to customers’ doors have an edge. Just Eat Takeaway.com has a bigger market business that only connects visitors and restaurants via a digital platform. Orders that also meet deliveries are a relatively low 26% from last year’s tally.

However, the mix should be an advantage as the company pushes towards the US with the Grubhub acquisition. JET will be able to use cash generated in countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, where lucrative market settings still dominate, to lure American visitors. Management is betting that by keeping shipping costs less than half the rates charged by others in a given market, competitors will be forced to either cut their prices and deepen their losses, or start letting go of customers.

For rivals based in the US

By Dash

and Uber Eats, trends in Europe can be a preview of what menus are on their domestic market. Like Just Eat in the UK, Grubhub has lost market share in the US. Competition can become more violent when the well-funded industry veteran JET comes along to revamp his latest acquisition.

Demand for food deliveries has surged amid the pandemic, but restaurants are struggling to survive. In a highly competitive industry, delivery services are struggling to gain market share while facing increasing pressure to lower commission costs and provide more protection to its workers. Video / Photo: Jaden Urbi / WSJ

Write to Carol Ryan at [email protected]

Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8


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