By | Rachel Brooks
Contributor | Telegraph Local
See the New African Living Standard
Pictured above. The Federal Trade Commission drives an antitrust inquiry forward as Amazon corners the holiday market.
The app store rankings are in for Christmas 2019. Major contenders for the Amazon sales cycle included Amazon Echo and Alexa citing CNBC. Others include the Fitbit. The Alexa app “dethrone” last week’s top app Disney +.
Echoes and Fitbits made favorite stocking stuffer items this year. The Alexa app took the #1 spot on December 26 as the top-listing free app of the Christmas holiday download trend.
Fitbit took the seventh-tier of the list of popularity ranking. The Fitbit line is set to be sold to Google. That is_if Google can get around a government regulation probe into its acquisition deal of this major brand. The US Justice Department, citing CNBC, is taking a critical look at the $2.1 BN deal process. It will give Google the power to take on Apple and Samsung in the crowded fitness-tracking marketplace. Yet, this deal will be under scrutiny as watchdog groups prompt antitrust investigation. Groups include Public Citizen and the Center for Digital Democracy. This follows changing legislation regarding American consumer data.
How has Amazon’s recent performance compared to last year at Christmas? Citing Statista, 42% of US holiday shopping was conducted via Amazon in 2018. Amazon holds a near half market performance rank that seems not to fluctuate. In the third quarter of 2019, Amazon also brought its net sales dollars up to $70 BN from $63.4 BN in the previous quarter. Amazon knows no end to growth, it appears. That’s why it comes as no surprise that Amazon has knocked Disney+ and YouTube off the top spots for free app download this Christmas.
Is Amazon itself verging on a serious antitrust probe? Citing Statista, Amazon spent $14.4 million US dollars for lobbying in the 2018 calendar year. It slashed its lobbying expenses down $8.13 million in 2019, which is near half reduction. Even so, this outranks Google’s lobbying expenses astronomically. Even while some lobbying expenses are legal, if Amazon is stooping to conquer with them, then antitrust investigations can break the profound streak they are on.
Further citing Statista, Google’s lobbying expenses are reportedly citing at $2.77 million in US dollars for Q3 19. The highest it ever allegedly ranked was $5.93 million in 2017. This means that Amazon had double the lobbying expenses that Google did in recent years. So, is it a strategic move for Amazon to sell Fitbit to the antitrust heat-seeker Amazon to take eyes off of itself?
It would appear that something of this nature will happen soon. Data Center Knowledge reports via Bloomberg the FTC has tightened the belt on the Amazon investigation as of December 2019. The FTC investigation of Amazon focuses specifically on its Amazon Web Services cloud. So, while this may not directly impact apps and their app store ranking_like Echo and Fitbit_it could impact the development and future updates of the apps or similar apps.