Amazon has started pharmacy services in India, deploying a new playbook in the everything online ecommerce pioneer. The excitement American technology companies have in India is exceedingly uncommon, and India is enjoying the dividends of creating the future it is enjoying today. From Google to Intel, Facebook to Amazon, and more, everyone is looking for how to grab a pile of the expanding India middle class. This goes to that old saying: no other person will sweep your yard; if you keep it clean, you will see visitors come. For these tech firms to do what they are doing in India in Africa, we have to get the continent ready; they will certainly not come to do the hard work for us!
Amazon has launched an online pharmacy in Bangalore, the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state, as the e-commerce group looks to spread its tentacles in more categories in one of its key overseas markets.
The company said on Friday its new service, called Amazon Pharmacy, has started accepting orders for both over-the-counter and prescription-based medicines in Bangalore. (In India, antibiotics and several other drugs can often be purchased from pharmacies without prescriptions.)
Amazon Pharmacy is also selling traditional herbal medicines and some health devices such as glucose meters, nebulisers and handheld massagers.
“This is particularly relevant in present times as it will help customers meet their essential needs while staying safe at home,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.
I still think Amazon needs to book a ticket to Africa; it has the resources to help us unlock many latent opportunities as I noted in this video.
As that happens, see how Facebook is repositioning itself against Apple. Just a few months ago, Apple was parading itself as the god of privacy while Facebook was a den of data harvesters. But things happen: as tech companies march to the $2 trillion market cap, monopolistic concerns are rising, and marketplaces like Apple which do not run advertisements but tax providers are being watched. Facebook does not need to tax anyone with a commission because it runs adverts. Of course, to run ads, you need to harvest users’ data. Apple had criticized that practice in the past. But today, it seems to be the worse of the two evils as companies, including Facebook and Epic Games, are making Apple look really bad for pocketing that 30% commission on its iOS store.
Facebook joined the growing ranks of companies publicly complaining about the 30% fee that Apple collects on payments made through its App Store.
In Facebook’s case, the complaints came midway through an announcement that the social network is launching a new feature supporting paid online events — a way for businesses struggling during the pandemic to make additional revenue. Facebook said those businesses will receive 100% of payments on web and Android, but on iOS, “We asked Apple to reduce its 30% App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay … Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue.” (Techcrunch newsletter)
Epic Games has sued both Apple and Google after the two tech giants removed the company’s popular Fortnite video game from their respective app stores due to alleged violations, CNET reported. Prior to being kicked off of the app stores, Epic told its users that it would offer them a way to buy digital goods related to Fortnite that would bypass “the up to 30% charge Apple and Google levy on each transaction” via their stores, the report said. From the report: Apple’s and Google’s decisions to ban Fortnite from their respective app stores marks a dramatic escalation in the debate between the tech giants, the developers that make programs for their devices, and regulators interested in examining it all. (Fortune newsletter)