Retail

Weekly Round-Up ... 7 November 2023

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Round-Up ... 7 November 2023

Britain's competition watchdog recently said that it had accepted commitments from tech companies Meta and Amazon to help protect fair competition on their retail platforms, reports Reuters. The commitments from the US tech giants mark the end of the Competition & Markets Authority's (CMA) investigation into Amazon Marketplace and Meta's use of advertising data. Amazon has committed to not use rival sellers' marketplace data to gain an unfair advantage, ensuring that third-party marketplace sellers can compete on a level-playing field, the CMA noted. Amazon's commitments will ensures that independent sellers that use the marketplace will be given a fair chance for their offers being featured in the 'Buy Box', it added. While Meta signed commitments to prevent it from 'exploiting' its advertising customers' data, resulting in competitors that advertise on its platforms having the ability to 'opt out' of their data being used to improve Facebook Marketplace. Meta said that it welcomed the regulator's decision. CMA in July had said that Amazon's offer to change the way it treats third-party sellers using its Marketplace platform addresses competition concerns in its preliminary view.

Carrefour has completed the acquisition of all activities of the Cora brand in RomaniaThe deal will see Carrefour taking over 10 hypermarkets and nine convenience stores and integrating more than 2,000 Cora workers in Romania, the retailer said in a statement. The closing of the transaction marks the exit of Louis Delhaize from the Romanian market, reports ESMmagazine.comThe transaction, announced in April this year, was approved by Romania's Competition Council at the end of October. Julien Munch, CEO of Carrefour Romania, said, "We are preparing to end 2023 with an important acquisition for our company and to enter the new year with a very well laid out plan to integrate all Cora stores." Carrefour Romania plans to commence the rebranding of the acquired hypermarkets and convenience stores around the end of this year. It hopes to complete the project by the end of 2024.

Mexico's Femsa, which controls one of the world's largest Coca-Cola bottlers and a sprawling chain of Oxxo convenience stores, plans to wrap up a series of asset sales next year aimed at reducing debt, a company executive said. The company this year sold its stakes in Dutch brewer Heineken and US wholesaler Jetro Restaurant Depot, reports Reuters. The businesses that remain to be unloaded represent about 10% of the company's initial divestment plan to refocus on core businesses, Femsa's head of investor relations Juan Fonseca told Reuters in a recent interview. Some warehousing operations as well as distribution, logistics and refrigeration businesses no longer fit into Femsa's strategy and may be sold, Fonseca said. Femsa's shares have surged more than 40% this year after shedding 4.8% in 2022. Asset sales in 2023 have raised more than $7 billion. Other Mexican companies have also moved to simplify their structure, by spinning off some businesses, such as broadcaster Televisa and conglomerate Alfa , although their shares have failed to respond as positively.

Read More: Weekly Round-Up ... 1 November 2023

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