Walmart Aims to Take On Amazon by Subsidizing Vendors

It seems as though the holiday online shopping competition is already revving up. Walmart will soon release a new program to compete with the Amazon marketplace, which boasts 40 percent control of the U.S. e-commerce market. On Walmart’s own marketplace site, vendors pay a fee to list goods. Soon, the prices of some of these goods will temporarily lower, but the vendors will still be paid in full with Walmart subsidizing the difference, according to a description of the plan obtained and reported by Bloomberg

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Jet Has Ambitious Plan to Take on Amazon with Lower Prices

Jet, the e-commerce startup that plans to compete with Amazon on price rather than delivery time, recently made a beta version of its site available to the first 10,000 customers of the nearly 360,000 it has reportedly signed on for early access. Where other e-commerce companies are aiming to make online shopping more convenient through means of expedited shipments, Jet hopes to help customers save hundreds per year by offering lower prices on all its goods. Continue reading Jet Has Ambitious Plan to Take on Amazon with Lower Prices

Comcast Confirms That It Has Dropped $45 Billion Bid for TWC

Comcast issued a statement this morning that the proposed merger with Time Warner Cable has officially been terminated. “Today, we move on,” noted Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. “Of course, we would have liked to bring our great products to new cities, but we structured this deal so that if the government didn’t agree, we could walk away.” Reports had circulated in recent days that a merger of the country’s two largest cable operators was ending as Comcast faced intense regulatory scrutiny regarding the $45.2 billion acquisition. Continue reading Comcast Confirms That It Has Dropped $45 Billion Bid for TWC

Simon & Schuster and Amazon Strike New Deal for E-Books

Publisher Simon & Schuster announced yesterday that it has negotiated a multiyear agreement with Amazon for print and electronic books. According to a letter signed by CEO Carolyn Reidy, the deal “is economically advantageous for both Simon & Schuster and its authors and maintains the author’s share of income generated from e-book sales.” The letter also indicates that the contract gives control of e-book pricing to Simon & Schuster, “with some limited exceptions.” Continue reading Simon & Schuster and Amazon Strike New Deal for E-Books

Google will Compete with Amazon by Adding Product Ratings

In an attempt to compete with Amazon, Google is planning to add ratings to its product listing ads in order to make search results more effective. The ratings are to be based on aggregated rating and review data taken from several sources. Google believes merchants that gather these ratings will decide to share the data because it ultimately generates more business. The move should create more relevant search results as more data surrounds the product.

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After Beta Success, Twitter Launches Mobile-App Install Ads

Twitter is augmenting its lineup of advertising options with new mobile-app install ads. These ads, which feature links directly to an app on Apple’s App Store or Google Play, have already been appearing in users’ Twitter feeds for a few months. The company says the beta tests were successful and it officially launched the new ad platform on Monday. Mobile-app install ads may help Twitter generate more revenue, most of which comes from advertising. Continue reading After Beta Success, Twitter Launches Mobile-App Install Ads

Apple’s Settlement in E-Book Case Will Likely Pay Consumers

Apple has ended its civil class-action lawsuit over the price of e-books with a settlement that is worth an estimated $100-$300 million. Last year, a federal judge ruled that Apple broke antitrust laws by driving up the prices of e-books in cooperation with five major U.S. publishers. If Apple’s appeal of last year’s case is unsuccessful, the tech giant may be paying out millions to e-book customers. The terms of the settlement also cancel a damages trial set for July. Continue reading Apple’s Settlement in E-Book Case Will Likely Pay Consumers

Comcast Unveils CDN Service for Content Delivery via Last Mile

Comcast has introduced a commercial content delivery service targeting large and mid-sized content owners that can offer competitive SLA and pricing, since the company already owns the network. Comcast’s CDN allows content owners to go directly to the ISP to store and deliver content via the “last mile.” While this approach can displace traffic delivered by third-party CDNs such as Akamai and Limelight, it should not be confused with a “fast lane” or “prioritization” of content. Continue reading Comcast Unveils CDN Service for Content Delivery via Last Mile

FedEx Responds to E-Commerce Boom with Increased Pricing

While FedEx has traditionally charged to ship packages based solely on weight, the company has changed its policy to also price packages according to size. The move is expected to increase the price of over a third of FedEx’s U.S. ground shipments, and dramatically impact e-commerce companies. The next question is whether or not UPS will follow FedEx’s lead and consider a new pricing strategy as well. In the past, UPS and FedEx have kept similar pricing, rather than use pricing as a competitive advantage. Continue reading FedEx Responds to E-Commerce Boom with Increased Pricing

Samsung Works to Stay Atop Competitive Smartphone Market

Top smartphone maker Samsung Electronics lost global market share for the first time in four years, falling to 31.2 percent of the market. Samsung’s profit margin on smartphones remained at the same 19.8 percent from last year, but the rising costs of smartphone component parts will make it difficult to maintain the same profits. Meanwhile, Apple’s market shares are also slipping, as affordable alternatives from Lenovo and Huawei are on the rise in the smartphone market. Continue reading Samsung Works to Stay Atop Competitive Smartphone Market

AT&T Will Lower Internet Prices if FCC Ends Net Neutrality

At the FCC’s “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet” proceeding on Friday, AT&T said it will lower its Internet prices if the FCC allows Internet service providers to charge websites such as Netflix for faster delivery of content. In the wake of a court decision vacating the FCC’s net neutrality rules against charging for preferential treatment, the Commission opened a proceeding with hopes of writing new rules that achieve similar goals. AT&T is asking for rules that explicitly allow ISPs to charge for special access.

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Samsung Unveils Pricing, Availability of Upcoming Ultra HDTVs

Samsung announced details regarding its 2014 lineup of Ultra HDTVs and a new 4K video collection. The entry level U8550 flat panel line, starting at $2,500 for the 50-inch model, will launch this month with a 55-inch set and four other sizes in May. The curved U8700 series is expected by late spring in 55-inch and 65-inch screen sizes. And the flagship line, the U9000 curved sets with proprietary Auto Depth Enhancer, will be available in 55-, 65- and 75-inch models, priced at $4,000, $5,000, and $8,000 respectively. Continue reading Samsung Unveils Pricing, Availability of Upcoming Ultra HDTVs

Verizon Will Likely Respond to T-Mobile’s Aggressive Prices

Following a 3 percent drop in market value, Verizon has hinted at plans to get competitive in pricing, which customers will likely appreciate, but investors might not. The telco lost about $4 billion of its value, and some say it’s directly related to the competition among telcos to be the most aggressively priced. T-Mobile has been most notably aggressive in its pricing strategies, attracting new customers and possibly forcing Verizon to lower its fees as well. Continue reading Verizon Will Likely Respond to T-Mobile’s Aggressive Prices

Connected Cars: Chevrolet Drives OnStar 4G LTE with AT&T

Underscoring Detroit’s determination to be a player in the connected consumer space, General Motors announced that OnStar 4G LTE will be factory-enabled in the majority of its 2015 Chevrolet models including the Corvette and Impala, hitting the market this summer. The move sees GM expanding its relationship with OnStar connectivity partner AT&T and simultaneously mounting a developer outreach program to fuel the Chevrolet AppShop. Continue reading Connected Cars: Chevrolet Drives OnStar 4G LTE with AT&T

Ultra HDTV Sees Jump in Model Options and Drop in Prices

Ultra high-definition TV prices are plummeting as more models enter the market, and many of those models will be revealed at CES in Las Vegas this week. When Ultra HDTVs first entered the market, prices ranged from $9,000 to $25,000, yielding little interest from most consumers. Now, many of them have seen prices slashed to just a couple thousand dollars, and those price reductions — combined with more options in the market — are drawing the attention of potential buyers. Continue reading Ultra HDTV Sees Jump in Model Options and Drop in Prices

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