The battle for local businesses as a symbol of European digital sovereignty

battle-for-local-commerce

Should it be of interest, we are reproducing an article written by our president, Ricardo Rodríguez Contreras, in the Spanish newspaper El Economista, about our ‘Save your zone’ campaign.

All you have to do is walk down the shopping streets of any Spanish city to verify a reality: the lock downs and restrictions to fight the pandemic have put nearby businesses on the edge of a cliff. According to the Spanish Trade Confederation (CEC), some 67,500 establishments, 15% of the total, have already closed forever. And in the short term, almost 50,000 more could fall, estimates the same source. One in four businesses could disappear in just one year. 

Read more

‘Save your zone’: A campaign going beyond local business

save-your-zone

Since the end of November, the European Association for Digital Transition has been doing the ’save your zone’ campaign in the four leading economies of the European Union – Spain, France, Italy and Germany. With this initiative, we are looking to defend nearby stores during a Christmas season that, for many businesses, will decide their survival. 

Read more

After the US launch of Amazon Pharmacy, is Europe next?

amazon-pharmacy

Amazon’s announcement last week that it was launching its own online pharmacy not only shook the US drugs market but also raised questions here in Europe. The online retail giant has already reshaped the shopping and shipping landscape. Now, it plans to enter the prescription and over the counter medicine market worth the equivalent of €260 billion in the US alone.

Read more

OK, Amazon is too powerful. What should we do?

amazon-is-too-powerful

Amazon was born in 1994 as a bookstore, because it was clear to Jeff Bezos that book sales were a perfect fit for e-commerce. The founder of Amazon developed the right idea at the right time, and the rest is an impressive story of business success: Amazon is worth more than a trillion and a half dollars on the stock exchange today. To give some context, this is a figure that far exceeds the combined GDP of Spain and Portugal.

Read more

#saveyourzone: we call on European mayors to defend local business against e-commerce giants

defend-local-business

It is the decisive moment of the year for businesses with the arrival of  ‘Black Friday’ and the Christmas celebrations. But here, too, 2020 is different: for many European businesses, whether they close the year better or worse over the coming weeks isn’t what’s at stake. What’s at stake, frankly, is their survival. If they do not perform well, they will shutter the windows forever, impoverishing the social and economic fabric of European cities. 

Read more

False freelancers problem goes beyond the labour market

false-freelancer

Following a trade union complaint, the Labour Inspectorate of the Spanish government has just officially registered 4,056 delivery people who were working for Amazon as false freelancers in Madrid and Barcelona. In addition, it is demanding the U.S. company pay 6.16 million euros in unpaid contributions. 

Read more

Trump, Biden, and What Won’t Change Regarding the ‘Big Tech’ Companies

trump-biden

For years, the big American technology companies have grown without too many regulatory impediments to the point of becoming global mastodons. Thanks to attractive products and services that respond to market demand, with loose or directly non-existent regulations in some areas, and wrapped in the American dream aura of the entrepreneur in their garage who becomes a billionaire, the big Silicon Valley companies have achieved such a powerful market position that many consider them de facto monopolies. 

Read more

Regulation and ‘Big Tech’: The EU is leading the way, but needs more

big-tech

When the history of the big technology companies in the twenty-first century is written, the date of July 29, 2020, might have its place. On that day, the four CEOs of the ‘Big Tech’ Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple appeared before the United States House of Representatives antitrust subcommittee, whose members have been investigating their alleged anti-competitive practices for years. 

Read more

The Gig Economy: A tax and labour challenge for the EU

gig-economy

Approximately 2% of EU adults have their main source of income coming from what is being called the ‘gig economy’, and up to 8% earn occasional income from these work alternatives. The data, from a study by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, makes it clear that we are facing an unavoidable reality for Community institutions, posing challenges in the areas of taxation and social protection. 

Read more