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Amazon Doubles Sales in Mexico, Settles Italian Tax Case for 100M Euro

After only two years in the market, Amazon dominates Mexico’s nascent e-commerce business. Research firm Euromonitor International said the company is now Mexico’s biggest Internet retailer with double the sales this year over last.

While online sales represent 12 percent of retail in the U.S., in Mexico, it accounts for just over 3 percent. The country is lagging behind in acceptance due to fraud fears and the cash driven-nature of its economy.

Euromonitor’s estimates state that in 2017, Amazon generated $502.2 million in sales compared to $243.9 million last year. The former No. 1 etailer in Mexico, MercadoLibre Inc, lost the top slot to Amazon with $489.2 million in sales. The third largest player in the country is Walmart de Mexico with $258.9 million, which represents growth of about one-third.

The marketing firm projects that online sales in Mexico next year will reach $7.1 billion and $14 billion by 2022.

While Amazon is winning in Mexico, it’s a big loser in Italy. The company had been cited by tax authorities there for allegedly underpaying taxes to the tune of 120 million to 130 million euros ($141 million to $153 million) from 2011 to 2015.

Amazon contended that its payments were lower because the profits on which it was taxed were low thanks to investments in the country, which totaled 800 million euros ($942.65 million).

However on Friday, Amazon agreed to pay 100 million euros ($118 million) to resolve the issued, according to Reuters.

In France, the company’s policies have been called into question, leaving some sellers irate because, to quote one, “they treat us like vulgar subordinates,” according to Endgadget.

The backlash fueled an investigation by France’s consumer affairs and fraud division into the practices of several online retailers, including Amazon. But the findings have resulted in a record 10 million euro ($11.8 million) fine against the e-commerce giant.

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The agency said the relationship between the marketplace and its third-party vendors is “unbalanced” and could result in bankruptcy. One issue is Amazon’s practice of making all problems related to damages, deliveries and deadlines the seller’s, while holding them to such a high standard that they’re constantly worried about being booted from the marketplace.

From sellers to consumers, Amazon has some gift-givers in the U.K. ticked off. According to reports, Prime consumers are promised one level of service but are receiving quite another. And the holiday hiccups could even trigger a probe by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The issue at hand is the online retailer’s “unlimited one-day delivery” promise that was to come with a free trial of Amazon’s express delivery service. The Guardian is reporting customers have claimed their items are arriving well outside the stated window, a practice consumer watchdog group Which? called a breach of contract.

To date, the agency said it has received “a handful of complaints.” If the agency decides to pursue an investigation, it will follow ASA’s 2015 finding that concluded a direct mailer from Amazon did not clearly state that a free trial period would result in a paid subscription if not canceled.