Afternoon Coffee: Amazon Business Launches in Germany, China Anti-Dumping Changes Loom

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Amazon announced Tuesday the expansion of Amazon Business to Germany, opening the B2B e-marketplace to a region outside of the U.S. for the first time. The new offering aims to replicate the success of Amazon’s consumer-facing site in Germany in a country that already boasts a mature procurement ecosystem.

“With this move, Amazon Business is going to be a major force in the pan-European procurement market, perhaps even more so than any technology-centric provider,” Spend Matters Founder and Head of Strategy Jason Busch said regarding the news. “The combination of Amazon's scale, technology savvy, local fulfillment and distribution, a marketplace model for pricing and supplier participation, tail spend management solutions and enabling technology … should capture the attention of German firms and public sector procurement organizations alike.”

Stay tuned for further coverage of Amazon Business’ prospects both in Germany and globally, including a deep dive analysis on Spend Matters PRO.

European Companies Brace for MES Decision

The Dec. 11 deadline for a European Union (EU) decision on whether to grant market economy status (MES) to China is causing some European companies to brace for higher prices. The European Commission appears likely to tighten rules against foreign-government subsidies and dumping, the Wall Street Journal reports, posing new risks for companies that have outsourced parts of their supply chain to China.

Companies in the U.S. should take note, as developments in European trade policy likely foreshadow moves the incoming Trump administration could make. Spend Matters analysts suggest firms that heavily rely on China should identify multiple global sources of supply to prepare for such a situation, as well as reconsider domestic supply options.

Tradeshift Secures Additional Funding

Procure-to-pay (P2P) provider Tradeshift captured additional funding this week from Santander InnoVentures, the fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group. The investment will be used to further broaden Tradeshift’s capabilities, fuel the development of its platform and grow the ecosystem surrounding its B2B marketplace, Santander said in a press release.

“Santander InnoVentures is a natural fit as an investor because of its commitment to support and apply emerging technologies to solve the real world challenges of its customers,” said Christian Lanng, CEO and Chairman at Tradeshift. “We are excited by the opportunities this investment will create to explore new offerings and different geographies around the world.”

Scout RFP Introduces New Sourcing Tools

E-sourcing provider Scout RFP, the subject of Monday’s year-end tech review post, announced Tuesday the launch of two new tools: Intake and Pipeline. Scout Intake, a project request sourcing tool, helps sourcing teams fulfill submitted requests and more quickly respond to business needs. Scout Pipeline, a project resource tool, provides real-time visibility into sourcing opportunities and a collaborative interface.

Greg Tennyson, CPO at VSP Global, said the new products enable greater “control over sourcing opportunities, better enabling us to strategically manage spend and drive business-tuned buying decisions.” The new tools help procurement organizations “automate strategic sourcing while promoting flexibility and transparency throughout the process,” Chris Crane, Scout co-founder and vice president of product, said in a press release.

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