Good Week: Amazon – The numbers are in and this week’s Amazon Prime day was the single biggest sales day in the everything-under-the-sun company’s history, with more than 100 million items purchased worldwide. The event surpassed the company’s haul on Black Friday, Christmas and last year’s Prime Day, pushing Amazon closers to overtaking Apple as the word’s most valuable company. On a related note: as a Northern Virginia homeowner, I offer the following lyrical sentiment to Jeff Bezos and his HQ2 location-selection team: “Won’t you please? Won’t you please? Please won’t you be my neighbor?” [Try picturing me in a cardigan sweater.]
Bad Week: Google – The European Commission hit the other everything-under-the-sun company with a $5B fine, asserting that its use of its Android platform to unfairly dominate the mobile apps market represents a breach of antitrust laws. The specific offenses: paying certain large manufacturers and network operators to install Google apps on phones before they were sold and preventing some from selling devices running alternate versions of Android. No truth to the rumor that Google will come up with the $5B simply by checking for loose change under the cushions of the couches at HQ.
Worse Week: Papa John’s – The beleaguered pizza chain continues to see its reputation – and its stock – tumble as self-immolating founder John Schnatter continues to make headlines for all the wrong reasons. Last week, Schnatter – who had already been forced out of his role as president months ago after remarks about NFL players kneeling in protest – resigned his position as board chairman after it came out that he used the N-word in a conference call with the company’s marketing agency. In his defense, Schnatter claimed his remarks were taken out of context. This week, he fought back again, accusing the marketing agency of extortion and the remaining board members of basing its decision to remove him on “rumor and innuendo.” The chain responded by distancing itself from Schnatter, removing his image from its delivery boxes and signage as well as pulling ads in which he appears. Conclusion: Papa is a real mother.