Thursday, November 22, 2018

Amazon Reopens Its US Store For Australian Shoppers Inc said on Thursday it would stop blocking Australians from shopping on its U.S. site after a customer backlash, unwinding a move which has tarnished the e-commerce giant’s launch in the world’s 12th-largest economy.

The reversal relieved shoppers who had complained since July about being locked out of the much larger range of offerings they had grown accustomed to on the U.S. site following the opening of Amazon’s local platform a year ago.

But it also raised questions about why Amazon had cited Australian tax laws to explain the initial block - an issue rival eBay Inc (EBAY.O) had managed to resolve without locking Australians out of its U.S. site.

The world’s second-largest company had prevented Australians from placing any orders on its U.S. website after Australia applied a 10 percent tax on imported online goods worth less than A$1,000 (£568).

At least 32 U.S. states have passed or are soon expected to pass similar taxes, but Australia had been the first market where Amazon responded by shutting out customers based on where they lived.

On the eve of its Black Friday sales, Amazon said it had figured a way to levy the tax without blocking access to the U.S. site.

EBay, which also does not disclose its Australian sales, said it found the transition complex but was able to collect and remit taxes without changes for customers.

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