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•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"Amazon has a new way to try to make itself a central part of your life: your hand.

"By the end of this year, you’ll be able to scan your palm at any of the company’s more than 500 Whole Foods stores in the U.S., and join a service called Amazon One. Once enrolled, your hand is all you’ll need to pay there, Amazon Fresh grocery stores, some Panera restaurants, a handful of retailers at airports, some stadiums and concert venues, and a handful of Starbucks locations.

"At places where the company’s hand-scanning sensors are installed, you can already use it to enter a venue, identify yourself as a member of a loyalty program, or verify your age at a bar. In the future, you might be able to gain access to your company’s offices, a parking garage, or a gym—or sign in at a hospital or doctor’s office.

"Amazon’s expansion of this biometric technology, which it unveiled in 2020, is an effort to compete with Google and especially Apple in the realm of digital wallets, which are increasingly performing many of the same functions Amazon has in mind for its Amazon One service."

•  From the Seattle Times:

"Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries has cited a fourth Amazon warehouse, accusing the company of knowingly putting workers at risk of injury. 

"L&I issued $85,800 in fines to Amazon after an inspection of the company’s Spokane-area fulfillment center, which the department says has the highest injury rate of any Amazon warehouse in the state. The department said Amazon required employees to work at such a fast pace that it put them at risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, or strains, sprains and tears that are often caused by repetitive motions.

"In the three years since it opened, workers from the facility filed more than 400 workers’ compensation claims for work-related musculoskeletal disorders, reported L&I, which administers the state workers’ compensation insurance system.  The fines, announced Tuesday, mark the fifth time L&I has cited Amazon for unsafe working conditions in the last few years."

•  Amazon may be in for some additional antitrust scrutiny from regulators.

Variety reports that "the Writers Guild of America issued a report on Thursday calling Netflix, Amazon and Disney the 'new gatekeepers' of the media business, and calling for antitrust regulators to prevent consolidation in the streaming marketplace.

"The report argues that Netflix, Amazon and Disney have amassed collective market power that has driven down wages and limited viewer choice. The guild also argues that the companies have shown they will 'abuse a position of dominance' to harm their competitors and that further consolidation will result in fewer writers able to make a living.

"'Any mergers in media and entertainment involving significant streaming players should be blocked, including acquisitions of smaller or potential competitors,' the union argues.

"The report comes as the WGA strike reaches its 108th day with no signs that a deal is imminent. The guild responded on Tuesday to the latest proposal from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, but sources have said that the two sides remain far apart on a range of key issues, including a TV staffing minimum, weekly pay for screenwriters, and a viewership-based streaming residual."