Amazon blocks Australia from global sites over tax

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Hundreds of thousands of customers will lose access to their ebooks on July 1st because Amazon does not allow customers to transfer Kindle purchases from one country to another.

Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday it will force Australians to use its Australian website instead of its much larger US site to avoid a new sales tax, setting the stage for a showdown with rival eBay Inc in the No. 12 economy.

Amazon announced today that they will no longer allow Australians to buy digital content through their United States portal and are forcing everyone to use the dedicated Australian page.

"Based on our assessment, we will redirect Australian customers from our worldwide sites to amazon.com.au where they can shop for products sold by Amazon US on the new Global Store, available today".

"We have had to assess the workability of the legislation as a global business with multiple worldwide sites", an Amazon spokesperson said.

From 1 July, when Australia's new GST regulations kick in, Australian consumers shopping on Amazon global sites will be redirected to the local Australian site.

The GST amendment lowers the current minimum spend for GST inclusion from $1,000 to $1 in response to backlash from local retailers.

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'Australian consumers have become quite accustomed to purchasing from large overseas retailers, Amazon begin the biggest example but also department stores like Nordstrom's, Macy's, and global retailers like ASOS, ' he said.

Just how the world's overseas online retail giants would react to Australia's new (and controversial) GST rules had since been confined to the realm of speculation. until now.

At 2:22pm Thursday, shares in local e-commerce site Kogan.com were up 11 cents, or 1.2 per cent, at $9.18, while shares of electronics retailers JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman were up about 2.3 per cent and 1.0 per cent, respectively.

Local media reports that these store chains have heavily lobbied the government in recent years to extend the GST to online products sold by vendors situated overseas, to level the playing field.

Amazon is still fairly new in Australia, where it only launched in December 2017.

The online retail behemoth announced this week it will block Australians buying goods from overseas. "That tax revenue is used to fund essential services", the spokesperson said.

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