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Amazon Patents Shopping Control

Amazon has reportedly developed technology that prevents customers using its bricks and mortar stores for comparison shopping.

Called “Physical Store Online Shopping Control,” the system is said to identify a customer’s Internet traffic and sense when the smartphone user is trying to access a competitor’s Web site. Amazon may then block access to the competitor’s site, redirect the customer to Amazon’s site or notify an Amazon salesperson to approach the customer. It might also send a text message to the customer’s smartphone, designed to promote Amazon’s products.

The system is still at the patent stage and customers can avoid it by not logging on to the store Wi-Fi. But the Centre for Digital Democracy reckons the system verges on anti-competitive behaviour.

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