Amazon Names Aussie Country Manager, Leases Warehouse

Amazon has appointed Rocco Braeuniger country manager for Australia "as it prepares to roll out a full retail offering locally," the Sydney Morning Herald reported. Currently director of consumables at Amazon Germany, Braeuniger has worked at the online retailer for 11 years in positions including director of outdoor products and category lead in sports and leisure.

Amazon also confirmed previous reports that it will open its first Australian fulfillment center in Dandenong South, just southeast of Melbourne. "This is just the start," said Robert Bruce, Amazon Australia's director of operations. "Over time, we will bring thousands of new jobs to Australia and millions of dollars of investment as well as opening up the opportunity for thousands of Australian businesses to sell at home and abroad through Amazon Marketplace."

Australian Booksellers Association CEO Joel Becker told Books+Publishing that the ABA has requested meetings with the Premier of Victoria, as well as the Victorian ministers for innovation, small business and creative industries. "Our concerns are rooted in the apparent impact that Amazon has had on local communities and economies in the U.S., U.K. and other markets, as well as the possible impact on our own (Australian) tax base; and to get an assurance that they will be playing by the same rules as businesses within Australia without any special privileges or subsidies." Becker said the ABA would "continue to work actively on behalf of our membership to ensure a level playing field, and tax fairness."

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