Amazon says Ciao Bella: Extra €500m to capitalise on Italy e-tail growth

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Chiara Ferragni for Amazon

Amazon is getting ready to spend at least an extra €500m in Italy as that country’s government plans to boost its digital commerce credentials, according to reports.

Italy is lagging other developed on the broadband and e-commerce front but the Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi this spring announced a major boost to speed up broadband rollout. And former Amazon SVP of worldwide retail Diego Piacentini moved a few months back to work at the Italian’s PM’s digital tech office (for no pay), to help.

Now Amazon wants to make sure its part of the growth spurt. It’s already a major player in the market with a 14% share of Italian e-tail that’s second only to eBay’s 24% share. It has already invested around €450m there in the past six years as Italy is the firm’s fourth biggest European market (the UK is top, followed by Germany and France).

As part of its investment plans, the company is going to build a massive storage and logistics centre outside Rome, making this its second such centre so it’s better placed to capitalise on the EU’s fourth-biggest economy as it works hard to rise from bottom place in terms of broadband usage.

Less than half of households in Italy currently have broadband even though e-commerce is growing, having roughly double dover the last five years to an estimate €19bn by the end of this year.

Amazon is also going to build data centres in Italy for its fast-growing cloud-service unit.

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