Amazon.com, Inc., doing business as Amazon (/ˈæməˌzɒn/), is an
American electronic commerce and cloud computing company based in
Seattle, Washington that was founded by
Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994.
The tech giant is the largest
Internet retailer in the world as
measured by revenue and market capitalization, and second largest
Alibaba Group in terms of total sales. The amazon
started as an online bookstore and later diversified to sell video
MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook
downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel,
furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. The company also produces consumer
electronics—Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Echo—and
is the world's largest provider of cloud infrastructure services (IaaS
and PaaS). Amazon also sells certain low-end products under its
in-house brand AmazonBasics.
Amazon has separate retail websites for the United States, the United
Kingdom and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain,
Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India, and Mexico. In
2016, Dutch, Polish, and
Turkish language versions of the German
Amazon website were also launched. Amazon also offers
international shipping of some of its products to certain other
In 2015, Amazon surpassed
Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the
United States by market capitalization. Amazon is the fourth most
valuable public company in the world, the largest
Internet company by
revenue in the world, and the eighth largest employer in the United
States. In 2017, Amazon acquired
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market for $13.4
billion, which vastly increased Amazon's presence as a
brick-and-mortar retailer. The acquisition was interpreted by some
as a direct attempt to challenge Walmart's traditional retail
1.1 Mergers and acquisitions
2 Board of directors
3 Merchant partnerships
4 Products and services
5.1 Amazon Maritime, Inc.
5.3 Beijing Century Joyo Courier Services
5.4 Brilliance Audio
Whole Foods Market
6.2 Content search
6.3 Third-party sellers
7 Amazon sales rank
8 Amazon's technology
9 Multi-level sales strategy
11.1 Selling counterfeit items
11.2 Sales and use taxes
11.3 Comments by President Trump
11.4 Poor working conditions
11.5 Conflict of interest
13 Notable businesses founded by former employees
14 See also
16 Further reading
17 External links
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos
Further information: Timeline of Amazon.com
The company was founded as a result of what
Jeff Bezos called his
"regret minimization framework," which described his efforts to fend
off any regrets for not participating sooner in the
boom during that time. In 1994, Bezos left his employment as
vice-president of D. E. Shaw & Co., a Wall Street firm, and moved
to Seattle, Washington. He began to work on a business plan for
what would eventually become Amazon.com.
On July 5, 1994, Bezos initially incorporated the company with the
name Cadabra, Inc. Bezos changed the name to Amazon.com, Inc. a
few months later, after a lawyer misheard its original name as
"cadaver". In September 1994, Bezos purchased the URL
.com and briefly considered naming his online store
Relentless, but friends told him the name sounded a bit sinister. The
domain is still owned by Bezos and still redirects to the
retailer. The company went online as Amazon
.com in 1995.
Bezos selected the name Amazon by looking through the dictionary; he
settled on "Amazon" because it was a place that was "exotic and
different", just as he had envisioned for his
Internet enterprise. The
Amazon River, he noted, was the biggest river in the world, and he
planned to make his store the biggest bookstore in the world.
Bezos placed a premium on his head start in building a brand and told
a reporter, "There's nothing about our model that can't be copied over
time. But you know,
McDonald's got copied. And it still built a huge,
multibillion-dollar company. A lot of it comes down to the brand name.
Brand names are more important online than they are in the physical
world." Additionally, a name that began with "A" was preferential
due to the probability it would occur at the top of any list that was
After reading a report about the future of the
Internet that projected
annual Web commerce growth at 2,300%, Bezos created a list of 20
products that could be marketed online. He narrowed the list to what
he felt were the five most promising products, which included: compact
discs, computer hardware, computer software, videos, and books. Bezos
finally decided that his new business would sell books online, due to
the large worldwide demand for literature, the low price points for
books, along with the huge number of titles available in print.
Amazon was founded in the garage of Bezos' home in Bellevue,
The company began as an online bookstore, which was an idea spurred
off with a discussion with John Ingram of Ingram
Book (now called
Ingram Content Group), along with Keyur Patel who still holds a stake
in Amazon. Amazon was able to access books at wholesale from
Ingram. In the first two months of business, Amazon sold to all 50
states and over 45 countries. Within two months, Amazon's sales were
up to $20,000/week. While the largest brick and mortar bookstores
and mail order catalogs might offer 200,000 titles, an online
bookstore could "carry" several times more, since it would have a
practically unlimited virtual warehouse: those of the actual product
Amazon was incorporated in Washington State in 1994. In July 1995, the
company began service and sold its first book on Amazon.com: Douglas
Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of
the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. In October 1995, the
company announced itself to the public. In 1996, it was
reincorporated in Delaware. Amazon issued its initial public offering
of stock on May 15, 1997, trading under the
NASDAQ stock exchange
symbol AMZN, at a price of US$18.00 per share ($1.50 after three stock
splits in the late 1990s).
Barnes & Noble sued Amazon on May 12, 1997, alleging that Amazon's
claim to be "the world's largest bookstore" was false because it
"...isn't a bookstore at all. It's a book broker." The suit was later
settled out of court and Amazon continued to make the same claim.
Walmart sued Amazon on October 16, 1998, alleging that Amazon had
stolen Walmart's trade secrets by hiring former
Although this suit was also settled out of court, it caused Amazon to
implement internal restrictions and the reassignment of the former
In 1999, Amazon first attempted to enter the publishing business by
buying a defunct imprint, "Weathervane", and publishing some books
"selected with no apparent thought", according to The New Yorker. The
imprint quickly vanished again, and as of 2014 Amazon representatives
said that they had never heard of it.
Since June 19, 2000, Amazon's logotype has featured a curved arrow
leading from A to Z, representing that the company carries every
product from A to Z, with the arrow shaped like a smile.
Amazon's initial business plan was unusual; it did not expect to make
a profit for four to five years. This "slow" growth caused
stockholders to complain that the company was not reaching
profitability fast enough to justify their investment or even survive
in the long-term. The dot-com bubble burst at the start of the 21st
century and destroyed many e-companies in the process, but Amazon
survived and moved forward beyond the tech crash to become a huge
player in online sales. The company finally turned its first profit in
the fourth quarter of 2001: $5 million (i.e., 1¢ per share), on
revenues of more than $1 billion. This profit margin, though extremely
modest, proved to skeptics that Bezos' unconventional business model
could succeed. In 1999, Time magazine named Bezos the Person of
the Year when it recognized the company's success in popularizing
online shopping.
In 2011, Amazon had 30,000 full-time employees in the USA, and by the
end of 2016, it had 180,000 employees. The company employs 306,800
people worldwide in full and part-time jobs.
On October 11, 2016, Amazon announced plans to build convenience
stores and develop curbside pickup locations for food. In December
Amazon Go store was opened to Amazon employees in
Seattle. The store uses a variety of sensors and automatically
charges a shopper's Amazon account as they walk out of the store,
eliminating the need for checkout lines. The store is planned
to open for the general public in early 2017.[needs update]
Day 1 building in Seattle
Wikinews has related news: Amazon
.com to acquire
Whole Foods at US$42
In June 2017, Amazon announced that it would acquire Whole Foods, a
high-end supermarket chain with over 400 stores, for $13.4
billion. The acquisition was seen by media experts as a move
to strengthen its physical holdings and challenge Walmart's supremacy
as a brick and mortar retailer. This sentiment was heightened by the
fact that the announcement coincided with Walmart's purchase of men's
apparel company Bonobos. On August 23, 2017, Whole Foods
shareholders, as well as the Federal Trade Commission, approved the
In September 2017, Amazon announced plans to locate a second
headquarters in a metropolitan area with at least a million
people. Cities needed to submit their presentations by October 19,
2017 for the project called HQ2. The $5 billion second
headquarters, starting with 500,000 square feet and eventually
expanding to as much as 8 million square feet, may have as many as
In 2020, Amazon will build a new downtown
Seattle building with space
for Mary's Place, a local charity.
Mergers and acquisitions
Main article: List of mergers and acquisitions by Amazon.com
2008: Engine Yard, a Ruby-on-Rails platform as a service (PaaS)
2010: LivingSocial, a local deal site.
2014: Acquired the '.buy' domain in an auction for $4,588,888
2014: Amazon announces a US$2 billion investment in India
2016: Amazon announces an additional US$3 billion investment in
2017: Between May and July 2017, Amazon had invested ₹2,000 crore
(US$310 million) in
India with ₹130 crore (US$20 million)
invested into its payment arm
Amazon Pay India. In November 2017,
Amazon invested another ₹2,900 crore (US$440 million) in the
2018: In January, an additional sum of ₹2,000 crore
(US$310 million) was invested by Amazon in its Indian arm.
2003: A9.com, a company focused on researching and building innovative
2004: Lab126, developers of integrated consumer electronics such as
2007: Endless.com, an e-commerce brand focusing on shoes.
2007: Brilliance Audio, the largest independent audiobook producer in
2009: CreateSpace, self-publishing services for independent content
creators, publishers, film studios and music labels; created by the
internal merger of CustomFlix (on-demand DVDs for independent
filmmakers) and BookSurge (self-publishing, on-demand printing, online
distribution), both originally acquired 2005.
Amazon owns over 40 subsidiaries, including Zappos, Shopbop,
Diapers.com, Kiva Systems (now Amazon Robotics), Audible, Goodreads,
Teachstreet and IMDb.
Board of directors
As of February 2016[update], the board of directors is:
Jeff Bezos, President, CEO, and Chairman
Tom Alberg, Managing partner, Madrona Venture Group
John Seely Brown, Visiting Scholar and Advisor to the Provost at
University of Southern California
Bing Gordon, partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Jamie Gorelick, partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale, and Dorr
Judy McGrath, former CEO,
Alain Monié, CEO, Ingram Micro
Jon Rubinstein, former Chairman, and CEO, Palm, Inc.
Thomas O. Ryder, former Chairman, and CEO, Reader's Digest Association
Patty Stonesifer, President, and CEO, Martha's Table
Wendell P. Weeks, Chairman, President, and CEO, Corning Inc.
Until June 30, 2006, typing ToysRUs
.com into a browser would bring up
Amazon.com's "Toys & Games" tab; however, this relationship was
terminated due to a lawsuit. Amazon also hosted and managed the
website for Borders bookstores but this ceased in 2008. From 2001
until August 2011, Amazon hosted the retail website for Target.
.com operates retail websites for Sears Canada, Bebe Stores,
Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, and Lacoste. For a growing number of
enterprise clients, including the UK merchants Marks & Spencer,
Benefit Cosmetics' UK entity, edeals
.com and Mothercare, Amazon
provides a unified multichannel platform where a customer can interact
with the retail website, standalone in-store terminals or phone-based
customer service agents.
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services also powers AOL's
On October 18, 2011, Amazon
.com announced a partnership with DC Comics
for the exclusive digital rights to many popular comics, including
Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Sandman, and Watchmen. The
partnership has caused well-known bookstores like Barnes & Noble
to remove these titles from their shelves.
In November 2013, Amazon
.com announced a partnership with the United
States Postal Service to begin delivering orders on Sundays. The
service, included in Amazon's standard shipping rates, initiated in
metropolitan areas of
Los Angeles and New York due to the high-volume
and inability to deliver timely, with plans to expand into Dallas,
New Orleans and Phoenix by 2014.
In July 2016, Amazon
.com announced a partnership with the U.K. Civil
Aviation Authority to test some of the technologies and may use
delivery service via prime air drone in the future.
In June 2017, Nike confirmed a partnership with Amazon, stating it to
be in an initial phase where they'll be selling goods on
As of October 11, 2017,
AmazonFresh sell a range of Booths branded
products for home delivery in selected areas.
Products and services
Main article: List of Amazon
.com products and services
Amazon.com's product lines available at its website include several
media (books, DVDs, music CDs, videotapes and software), apparel, baby
products, consumer electronics, beauty products, gourmet food,
groceries, health and personal-care items, industrial & scientific
supplies, kitchen items, jewelry, watches, lawn and garden items,
musical instruments, sporting goods, tools, automotive items and toys
& games.
Amazon is now gearing up in
India to play a role in the grocery retail
sector aimed at delivering customer needs.
.com has a number of products and services available, including:
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Digital Game Store
See also: List of Amazon
Amazon Maritime, Inc.
Amazon Maritime, Inc. holds a
Federal Maritime Commission
Federal Maritime Commission license to
operate as a non-vessel-owning common carrier (NVOCC), which enables
the company to manage its own shipments from
China into the United
Audible.com is a seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment,
information and educational programming on the Internet. Audible sells
digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs and audio versions of
magazines and newspapers. Through its production arm, Audible Studios,
Audible has also become the world's largest producer of downloadable
audiobooks. On January 31, 2008, Amazon announced it would buy Audible
for about $300 million. The deal closed in March 2008 and Audible
became a subsidiary of Amazon.
Beijing Century Joyo Courier Services
Amazon 40' container turnpike double, a long combination vehicle
Beijing Century Joyo Courier Services is a subsidiary of Amazon and it
applied for a freight forwarding license with the US Maritime
Commission. Amazon is also building out its logistics in trucking and
air freight to potentially compete with UPS and FedEx.
Brilliance Audio is an audiobook publisher founded in 1984 by Michael
Snodgrass in Grand Haven, Michigan. The company produced its first
8 audio titles in 1985. The company was purchased by Amazon in
2007 for an undisclosed amount. At the time of the
acquisition, Brilliance was producing 12–15 new titles a month.
It operates as an independent company within Amazon.
In 1984, Brilliance Audio invented a technique for recording twice as
much on the same cassette. The technique involved recording on
each of the two channels of each stereo track. It has been
credited with revolutionizing the burgeoning audiobook market in the
mid-1980s since it made unabridged books affordable.
ComiXology is a cloud-based digital comics platform with over 200
million comic downloads as of September 2013. It offers a selection of
more than 40,000 comic books and graphic novels across Android, iOS,
Fire OS and Windows 8 devices and over a web browser. Amazon bought
the company in April 2014.
Goodreads is a "social cataloging" website founded in December 2006
and launched in January 2007 by Otis Chandler, a software engineer,
and entrepreneur, and Elizabeth Chandler. The website allows
individuals to freely search Goodreads' extensive user-populated
database of books, annotations, and reviews. Users can sign up and
register books to generate library catalogs and reading lists. They
can also create their own groups of book suggestions and discussions.
In December 2007, the site had over 650,000 members and over 10
million books had been added. Amazon bought the company in March
Shelfari was a social cataloging website for books.
built virtual bookshelves of the titles which they owned or had read
and they could rate, review, tag and discuss their books. Users could
also create groups that other members could join, create discussions
and talk about books, or other topics. Recommendations could be sent
to friends on the site for what books to read. Amazon bought the
company in August 2008.
Shelfari continued to function as an
independent book social network within the Amazon until January 2016,
when Amazon announced that it would be merging
Shelfari with Goodreads
and closing down Shelfari.
Twitch is a live streaming platform for video, primarily oriented
towards video gaming content. The service was first established as a
spin-off of a general-interest streaming service known as Justin.tv.
Its prominence was eclipsed by that of Twitch, and
eventually shut down by its parent company in August 2014 in order to
focus exclusively on Twitch. Later that month, Twitch was acquired
by Amazon for $970 million. Through Twitch, Amazon also owns
Curse, Inc., an operator of video gaming communities and a provider of
VoIP services for gaming. Since the acquisition, Twitch began to
sell games directly through the platform, and began offering
special features for
Amazon Prime subscribers.
The site's rapid growth had been boosted primarily by the prominence
of major esports competitions on the service, leading
esports editor Rod Breslau to have described the service as "the ESPN
of esports". As of 2015, the service had over 1.5 million
broadcasters and 100 million monthly viewers.
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market is an American supermarket chain exclusively
featuring foods without artificial preservatives, colors, flavors,
sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats.
On August 23, 2017, it was reported that the Federal Trade Commission
approved the merger between Amazon
Whole Foods Market. The
following day it was announced that the deal would be closed on August
Junglee is a former online shopping service which was provided by
Amazon which enabled customers to search for products from online and
offline retailers in India. Junglee started off as a virtual database
that was used to extract information off the internet and deliver it
to enterprise applications. As it progressed, Junglee started to use
its database technology to create a single window marketplace on the
internet by making every item from every supplier available for
purchase. Web shoppers could locate, compare and transact millions of
products from across the
Internet shopping mall through one
Amazon acquired Junglee in 1998, and the website Junglee
India in February 2012 as a comparison-shopping
website. It curated and enabled searching for a diverse variety of
products such as clothing, electronics, toys, jewellery and video
games, among others, across thousands of online and offline sellers.
Millions of products are browse-able, whereby the client selects a
price, and then they are directed to a seller. In November 2017,
Amazon closed down Junglee
.com and the former domain currently
redirects to Amazon India.
Type of site
.com (original U.S. site)
10 (Global, January 2018[update])
C++ and Java
The domain amazon
.com attracted at least 615 million visitors annually
by 2008. Amazon attracts over 130 million customers to its US
website per month by the start of 2016. The company has also
invested heavily on a massive amount of server capacity for its
website, especially to handle the excessive traffic during the
December Christmas holiday season.
Results generated by Amazon's search engine are partly determined by
Amazon site global availability
Amazon's localized storefronts, which differ in selection and prices,
are differentiated by top-level domain and country code:
See also: Amazon
.com controversies § Amazon reviews
Amazon allows users to submit reviews to the web page of each product.
Reviewers must rate the product on a rating scale from one to five
stars. Amazon provides a badging option for reviewers which indicate
the real name of the reviewer (based on confirmation of a credit card
account) or which indicate that the reviewer is one of the top
reviewers by popularity. Customers may comment or vote on the reviews,
indicating whether they found a review helpful to them. If a review is
given enough "helpful" hits, it appears on the front page of the
product. In 2010, Amazon was reported as being the largest single
Internet consumer reviews.
When publishers asked Bezos why Amazon would publish negative reviews,
he defended the practice by claiming that Amazon
.com was "taking a
different approach ... we want to make every book available—the
good, the bad and the ugly ... to let truth loose".
There have been cases of positive reviews being written and posted by
public relations companies on behalf of their clients and
instances of writers using pseudonyms to leave negative reviews of
their rivals' works.
"Search Inside the Book" is a feature which allows customers to search
for keywords in the full text of many books in the catalog.
The feature started with 120,000 titles (or 33 million pages of text)
on October 23, 2003. There are about 300,000 books in the
program. Amazon has cooperated with around 130 publishers to allow
users to perform these searches.
To avoid copyright violations, Amazon does not return the
computer-readable text of the book. Instead, it returns a picture of
the matching page, instructs the web browser to disable printing and
puts limits on the number of pages in a book a single user can access.
Additionally, customers can purchase online access to some of the same
books via the "Amazon Upgrade" program.
Amazon derives many of its sales (around 40% in 2008) from third-party
sellers who sell products on Amazon. Associates receive a
commission for referring customers to Amazon by placing links to
Amazon on their websites if the referral results in a sale. Worldwide,
Amazon has "over 900,000 members" in its affiliate programs. In
the middle of 2014, the Amazon Affiliate Program is used by 1.2% of
all websites and it is the second most popular advertising network
Google Ads. It is frequently used by websites and
non-profits to provide a way for supporters to earn them a
commission. Amazon reported over 1.3 million sellers sold
products through Amazon's websites in 2007. Unlike eBay, Amazon
sellers do not have to maintain separate payment accounts; all
payments are handled by Amazon.
Associates can access the Amazon catalog directly on their websites by
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
XML service. A new affiliate
product, aStore, allows Associates to embed a subset of Amazon
products within another website, or linked to another website. In June
2010, Amazon Seller Product Suggestions was launched (rumored to be
internally called "Project Genesis") to provide more transparency to
sellers by recommending specific products to third-party sellers to
sell on Amazon. Products suggested are based on customers' browsing
Amazon sales rank
The Amazon sales rank (ASR) provides an indication of the popularity
of a product sold on any Amazon locale. It is a relative indicator of
popularity that is updated hourly. Effectively, it is a "best sellers
list" for the millions of products stocked by Amazon. While the
ASR has no direct effect on the sales of a product, it is used by
Amazon to determine which products to include in its best-sellers
lists. Products that appear in these lists enjoy additional
exposure on the Amazon website and this may lead to an increase in
sales. In particular, products that experience large jumps (up or
down) in their sales ranks may be included within Amazon's lists of
"movers and shakers"; such a listing provides additional exposure that
might lead to an increase in sales. For competitive reasons,
Amazon does not release actual sales figures to the public. However,
Amazon has now begun to release point of sale data via the Nielsen
BookScan service to verified authors. While the ASR has been the
source of much speculation by publishers, manufacturers, and
marketers, Amazon itself does not release the details of its sales
rank calculation algorithm. Some companies have analyzed Amazon sales
data to generate sales estimates based on the ASR, though Amazon
Please keep in mind that our sales rank figures are simply meant to be
a guide of general interest for the customer and not definitive sales
information for publishers—we assume you have this information
regularly from your distribution sources
Amazon runs data centers for its online services and owns generators
or purchases electricity corresponding to its consumption, mostly
renewable energy. The US Navy has stated that its Relocatable
Radar remains operable regardless of a new Amazon wind farm in North
Carolina.[example's importance?] The company also records data on
customer buyer behavior which enables them to offer or recommend to an
individual specific item or bundles of items based upon preferences
demonstrated through purchases or items visited.
On January 31, 2013, Amazon experienced an outage that lasted
approximately 49 minutes, leaving its site inaccessible to some
On May 5, 2014, Amazon unveiled a partnership with Twitter. Twitter
users can link their accounts to an Amazon account and automatically
add items to their shopping carts by responding to any tweet with an
Amazon product link bearing the hashtag #AmazonCart. This allows
customers to never leave their
Twitter feed and the product is waiting
for them when they go to the Amazon website.
Multi-level sales strategy
Amazon employs a multi-level e-commerce strategy. Amazon started by
focusing on business-to-consumer relationships between itself and its
customers and business-to-business relationships between itself and
its suppliers and then moved to facilitate customer-to-customer with
the Amazon marketplace which acts as an intermediary to facilitate
transactions. The company lets anyone sell nearly anything using its
platform. In addition to an affiliate program that lets anyone
post-Amazon links and earn a commission on click-through sales, there
is now a program which lets those affiliates build entire websites
based on Amazon's platform.
Some other large e-commerce sellers use Amazon to sell their products
in addition to selling them through their own websites. The sales are
processed through Amazon
.com and end up at individual sellers for
processing and order fulfillment and Amazon leases space for these
retailers. Small sellers of used and new goods go to Amazon
Marketplace to offer goods at a fixed price. Amazon also employs
the use of drop shippers or meta sellers. These are members or
entities that advertise goods on Amazon who order these goods direct
from other competing websites but usually from other Amazon members.
These meta sellers may have millions of products listed, have large
transaction numbers and are grouped alongside other less prolific
members giving them credibility as just someone who has been in
business for a long time. Markup is anywhere from 50% to 100% and
sometimes more, these sellers maintain that items are in stock when
the opposite is true. As Amazon increases their dominance in the
marketplace these drop shippers have become more and more commonplace
in recent years.
In November 2015, Amazon opened its first physical bookstore location.
It is named
Amazon Books and is located in University Village in
Seattle. The store is 5,500 square feet and prices for all products
match those on its website. Amazon will open its tenth physical
book store in 2017; media speculation suggests Amazon plans to
eventually roll out 300 to 400 bookstores around the country.
Amazon plans to open brick and mortar bookstores in Germany.
.com is primarily a retail site with a sales revenue model;
Amazon takes a small percentage of the sale price of each item that is
sold through its website while also allowing companies to advertise
their products by paying to be listed as featured products.
Main article: Amazon
Since its founding, the company has attracted criticism and
controversy from multiple sources over its actions. These include:
luring customers away from the site's brick and mortar
competitors, poor warehouse conditions for workers;
Amazon Kindle remote content removal;
taking public subsidies; its "
1-Click patent" claims; anti-competitive
actions; price discrimination; various decisions over whether to
censor or publish content such as the
sales rank; and works containing libel, facilitating
dogfight, cockfight, or pedophile activities. In December 2011, Amazon
faced a backlash from small businesses for running a one-day deal to
promote its new Price Check app. Shoppers who used the app to check
prices in a brick-and-mortar store were offered a 5% discount to
purchase the same item from Amazon. Companies like Groupon, eBay
.it countered Amazon's promotion by offering $10 off from
their products. The company has also faced accusations of
putting undue pressure on suppliers to maintain and extend its
profitability. One effort to squeeze the most vulnerable book
publishers was known within the company as the Gazelle Project, after
Bezos suggested, according to Brad Stone, "that Amazon should approach
these small publishers the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly
gazelle." In July 2014, the
Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission launched a
lawsuit against the company alleging it was promoting in-app purchases
to children, which were being transacted without parental
Selling counterfeit items
On October 16, 2016, Apple filed a trademark infringement case against
Mobile Star LLC for selling counterfeit Apple products to Amazon. In
the suit, Apple provided evidence that Amazon was selling these
counterfeit Apple products and advertising them as genuine. Through
purchasing, Apple was able to identify that nearly 90% of the Apple
accessories sold and fulfilled by Amazon were counterfeit. Amazon was
sourcing and selling items without properly determining if they are
genuine. Mobile Star LLC settled with Apple for an undisclosed amount
on April 27, 2017.
Sales and use taxes
Main article: Amazon tax
Amazon state sales tax collection policy has changed over the years
since in the company's beginning it did not collect any sale taxes. In
the U.S., state and local sales taxes are levied by state and local
governments, not at the federal level. In most countries where Amazon
operates, a sales tax or value added tax is uniform throughout the
country, and Amazon is obliged to collect it from all customers.
Proponents of forcing Amazon
.com to collect sales tax—at least in
states where it maintains a physical presence—argue the corporation
wields an anti-competitive advantage over storefront businesses forced
to collect sales tax.
Many U.S. states in the 21st century have passed online shopping sales
tax laws designed to compel Amazon
.com and other e-commerce retailers
to collect state and local sales taxes from its customers. Amazon.com
originally collected sales tax only from five states as of 2011, but
as of April 2017, Amazon collects sales taxes from customers in all 45
states that have a state sales tax and in Washington, D.C.
Comments by President Trump
In 2018, President
Donald Trump repeatedly criticized Amazon's use of
United States Postal Service and pricing of its deliveries,
stating, "I am right about Amazon costing the
United States Post
Office massive amounts of money for being their Delivery Boy," Trump
tweeted. "Amazon should pay these costs (plus) and not have them
bourne [sic] by the American Taxpayer." Amazon's shares fell as
much as 6 percent on Trump's comments although no actual facts were
presented supporting the President's claims.
Poor working conditions
Amazon has attracted widespread criticism for poor working conditions
by both current employees, which refer to themselves as
Amazonians, and former employees, as well as the media
and politicians. In 2011, it was publicized that at the Breinigsville,
Pennsylvania warehouse, workers had to carry out work in 100 °F
(38 °C) heat, resulting in employees becoming extremely
uncomfortable and suffering from dehydration and collapse. Loading-bay
doors were not opened to allow in fresh air, due to the company's
concerns over theft. Amazon's initial response was to pay for an
ambulance to sit outside on call to cart away overheated
employees. The company eventually installed air conditioning at
Some workers, "pickers", who travel the building with a trolley and a
handheld scanner "picking" customer orders can walk up to 15 miles
during their workday and if they fall behind on their targets, they
can be reprimanded. The handheld scanners give real-time information
to the employee on how fast or slowly they are working; the scanners
also serve to allow Team Leads and Area Managers to track the specific
locations of employees and how much "idle time" they gain when not
working. In a German television report broadcast in February
2013, journalists Diana Löbl and Peter Onneken conducted a covert
investigation at the distribution center of Amazon in the town of Bad
Hersfeld in the German state of Hessen. The report highlights the
behavior of some of the security guards, themselves being employed by
a third party company, who apparently either had a Neo-nazi background
or deliberately dressed in Neo-Nazi apparel and who were intimidating
foreign and temporary female workers at its distribution centers. The
third party security company involved was delisted by Amazon as a
business contact shortly after that report.
In March 2015, it was reported in
The Verge that Amazon will be
removing 18 months long non-compete clauses from its US employment
contracts for hourly-paid workers, after criticism that it was acting
unreasonably in preventing such employees from finding other work.
Even short-term temporary workers have to sign contracts that prohibit
them from working at any company where they would "directly or
indirectly" support any good or service that competes with those they
helped support at Amazon, for 18 months after leaving Amazon, even if
they are fired or made redundant.
New York Times
New York Times article published on August 16, 2015,
described evidence of an intimidating and confrontational working
culture for the company's office workers.
In an effort to boost employee morale, on November 2, 2015, Amazon
announced that it would be extending 6 weeks of paid leave for new
mothers and fathers. This change includes birth parents and adoptive
parents and can be applied in conjunction with existing maternity
leave and medical leave for new mothers.
Conflict of interest
In 2013, Amazon secured a 600 million dollar contract with the CIA,
which poses a potential conflict of interest involving the Bezos-owned
Washington Post and his newspaper's coverage of the CIA. Kate
Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, said,
"It's a serious potential conflict of interest for a major newspaper
Washington Post to have a contractual relationship with the
government and the most secret part of the government."
Amazon lobbies the
United States federal government and state
governments on issues such as the enforcement of sales taxes on online
sales, transportation safety, privacy and data protection and
intellectual property. According to regulatory filings, Amazon.com
focuses its lobbying on the
United States Congress, the Federal
Communications Commission and the Federal Reserve. Amazon
roughly $3.5 million, $5 million and $9.5 million on lobbying, in
2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively.
.com was a corporate member of the American Legislative Exchange
Council (ALEC) until it dropped membership following protests at its
shareholders' meeting on May 24, 2012.
In 2014, Amazon expanded its lobbying practices as it prepared to
Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration to approve its drone
delivery program, hiring the Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
lobbying firm in June. Amazon and its lobbyists have visited with
Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration officials and aviation committees in
Washington, D.C. to explain its plans to deliver packages.
Notable businesses founded by former employees
A number of companies have been started and founded by former Amazon
Findory was founded by Greg Linden.
Flipkart was founded by
Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal.
.com was founded by Barnaby Dorfman.
Hulu was led by Jason Kilar, a former SVP.
Infibeam was founded by Vishal Mehta.
Instacart was founded by Apoorva Mehta.
SocialGold were co-founded by
Vikas Gupta and Reza
.com was founded by Marc Lore.
Nimbula was co-founded by Chris Pinkham, a former VP and Willem Van
Biljon, a former Product Manager.
Opscode was co-founded by Jesse Robbins, a former engineer, and
Pelago was co-founded by Jeff Holden, a former SVP and Darren
Vengroff, a former Principal Engineer.
.com was founded by Matt Williams, former longtime Amazon executive
and 'shadow' to Jeff Bezos.
Quora was co-founded by engineer Charlie Cheever.
TeachStreet was founded by Dave Schappell, an early product
Book Depository was founded by Andrew Crawford; acquired by Amazon
Trusera was founded by Keith Schorsch, an early Amazonian.
Twilio was founded by Jeff Lawson, a former Technical Product
Vittana was founded by Kushal Chakrabarti and Brett Witt.
Wikinvest was founded by Michael Sha.
Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
Amazon Flexible Payments Service
Amazon Standard Identification Number (ASIN)
List of book distributors
Statistically improbable phrases – Amazon.com's phrase extraction
technique for indexing books
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American Airlines Group
Automatic Data Processing
Cadence Design Systems
J. B. Hunt
J. B. Hunt Transport Services
Maxim Integrated Products
O'Reilly Auto Parts
Sirius XM Holdings
Walgreens Boots Alliance
Seattle-based Corporations (within the
Seattle metropolitan area)
Seattle and SeaTac-based
Fortune 1000 corporations
Alaska Airlines (#482)
Expeditors International (#428)
Fortune 1000 corporations
Companies listed above, plus:
Costco Wholesale (#22)
Expedia Group (#515)
Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy (#703)
Major Seattle- and Puget Sound-based non-public
or externally owned corporations
Big Fish Games
Nintendo of America
Barnes & Noble Nook
Plastic Logic Reader
Adobe Digital Editions
Google Play Books
OverDrive Media Console
Atlantis Word Processor
Help & Manual
Amazon Kindle Store
Baen Free Library
Barnes & Noble
Sony Reader Store
Academic journal publishing reform
Comparison of e-book readers
Comparison of iOS e-book reader software
Comparison of Android e-book reader software
iBooks Author Conference
BMG Rights Management
EMI Music Publishing
Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Major: Sony Music
Universal Music Group
Warner Music Group
Independent: Independent UK record labels
Drum and bass
Album cover design
Artists and repertoire (A&R)
Professional audio store
Hip hop producer
Extended play (EP)/Mini album
Billboard Hot 100
Brasil Hot 100 Airplay
Canadian Hot 100
Gaon Music Chart
Irish Singles Chart
Italian Singles Chart
GfK Entertainment Charts
Entertainment Monitoring Africa
New Zealand Singles Chart
SNEP Singles Chart
UK Singles Chart
Musica e dischi
Top of the Pops
The Music Factory
The Country Network
The X Factor
Best-selling music artists
Best-selling albums by country
Highest-grossing concert tours
Global Recording Artist of the Year
A-side and B-side
Christian music industry
Major mobile device companies
Companies with an annual revenue of over US$3 billion
Apple Inc. (iPhone)
BBK Electronics (OPPO, OnePlus, Vivo)
Lenovo (Motorola Mobility)
HMD Global (Nokia)
TCL Corporation (BlackBerry Mobile, Alcatel Mobile, Palm, Inc.)
Largest IT companies
Category:Mobile technology companies
Category:Mobile phone manufacturers
Companies with an annual revenue of over US$2 billion
FMG/Fusion Media Group
Amazon Web Services
Largest IT companies
List of largest
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