- Homepage: http://www.amazon.com/
September 2004: "Amazon.com, a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as health and personal care, jewelry and watches, gourmet food, sports and outdoors, apparel and accessories, books, music, DVDs, electronics and office, kids and baby, and home and garden."http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=97664&p=IROL-NewsText&t=Regular&id=605325&
April 2003: "Amazon.com is the global leader in e-commerce, with more than 30 million customers around the world. We're headquartered in beautiful Seattle, Washington, and we have 7,000-plus employees that live and work in many different countries. We've been live on the Web since 1995."http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/feature/-/166454/104-9123584-2630342
August 2012: "Mr. Rutherford refunded her fee, but his problems were just beginning. Google suspended his advertising account, saying it did not approve of ads for favorable reviews. At about the same time, Amazon took down some, though not all, of his reviews. Mr. Rutherford dropped his first name in favor of his middle name, Jason, so that people who searched for him through Google would not automatically see Ms. Lorenzana's complaints."http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/business/book-reviewers-for-hire-meet-a-demand-for-online-raves.html
March 2012: "The goal of this Web site is to persuade people to buy products again and again from Amazon.com. Everything on the Web site contributes to this result: user registration, tailored information, limited-time offers, third-party product reviews, one-click shopping, confirmation messages, and more. Dozens of persuasion strategies are integrated into the overall experience. Although the Amazon online experience may appear to be focused on providing mere information and seamless service, it is really about persuasion--buy things now and come back for more."http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/its-not-all-about-you-what-privacy-advocates-dont-get-about-data-tracking-on-the-web/254533/
March 2012: "Why would Apple have agreed to pay higher prices for books while Amazon was still out there hocking them below cost? Good question. Those curious circumstances are why some, including Justice it now appears, think there might have been collusion on the part of the publishers. The European Commission opened its own formal investigation into the matter back in December."http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/03/how-cheap-should-books-be/254279/
January 2012: "Amazon, sent a copy of the VIP letter by The New York Times, said its guidelines prohibited compensation for customer reviews. A few days later, it deleted all the reviews for the case, which itself was listed as unavailable. Then it took down the product page itself."http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/27/technology/for-2-a-star-a-retailer-gets-5-star-reviews.html
December 2011: 'For years — since its inception — Amazon has been at implicit war with local brick-and-mortar stores. Last week, the implicit seemingly became explicit when Amazon began a promotion that encouraged customers to check out prices at local retailers and use a specially designed “Price Check” smartphone app to report what they found back to Amazon. Customers who then purchased the same item from Amazon received a 5 percent discount, up to $5. (The deal was available only from Friday night through Saturday, and only for certain kinds of products.)'http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/the-backlash-to-amazons-price-check-promotion-builds
October 2011: 'Thierer also pointed out his frustration with Amazon being at the center of this debate, saying that he was “very troubled” by it. He not only thinks that Amazon is pulling the spotlight away from other online retailers, but he is also disturbed that it is making deals with politicians in order to eliminate its tax own burden. The online retailer has been negotiating with states to avoid or delay paying taxes in exchange for investment and jobs in those states.'http://www.webpronews.com/what-about-an-origin-based-tax-solution-for-the-internet-2011-10
August 2011: "In tens of millions of reviews on Web sites like Amazon.com, Citysearch, TripAdvisor and Yelp, new books are better than Tolstoy, restaurants are undiscovered gems and hotels surpass the Ritz."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/technology/finding-fake-reviews-online.html
July 2011: "Amazon said this week that it would push a voter initiative in California that could eliminate sales tax for virtual sellers with only a modest physical presence in the state. Its move instantly escalated the company’s long-running battle with many states over collecting sales tax, taking the question directly to voters. And it has sharply intensified its dispute with physical retailers like Wal-Mart Stores and Target, which have vowed to fight the measure."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/technology/amazon-takes-sales-tax-war-to-california.html
June 2011: "Amazon.com said today that it's reluctantly severing ties with affiliates in California, a move that it hopes will let it continue shipping products to state residents without collecting sales taxes."http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20075651-281/california-targets-kindle-lab-in-amazon-tax-spat/
June 2011: 'Such moves bring to mind the last tech boom, when companies drew upon unusual accounting and business yardsticks to help explain their lack of profitability. Amazon.com, for example, briefly reported profits that stripped out its then-steep marketing costs, not unlike Groupon. And Motorola incurred “special” one-time items so regularly that critics asked whether they were fundamental business costs.'http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/abracadabra-for-internet-start-ups-magic-trumps-math/
May 2011: "It might be getting tougher. Unlike Amazon, which strives to keep Mechanical Turk spam-free, a handful of sites let users boast freely of Yelp-gaming prowess."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/22/your-money/22haggler.html
May 2011: 'Amazon.com broke that trust in a high-profile use of the kill switch in 2009, when the company remotely erased copies of George Orwell's "1984" and "Animal Farm" from its customers' Kindles. The books had been mistakenly sold on its e-book store, the company said.'http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/mobile/05/12/kill.switch/index.html
January 2011: "The net effect is that when you offer your apps on the Amazon Appstore, you agree to grant Amazon.com, in perpetuity, the right to offer a lower price for your apps than is available anywhere else. And because customers aren't dummies, that means you're essentially making Amazon.com your de facto retail channel. Why would anyone shop elsewhere, when downloading from Amazon.com is just as easy as downloading from another site?"http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-world/amazoncom-the-wal-mart-android-apps-958
December 2010: 'Greaves and his book, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct," gained national attention earlier this year after Amazon.com defended selling the book on its website despite angry comments and threats of boycotts from thousands of users.'http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/12/20/florida.obscenity.arrest/index.html
December 2010: "Early this week, after hacker attacks on its site, Wikileaks moved its operation, including all those diplomatic cables, to the greener pastures of Amazon.com's cloud servers. But today, it was down again and mid-afternoon we found out the reason: Amazon had axed Wikileaks from its servers."http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/how_lieberman_got_amazon_to_drop_wikileaks.php
May 2010: "But people briefed on the inquiries also said investigators had asked in particular about recent allegations that Apple used its dominant market position to persuade music labels to refuse to give the online retailer Amazon.com exclusive access to music about to be released."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/technology/26apple.html
May 2010: 'There have already been plenty of questions over who "owns" the ebooks you've bought, with stories of remotely deactivated books and remotely deactivated features -- neither of which happens when you have a real physical book. But there are also other concerns opened up by newly activated features. Apparently one new feature -- sent in by a few concerned readers -- is that Amazon will now remotely upload and store the user notes and highlights you take on your Kindle, which it then compiles into "popular highlights."'http://techdirt.com/articles/20100511/1018059377.shtml
May 2010: 'No one knew for sure who “Historian” was when he started rubbishing the books of rival historians on Amazon and praising the work of Orlando Figes, Russian specialist and history professor at Birkbeck College, London, although many suspected the reviewer was Prof Figes.'http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2b8fdfaa-56dd-11df-aa89-00144feab49a.html
May 2010: "Amazon retaliated by challenging the law's assertion that local Web site operators are part of its sales team -- the company considers them independent advertisers -- and the case is still winding its way through state courts. In Rhode Island and North Carolina, Amazon ended all contracts with local Web site operators, which one trade group said cut their revenue in half. Amazon has also sent letters threatening similar moves in states that have debated such bills, including Virginia."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/01/AR2010050100246.html
April 2010: "Amazon.com filed a lawsuit on Monday to fend off a sweeping demand from North Carolina's tax collectors: detailed records including names and addresses of customers and information about exactly what they purchased."http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20002870-38.html
April 2010: "Amazon went to court to try block a proposed settlement between Google and groups representing authors and publishers that would pave the way for Google to create the world’s largest digital bookstore and library. The settlement awaits court approval."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/02/technology/02google.html
August 2009: 'But when it came to the nascent e-book market, Amazon dropped its commitment to openness and instead followed Apple's playbook so exactly that it looked like a case of "Seattle, start your photocopiers!" Slick hardware that used a proprietary DRM format quickly made the Kindle brand the hottest name in the (admittedly still small) e-book circles. It was that decision to link the Kindle hardware and store with a new DRM scheme that led the Free Software Foundation (FSF) to add the Kindle to its "Defective by Design" anti-DRM campaign.'http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/08/new-petition-demands-an-end-to-kindle-drm.ars
July 2009: "Amazon basically guaranteed that I'll never buy a Kindle last night by bending to the wishes of a publisher and deleting every single legitimately-purchased copy of 1984 and Animal Farm from all Kindles remotely. Ridiculous."http://gizmodo.com/5317180/amazon-remotely-deletes-legitimately-
April 2009: "Last year, New York became the first state to pass legislation requiring large Web-based retailers, including Amazon.com (AMZN) and Overstock.com (OSTK), to collect state sales taxes on products promoted through affiliated state-based Web sites. Cash-strapped states across the country are mulling similar legislation and a federal online-sales tax bill that may be introduced in Congress could be signed into law as early as this year."http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/apr2009/tc20090426_510375.htm
December 2008: "This is not about Amazon peddling new books at discounted prices, which has been a factor in the book business for a decade..."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/weekinreview/28streitfeld.html
July 2008: 'In a study on how free shipping affects online shopping, Professor Bell and his colleagues found that when people are offered free shipping on their order if they reach a particular spending threshold — Amazon, for example, provides free shipping on certain items if you buy $25 worth of goods — “they increase their average order size and also increase the time between shopping trips,” Professor Bell said. So it may balance out, right? More is purchased at one time, but less frequently?'http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/05/business/yourmoney/05shortcuts.html
June 2008: "PARIS — Amazon, the online retailing giant with a fast-rising share of the consumer book market, has adopted the literary equivalent of a nuclear option for rebellious publishers who balk at its demands."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/16/business/media/16amazon.html
April 2008: 'Amazon has said that it doesn't plan to budge. Printing in-house helps the Seattle online retailer to save on shipping time and costs. Plus, as the company said in a recent letter on its Web site, the standoff is not the first between authors and Amazon on policy changes -- many writers oppose Amazon's offering of used books, for example." It isn't logical or efficient to print a (publish on demand) book in a third place, and then physically ship the book to our fulfillment centers," the Amazon letter said.'http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/358465_amazon10.html
March 2008: "Amazon.com Inc. has told publishers who print books on demand that their titles will no longer be sold directly through Amazon if they don't use the company's printing company, BookSurge."http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9073198
January 2007: Amazon's 30-day price guarantee is a sort of Zen customer benefit. If a retailer offers a price guarantee but doesn't tell customers about it, does the price guarantee exist? Only for the few who hear about it somewhere else."http://www.slate.com/id/2156900/
February 2001: Bezos is a magician with a classic act: making the incredible appear credible. Until now, Amazon.com has gotten away with this illusion--in turn, defining the New Economy. Indeed, the New Economy (and Seattle itself) was lit by the glow of Bezos' fantastic, magical exaggerations of the future. By a trick of misdirection, Bezos spent the last five years charming employees and Wall Street alike with grand illusions of tomorrow's New Economy.http://www.thestranger.com/2001-02-08/city.html
February 2001: Feeling philanthropic? Amazon.com plans to unveil a new system Tuesday that will allow Net surfers to donate cash to their favorite Web sites.http://news.com.com/news/0-1007-200-4723935.html
March 2006: Patent trolls rarely create anything and act more like extortionists than wronged companies. I say we blame Amazon. A few years ago, it sued competing online companies for infringing upon its 'One-Click Shopping' patent. At the time, we were all shocked that anyone had even bothered to patent such an obvious function (how many clicks should it take to complete a purchase? Nine? 25?). Amazon.had, essentially, put the technology world on notice. All seemingly obvious functions are fair game.http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1932154,00.asp
Role Name Type Last Updated Owner of (partial or full, past or present) A9.com Organization Jun 30, 2011 Opponent (past or present) Alliance for Main Street Fairness Organization Jul 14, 2011 Opponent (past or present) Eolas Technologies Organization Feb 10, 2012 Member of (past or present) Open Book Alliance Organization May 9, 2010 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Zappos.com Organization Oct 26, 2011 Founded/Co-Founded by Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Jeffrey "Jeff" P. Bezos EE Person Oct 20, 2006 Advised by (past or present) John Doerr MBA, MS Person Jul 27, 2006 Director/Trustee/Overseer (past or present) Reid G. Hoffman Person Jul 6, 2012 Cooperation (past or present) Opponent (past or present) Angela Hoy Person Mar 31, 2008
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Mar 31, 2013 Is A ‘Just Looking’ Fee A Smart Business Decision?
QUOTE: To complicate things even further for brick and mortars, the rise of smartphones has made it easy for consumers to walk into a store, browse the inventory, and comparison shop right from within. Stores risk losing customers to competitors before they’ve even left the store....As of the first of February, this store will be charging people a $5 fee per person for “just looking.”
WebProNews Aug 26, 2012 The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy
QUOTE: "The wheels of online commerce run on positive reviews," said Bing Liu, a data-mining expert at the University of Illinois, Chicago, whose 2008 research showed that 60 percent of the millions of product reviews on Amazon are five stars and an additional 20 percent are four stars. "But almost no one wants to write five-star reviews, so many of them have to be created."
New York Times Jul 04, 2012 In Silicon Valley, Chieftains Rule With Few Checks and Balances
QUOTE: Since Google went public in 2004 in a way that maintained control for its founders, the leaders of Silicon Valley have been chary about shareholder voting rights. In the latest wave of Internet initial public offerings, shareholder voting rights have become even more diminished.
New York Times Apr 28, 2012 How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes
QUOTE: The growing digital economy presents a conundrum for lawmakers overseeing corporate taxation: although technology is now one of the nation’s largest and most valued industries, many tech companies are among the least taxed, according to government and corporate data. Over the last two years, the 71 technology companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index — including Apple, Google, Yahoo and Dell — reported paying worldwide cash taxes at a rate that, on average, was a third less than other S.& P. companies’.
New York Times Mar 15, 2012 It's Not All About You: What Privacy Advocates Don't Get About Data Tracking on the Web
QUOTE: The privacy discourse frames the issue in an ego-centric manner, as a bargain between consumers and companies: the company will know x, y and z about me and in exchange I get free email, good recommendations, and a plethora of convenient services. But the bargain that we are making is a collective one, and the costs will be felt at a societal scale. When we think in terms of power, it is clear we are getting a raw deal: we grant private entities -- with no interest in the public good and no public accountability -- greater powers of persuasion than anyone has ever had before and in exchange we get free email.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) Mar 11, 2012 How Cheap Should Books Be?
QUOTE: A looming lawsuit could solidify Amazon's dominance in the book business. That might be good for readers' wallets, but it also might be bad for readers in the long term. Here 's why.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) Feb 09, 2012 Texas Jury Strikes Down Patent Troll’s Claim to Own the Interactive Web
QUOTE: The chief issue in the case was whether the first computer program that allowed access to an “interactive web” was created by the little-known Chicago biologist Doyle, who runs Eolas out of Chicago. Or was it one of the web pioneers put on the stand by the defendant companies — such as Pei-Yuan Wei and his Viola browser, or Dave Raggett and his embed tag?
Wired Jan 26, 2012 For $2 a Star, an Online Retailer Gets 5-Star Product Reviews
QUOTE: As the collective wisdom of the crowd displaces traditional advertising, the roaring engines of e-commerce are being stoked by favorable reviews. The VIP deal reflects the importance merchants place on these evaluations — and the lengths to which they go to game the system. Fake reviews are drawing the attention of regulators. They have cracked down on a few firms for deceitful hyping and suspect these are far from isolated instances.
New York Times Jan 23, 2012 Europe Weighs Tough Law on Online Privacy
QUOTE: Europe is considering a sweeping new law that would force Internet companies like Amazon.com and Facebook to obtain explicit consent from consumers about the use of their personal data, delete that data forever at the consumer’s request and face fines for failing to comply.
New York Times Dec 12, 2011 Amazon Denies It Has a Small-Business Problem (You're the Boss)
QUOTE: For years — since its inception — Amazon has been at implicit war with local brick-and-mortar stores. Last week, the implicit seemingly became explicit when Amazon began a promotion that encouraged customers to check out prices at local retailers and use a specially designed “Price Check” smartphone app to report what they found back to Amazon. Customers who then purchased the same item from Amazon received a 5 percent discount, up to $5.
New York Times Oct 26, 2011 Occupy Wall Street? Who Will Occupy Main Street?
QUOTE: It is becoming commonplace for customers to go into a store, examine a product, get educated by a sales clerk, and go home to order the product online. Instead of feeling bad for taking the time of someone who is trying to make a living, many people feel righteous about it. They say things like, “I’m not going to get ripped off.”
New York Times Oct 21, 2011 What is the Right Solution for Internet Tax? New report says it would encourage competition and help consumers
QUOTE: ...Amazon is pulling the spotlight away from other online retailers, but he is also disturbed that it is making deals with politicians in order to eliminate its tax own burden. The online retailer has been negotiating with states to avoid or delay paying taxes in exchange for investment and jobs in those states.
WebProNews Aug 19, 2011 In a Race to Out-Rave, 5-Star Web Reviews Go for $5
QUOTE: The boundless demand for positive reviews has made the review system an arms race of sorts. As more five-star reviews are handed out, even more five-star reviews are needed....Determining the number of fake reviews on the Web is difficult. But it is enough of a problem to attract a team of Cornell researchers, who recently published a paper about creating a computer algorithm for detecting fake reviewers.
New York Times Jul 13, 2011 Amazon Takes On California
QUOTE: Amazon said this week that it would push a voter initiative in California that could eliminate sales tax for virtual sellers with only a modest physical presence in the state. Its move instantly escalated the company’s long-running battle with many states over collecting sales tax, taking the question directly to voters. And it has sharply intensified its dispute with physical retailers like Wal-Mart Stores and Target, which have vowed to fight the measure.
New York Times Jun 29, 2011 California targets Kindle lab in Amazon tax spat
QUOTE: Amazon.com said today that it's reluctantly severing ties with affiliates in California, a move that it hopes will let it continue shipping products to state residents without collecting sales taxes.... The measure says that any retailer who "through a subsidiary" has any "place of business" in California must collect sales taxes.
CNET Jun 23, 2011 Let’s Make a Deal, Amazon Tells Texas
QUOTE: Texas has granted sales tax rebates to companies on goods and services they buy, but has apparently never allowed one to stop collecting taxes from its own customers. The Texas Retailers Association blasted the proposed Amazon deal as a carve-out that would leave the state’s brick-and-mortar stores at a disadvantage to the giant Internet retailer.
New York Times Jun 17, 2011 Abracadabra! Magic Trumps Math at Web Start-Ups
QUOTE: The use of such metrics has come with a meteoric rise in valuations for companies like Groupon, LinkedIn and Facebook that has invited skepticism from analysts and people in the industry. They are questioning whether some business models — be they a social network aimed at professionals or a maker of online farm games — can endure.
New York Times May 21, 2011 A Rave, a Pan, or Just a Fake? (The Haggler)
QUOTE: As a consumer review Web site, Yelp is so big and influential that it has given rise to a small, semi-underground group of entrepreneurs who, for a fee, will post a rave about your company. Others will post a negative review about your rivals. Yes, this is very sneaky, and it’s a continuing problem for Yelp, which is locked in a “Spy vs. Spy”-style contest with fake reviewers.
New York Times May 12, 2011 Why gadget makers wield a 'kill switch'
QUOTE: When you buy a video game from Best Buy, you don't give the retailer the right to barge into your house whenever it wants. So why do we give that permission to software companies? Most popular smartphone operating systems and other electronic gadgets include what security researchers refer to as a kill switch. This capability enables the company that makes the operating software to send a command over the Web or wireless networks that alters or removes certain applications from devices.
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 29, 2011 Amazon Introduces a Digital Music Locker
QUOTE: Though some companies let people upload their music and listen to it elsewhere without any outcry from the labels, others, like MP3tunes, have been sued by music labels. Another issue: it is impossible for Web companies to tell whether a song was bought legally or downloaded illegally.
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