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Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:, Inc. ( ) is an Americanmarker-based multinational electronic commerce company. Headquartered in Seattlemarker, Washingtonmarker, it is America's largest online retailer, with nearly three times the Internet sales revenue of the runner up, Staples, Inc.

Jeff Bezos founded, Inc. in 1994 and launched it online in 1995. It started as an on-line bookstore but soon diversified to product lines of VHS, DVD, music CDs and MP3s, computer software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, etc. Amazon has established separate websites in Canadamarker, the United Kingdommarker, Germanymarker, Francemarker, Japanmarker, and Chinamarker. It also provides international shipping to certain countries for some of its products.

On January 15, 2009, a survey published by Verdict Research found that Amazon was the UK's favorite music and video retailer, and came third in overall retail rankings.

History and business model

Amazon was founded in 1994, spurred by what Bezos called "regret minimization framework", his effort to fend off regret for not staking a claim in the Internet gold rush. While company lore says Bezos wrote the business plan while he and his wife drove from New Yorkmarker to Seattle, that account appears to be apocryphal.

The company began as an online bookstore; while the largest brick-and-mortar bookstores and mail-order catalogs for books might offer 200,000 titles, an on-line bookstore could offer more. Bezos named the company "Amazon" after the world's biggest river. Since 2000, Amazon's logotype is an arrow leading from A to Z, representing customer satisfaction (as it forms a smile) and the goal to have every product in the alphabet.

In 1994, the company incorporated in the state of Washingtonmarker, beginning service in July 1995, and was reincorporated in 1996 in Delawaremarker. The first book sold was Douglas Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. issued its initial public offering of stock on May 15, 1997, trading under the NASDAQ stock exchange symbol AMZN, at an IPO price of US$18.00 per share ($1.50 after three stock splits in the late 1990s).

Amazon's initial business plan was unusual: the company did not expect a profit for four to five years; the strategy was effective. Amazon grew steadily in the late 1990s while other Internet companies grew blindingly fast. Amazon's "slow" growth provoked stockholder complaints: that the company was not reaching profitability fast enough. When the dot-com bubble burst, and many e-companies went out of business, Amazon persevered, and, finally, turned its first profit in the fourth quarter of 2001: $5 million, just 1¢ per share, on revenues of more than $1 billion, but the profit was symbolically important.

The company remains profitable: net income was $35.3 million in 2003, $588.50 million in 2004, $359 million in 2005, and $190 million in 2006 (including a $662 million charge for R&D in 2006), nevertheless, the firm's cumulative profits remain negative. As of September 2007, the accumulated deficit stood at $1.58 billion. Revenues increased thanks to product diversification and an international presence: $3.9 billion in 2002, $5.3 billion in 2003, $6.9 billion in 2004, $8.5 billion in 2005, and $10.7 billion in 2006.

On November 21, 2005, Amazon entered the S&P 500 index, replacing AT&T after it merged with SBC Communications. On December 31, 2008, Amazon entered the S&P 100 index, replacing Merrill Lynch after it was taken over by Bank of America.

In 1999, Time magazine named Bezos Person of the Year, recognizing the company's success in popularizing on-line shopping.

Merchant partnerships

The Web site CDNOW ( is powered and hosted by Amazon. Until June 30, 2006, typing into a browser would similarly bring up's Toys & Games tab; however, this relationship was terminated as the result of a lawsuit. powers and operates retail web sites for Target, Sears Canada, Benefit Cosmetics, bebe Stores, Timex Corporation, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, and Lacoste. For a growing number of enterprise clients, currently including the UK merchants Marks & Spencer, Benefit Cosmetics' UK entity and Mothercare, Amazon provides a unified multichannel platform whereby a customer can interchangeably interact with the retail website, standalone in-store terminals, and phone-based customer service agents. Amazon Web Services also powers AOL's Shop@AOL.

Locations have offices, fulfillment centers, customer service centers and software development centers across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.


company's global headquarters is located on Seattle's Beacon Hillmarker. It has offices throughout other parts of greater Seattle including Union Station and The Columbia Centermarker.

Amazon has announced plans to move its headquarters to the South Lake Union neighborhood of Seattle beginning in mid-2010, with full occupancy by 2011. This move will consolidate all Seattle employees onto the new 11-building campus.

Software development centers

The company employs software developers in medium- to large-sized centers across the globe. While most of Amazon's software development is in Seattle, other locations include:

Fulfillment and warehousing

Fulfillment centers are located in the following cities, often near airports. Amazon offers warehousing and order-fulfillment for third-party sellers including large companies such as Target Corporation:

*Arizonamarker, USA: Phoenixmarker, Goodyearmarker
*Delawaremarker, USA: New Castlemarker
*Indianamarker, USA: Whitestownmarker, Munstermarker, and Plainfieldmarker
*Kansasmarker, USA: Coffeyvillemarker
*Kentuckymarker, USA: Campbellsvillemarker, Hebron (near CVGmarker), Lexingtonmarker, and Louisvillemarker
*Nevadamarker, USA: Fernleymarker
*New Hampshiremarker, USA: Nashuamarker
*Pennsylvaniamarker, USA: Carlislemarker, Chambersburgmarker, Hazletonmarker, and Lewisberrymarker
*Texasmarker, USA: Dallas/Fort Worth
*Virginiamarker, USA
*Ontariomarker, Canada: Mississaugamarker (a Canada Post facility)
In March 2009, Amazon announced plans to close three U.S. distribution centers:Red Rock, Nevada; Chambersburg, Pennsylvaniamarker; and Munster, Indianamarker.
*Bedfordshire, England: Marston Gate, near Brogboroughmarker
*Inverclydemarker, Scotland: Gourockmarker
*Fifemarker, Scotland: Glenrothesmarker
*Swanseamarker, Walesmarker: Crymlyn Burrowsmarker near Jersey Marinemarker
*Loiretmarker, France: Orléansmarker-Boigny (2000)
*Loiretmarker, France: Orléansmarker-Saran (2007)
*Hessenmarker, Germany: Bad Hersfeldmarker
*Saxonymarker, Germany: Leipzigmarker
*Ichikawa,Chibamarker, Japan
*Yachiyo, Chiba, Japan
*Sakai,Osakamarker, Japan
*Guangzhoumarker, China
*Suzhoumarker, China
*Beijing, China

Product lines

Amazon has steadily branched into retail sales of music CDs, videotapes and DVDs, software, consumer electronics, kitchen items, tools, lawn and garden items, toys & games, baby products, apparel, sporting goods, gourmet food, jewelry, watches, health and personal-care items, beauty products, musical instruments, clothing, industrial & scientific supplies, groceries, and more.

The company launched Auctions, its own Web auctions service, in March 1999. However, it failed to chip away at industry pioneer eBay's juggernaut growth. Amazon Auctions was followed by the launch of a fixed-price marketplace business called zShops in September 1999, and a failed Sotheby's/Amazon partnership called in November.

Amazon no longer mentions either Auctions or zShops on its main pages and the help page for sellers now only mentions the Marketplace. Old links to zShops now simply redirect to the Amazon home page, while old links to Auctions take users to a transactions history page. New product listings are no longer possible for either service.

Although zShops failed to live up to its expectations, it laid the groundwork for the hugely successful Amazon Marketplace service launched in 2001 that let customers sell used books, CDs, DVDs, and other products alongside new items. Today, Amazon Marketplace's main rival is eBay's service.

Beginning August 2005, Amazon began selling products under its own private label, "Pinzon"; the initial trademark applications suggested the company intended to focus on textiles, kitchen utensils, and other household goods. In March 2007, the company applied to expand the trademark to cover a larger and more diverse list of goods, and to register a new design consisting of the "word PINZON in stylized letters with a notched letter O whose space appears at the "one o'clock" position.". The list of products registered for coverage by the trademark grew to include items such as paints, carpets, wallpaper, hair accessories, clothing, footwear, headgear, cleaning products, and jewelry. On September 2008, Amazon filed to have the name registered. While the USPTO has finished its review of the application, Amazon has yet to receive an official registration for the name.

On May 16, 2007 Amazon announced its intention to launch Amazon MP3, its own online music store. The store launched in the US in public beta September 25, 2007, selling downloads exclusively in MP3 format without digital rights management. This is especially notable as it was the first online offering of DRM-free music from all four major record companies.

In August 2007, Amazon announced AmazonFresh, a grocery service offering perishable and nonperishable foods. Customers can have orders delivered to their homes at dawn or during a specified daytime window. Delivery was initially restricted to residents of Mercer Island, Washingtonmarker, and was later expanded to several ZIP codes in Seattle proper. AmazonFresh also operated pick-up locations in the suburbs of Bellevuemarker and Kirklandmarker from summer 2007 through early 2008.

In 2008 Amazon expanded into film production and is currently funding the film The Stolen Child with 20th Century Fox.

Review and recommendation feature's customer reviews are monitored for all negative or indecent comments that are directed at anything, or anyone, but the product itself. In regards to the reviews lacking relative restrictions, Robert Spector, who is the author of the book, describes how "when publishers and authors asked Bezos why would publish negative reviews, he defended the practice by claiming that was ‘taking a different approach...we want to make every book available – the good, the bad, and the let truth loose’" (Spector 132).

Reviews for different media of the same product are grouped together (e.g., the review page for a particular film, whether on VHS, Blu-Ray, or DVD, will feature reviews from all three products). Currently, there is no way to only look at reviews for one version of a product.


The domain attracted at least 615 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a survey. This was twice the numbers of walmart.commarker.

Amazon allows users to submit reviews to the web page of each product. As part of their review, users must rate the product on a rating scale from one to five stars. In 2004 a software error accidentally showed the names behind reviews that were submitted anonymously, and some authors were shown to have written glowing reviews of their own books. Amazon created a feature in recent years that allowed users to comment on reviews. Amazon provides an optional badging option for reviewers, e.g., to indicate the real name of the reviewer (based on confirmation of a credit card account) or to indicate that the reviewer is one of the top reviewers by popularity. The U.S. site generally has the most reviews. A review posted on one site is not necessarily visible on another site.

"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 currently about 250,000 books in the program. Amazon has cooperated with around 130 publishers to allow users to perform these searches.

To avoid copyright violations, does not return the computer-readable text of the book but rather a picture of the matching page, disables printing, and puts limits on the number of pages in a book a single user can access. One author observed that his entire book could be read online by searching a few words. Additionally, customers can purchase online access to the some books via the "Amazon Upgrade" program, although the selection is currently quite limited.

According to information in discussion forums, Amazon derives about 40 percent of its sales from affiliates whom they call Associates, and third party sellers who list and sell products on the Amazon websites. Associates receive a commission for referring customers to Amazon by placing links on their websites to the Amazon homepage or to specific products. If a referral results in a sale, the Associate receives a commission from Amazon. Worldwide, Amazon has "over 900,000 members" in its affiliate programs. Associates can access the Amazon catalog directly on their websites by using the Amazon Web Services (AWS) XML service. A new affiliate product, aStore, allows Associates to embed a subset of Amazon products within, or linked to from, another website.

Amazon reported over 1.3 million sellers sold products through Amazon's World Wide Web sites in 2007. Selling on Amazon has become more popular as Amazon expanded into a variety of categories beyond media and built a variety of features to support volume selling. Unlike eBay, Amazon sellers do not have to maintain separate payment accounts; all payments and payment security are handled by Amazon itself.

According to the Internet audience measurement website, Amazon attracts approximately 50 million U.S. consumers to its website on a monthly basis.

Acquisitions and spinoffs

In April 1998, Amazon bought the Internet Movie Database (IMDb). In August 1998, Amazon bought Cambridge, Massachusettsmarker-based PlanetAll for 800,000 shares of Amazon stock. PlanetAll operated a web-based address book, calendar, and reminder service. In the same deal, Amazon acquired Sunnyvale-based, an XML-based data mining startup for 1.6 million shares of Amazon stock. The two deals together were valued at about $280 million at the time. In June 1999, Amazon bought Alexa Internet,, and in a set of stock deals worth approximately $645 million. In 2003, Amazon purchased the rival online music retailer CD Now. In 2004, Amazon purchased, a Chinese e-commerce website. It also debuted, a company focused on researching and building innovative technology. In March 2005, Amazon acquired BookSurge, a print on demand company, and, an eBook software company. In July 2005, Amazon purchased (formerly CustomFlix), a Scotts Valley, Californiamarker-based distributor of on-demand DVDs. Since the acquisition, CreateSpace has expanded its on-line services to include on-demand books and CDs, as well as video downloads. On July 30, 2007, the National Archivesmarker announced that it would make thousands of historic films available for purchase through CreateSpace. In February 2006, Amazon acquired Shopbop, a Madison, Wisconsinmarker-based retailer of designer clothing and accessories for women.

In May 2007, Amazon acquired, a London-based digital photography review website created by Phil Askey as his personal hobby website and Brilliance Audio, the largest independent publisher of audiobooks in the United States. In January 2007 created, a separate e-commerce brand focusing on shoes. In January 2008, Amazon announced that it would acquire audiobook provider for $300 million in cash. In June 2008, Amazon announced that it had acquired, an online fabric store. In July 2008, Amazon's IMDb subsidiary purchased Box Office Mojo, a site that tracks movie sales in theatres. In August 2008, Amazon announced it had an agreement to purchase Victoria, B.C. based AbeBooks, seller of new, used, out of print and rare books. Later that month Amazon announced that it would acquire Seattle-based Shelfari, a book-based social network site, for an undisclosed sum. As part of its acquisition of Abebooks Amazon also got an additional stake in Shelfari's competitor LibraryThing, which AbeBooks had previously purchased a 40 percent stake in, and whole ownership of,, and listing-management service FillZ, all owned by AbeBooks at the time of acquisition. In October 2008 acquired Reflexive Entertainment, a casual video game development company. In July 2009 Amazon agreed to acquire Zappos, an online shoe and apparel retailer. The deal is expected to close in fall 2009.

Products and services has incorporated a number of products and services into its shopping model, either through development or acquisition. The Honor System was originally launched in 2001 to allow customers to make donations or buy digital content, with Amazon collecting 2.9 percent of the payment plus a flat fee of 30¢. The service was discontinued on December 11, 2008. It has been succeeded by Amazon Payments. Amazon launched Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2002. The service provides programmatic access to many features leveraged behind the scenes on its website. Amazon also created "channels" to benefit certain causes. In 2004, Amazon's "Presidential Candidates" allowed customers to donate $5–200 to the campaigns of 2004 U.S. presidential hopefuls. Amazon has periodically reactivated a Red Crossmarker donation channel after such tragedies as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. After the 2004 earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Oceanmarker, Amazon set up an online donation channel to the American Red Cross, waiving its processing fee. By January 2005, nearly 200,000 individuals had donated over $15.7 million in the US alone.

Amazon Prime offers customers unlimited expedited shipping with no minimum purchase amount for a flat annual fee. The service also offers discounted priority shipping rates. Amazon launched the program in the continental United States in 2005, in Japan in June 2007, in the United Kingdom and Germany in November 2007, and in France (as "Amazon Premium") in October 2008. Launched in 2005, Amazon Shorts offers exclusive short form content, including short stories and non-fiction pieces from best-selling authors, all available for immediate download at 49¢. As of June 2007, the program has over 1,700 pieces and is adding about 50 new pieces per week. In November 2005, began testing Amazon Mechanical Turk, an application programming interface (API) allowing programs to dispatch tasks to human processors. In March 2006, Amazon launched an online storage service called Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). An unlimited number of data objects, from 1 byte to 5 gigabytes in size, can be stored in S3 and distributed via HTTP or BitTorrent. The service charges monthly fees for data stored and for data transferred. In April 2006, Amazon introduced Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), a distributed queue messaging service. In August 2006, Amazon launched product wikis (later folded into Amapedia) and discussion forums for certain products using guidelines that follow standard message board conventions. In August 2006, Amazon introduced Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), a virtual site farm, allowing users to use the Amazon infrastructure with its high reliability to run diverse applications ranging from running simulations to web hosting. In 2008, Amazon improved the service adding Elastic Block Store (EBS), offering persistent storage for Amazon EC2 instances and Elastic IP addresses, static IP addresses designed for dynamic cloud computing.

In January 2007 Amazon launched Amapedia, a collaborative wiki for user-generated content to replace ProductWiki. In March 2007, Amazon launched an online video on demand service, Amazon Unbox. In September 2007, Amazon launched a new music store (currently in beta) called Amazon MP3, which sells downloadable tracks, all in the MP3 format and most recorded at 256 kilobits per second variable bitrate (VBR). Amazon's terms of use agreements legally restrict use of the music, but Amazon does not use DRM to enforce those terms. :Amazon MP3 sells music from the Big 4 record labels: EMI, Universal, Warner Bros. Records, and Sony BMG, as well as many independents. Previous to the launch of this service, Amazon made an investment in Amie Street, a similar music store with a variable pricing model based on demand. In August 2007 Amazon launched Amazon Vine, which allows top product reviewers free access to pre-release products from vendors participating in the program. Reviewers may either return the used product to Amazon, or post a review and keep the product, within a few months of receipt. In August 2007 Amazon launched a payment service specifically targeted at developers called Flexible Payment Service FPS. Amazon FPS has facilities for developing many different charging models including micro-payments. The service also gives developers easy access to Amazon customers. In November 2007, Amazon launched Amazon Kindle, an e-book reader which downloads content over "Whispernet", a free EV-DO wireless service on the Sprint Nextel network. The screen uses E Ink technology to reduce battery consumption. In 2008 Amazon claimed its library had grown to 200,000 titles. In December 2007, Amazon introduced SimpleDB, a database system, allowing users of its other infrastructure to utilize a high reliability high performance database system. In August 2007, Amazon launched an invitation-only beta-test for online grocery delivery. It has since rolled out in several Seattle, Washington suburbs.

In January 2008 Amazon announced they would be rolling out their MP3 service to their subsidiary websites worldwide throughout the year. On December 1, 2008, Amazon MP3 was made available in the UK. At the beginning of September, IMDB and launched a Music metadata browsing site with wiki-like user contribution. In November, Amazon partnered with manufacturers including Fisher-Price, Mattel, Microsoft and electronics manufacturer Transcend to offer products in minimal packaging. This reduces environmental impact of the packaging and frustration with opening "clamshell" type security packaging. In Amazon Web Services launched a public beta of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud running Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft SQL Server. Amazon Connect enables authors to post remarks on their book pages to customers who have bought their books. WebStore by Amazon allows businesses to create e-commerce websites using Amazon technology. Merchants can customize their sites using their own photos and branding. Sellers pay a commission of 7 percent, which includes credit-card processing fees and fraud protection, and a subscription fee of $59.95/month for an unlimited number of webstores and listings.


In 1999, the Amazon Bookstore Cooperative of Minneapolis, Minnesota sued for trademark infringement. The cooperative had been using the name "Amazon" since 1970, but reached an out-of-court agreement to share the name with the on-line retailer.

The company has been controversial for its alleged use of patents as a competitive hindrance. The "1-click patent" is perhaps the best-known example of this. Amazon's use of the one-click patent against competitor Barnes and Noble's website led the Free Software Foundation to announce a boycott on Amazon in December 1999. The boycott was discontinued in September 2002. On February 22, 2000, the company was granted a patent covering an Internet-based customer referral system, or what is commonly called an "affiliate program". Reaction was swift and negative. Industry leaders Tim O'Reilly and Charlie Jackson spoke out against the patent, and O'Reilly published an open letter to Bezos protesting the 1-click patent and the affiliate program patent, and petitioning him to "avoid any attempts to limit the further development of Internet commerce". O'Reilly collected 10,000 signatures with this petition. Bezos responded with his own open letter. The protest ended with O'Reilly and Bezos visiting Washington, D.C.marker to lobby for patent reform. On February 25, 2003, the company was granted a patent titled "Method and system for conducting a discussion relating to an item on Internet discussion board". On May 12, 2006, the USPTO ordered a re-examination of the "One-Click" patent, based on a request filed by Peter Calveley, who cited as prior art an earlier e-commerce patent and the Digicash electronic cash system.

Amazon has opposed efforts by trade unions to organize in both the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2001, 850 employees in Seattle were laid off by after a unionization drive. The Washington Alliance of Technological Workers (WashTech) accused the company of violating union laws, and claimed Amazon managers subjected them to intimidation and heavy propaganda. Amazon denies any link between the unionization effort and the lay-offs. Also in 2001, hired a US management consultancy organization, The Burke Group, to assist in defeating a campaign by the Graphical, Paper and Media Union (GPMU, now part of Amicus) to achieve recognition in the Milton Keynesmarker distribution depot. It was alleged that the company victimized or sacked four union members during the 2001 recognition drive and held a series of captive meetings with employees.

Amazon has a Canadian site in both English and French, but is prevented from operating any headquarters, servers, fulfillment centers or call centers in Canada by that country's legal restrictions on foreign-owned booksellers. Instead, Amazon's Canadian site originates in the United States, and Amazon has an agreement with Canada Post to handle distribution within Canada and for the use of the Crown corporation's Mississaugamarker, Ontariomarker shipping facility. The launch of generated controversy in Canada. In 2002, the Canadian Booksellers Association and Indigo Books and Music sought a court ruling that Amazon's partnership with Canada Post represented an attempt to circumvent Canadian law, but the litigation was dropped in 2004.

Amazon at one time carried two cockfighting magazines and two dog fighting videos although the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) contends that the sale of these materials is a violation of U.S. Federal law. The Humane Society of the United States has filed a lawsuit against Amazon. A campaign to boycott Amazon purchases gained momentum in August 2007 after the much publicized dog fighting casemarker involving NFL quarterback Michael Vick. On May 21, 2008, Marburger Publishing agreed to settle with the Humane Society by requesting that Amazon stop offering their magazine The Game Cock for subscription. The second magazine named in the Humane Society lawsuit, The Feathered Warrior, remains available.

A 2004 glitch in's review system temporarily revealed that many well-established authors were anonymously giving themselves glowing reviews, with some revealed to be anonymously giving "rival" authors terrible reviews. According to Amazon, those reviews have since been removed or made non anonymous.

In March 2008, sales representatives of Amazon's BookSurge division started contacting publishers of print on demand titles to inform them that for Amazon to continue selling their POD-produced books, they would need to sign agreements with Amazon's own BookSurge POD company. Publishers were told that eventually, the only POD titles that Amazon would be selling would be those printed by their own company, BookSurge. Some publishers felt that this ultimatum amounted to monopoly abuse, and questioned the ethics of the move and its legality under anti-trust law.

In 2008, Amazon UK came under criticism for attempting to prevent publishers from direct selling at discount from their own websites. Amazon's argument was that they should be able to pay the publishers based on the lower prices offered on their websites, rather than on the full RRP.

In June 2008 Amazon UK drew criticism in the British publishing community following their withdrawal from sale of key titles published by Hachette Livre UK. The withdrawal is apparently intended to put pressure on the publisher to provide levels of discount described by the trade as unreasonable. Curtis Brown's managing director Jonathan Lloyd was quoted in The Bookseller magazine as saying: "I think the entire industry of publishers, authors and agents are 100% behind [Hachette]. Someone has to draw a line in the sand. Publishers have given 1% a year away to retailers, so where does it stop? Using authors as a financial football is disgraceful."

In 2008 New Yorkmarker passed a law that would force online retailers to collect sales taxes on shipments to New York State residents. Shortly after the law was signed, filed a complaint in the New York Supreme Court objecting to the law. The complaint wasn't based on whether in-State customers should pay tax, but was based on the long standing practice of it being the responsibility of the customer to report the sales tax (known as use tax in this case) and not that of the out of State businesses. The lawsuit was tossed out of court in January 2009 when New York State Supreme Court Justice Eileen Bransten stated that "there is no basis upon which Amazon can prevail."

On April 12, 2009, it was revealed that some erotic, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, feminist and politically liberal books were being excluded from Amazon's sales rankings. Various books and media were flagged as "Adult content" (including children's books, self-help books, non-fiction, and non-explicit fiction), with the result that works by established authors like E. M. Forster, Gore Vidal, Jeanette Winterson and D. H. Lawrence were now unranked. The change first received publicity on the blog of author Mark R. Probst, who reproduced an e-mail from Amazon customer service describing a policy of de-ranking "adult" material. However, Amazon later said that there was no policy of de-ranking LGBT material and blamed the change first on a "glitch" and then on "an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error" that had affected 57,310 books.

In April 2009, BusinessWeek magazine reported that was one of 25 US companies that paid the least US taxes. paid a 4.1 percent annual tax rate, far less than the standard 35 percent corporate rate, based on an analysis of the company's financial figures for 2005-2008. According to SEC filings, this rate was caused in part by lower tax rates for's international subsidiaries.

In July 2009, The New York Times reported that deleted all customer copies of certain books published by MobileReference, including the books 1984 and Animal Farm from users' Kindles. This action was taken with neither prior notification nor specific permission of individual users. Customers did receive a refund of the purchase price and, later, an offer of an Amazon gift certificate or check for $30.

In September 2009 it emerged that Amazon was selling defamatory mp3 music downloads falsely suggesting a well known Premier League football manager was a child sex offender. Despite a campaign urging the retailer to withdraw the item, they refused to do so citing freedom of speech. The company was finally forced to withdraw the item when legal action was threatened. However, they continued to sell the item on their American, German and French websites.

Entrepreneurship by former employees

A number of companies have been started and funded by former employees. This is despite a non-compete agreement Amazon employees must sign that prohibits starting a company with another Amazon employee.

See also

Further reading


  2. Top Executive Profiles - Jeffrey P. Bezos -
  3. NYTimes, July 10, 2005: "A Retail Revolution Turns 10"
  4. Introduces New Logo; New Design Communicates Customer Satisfaction and A-to-Z Selection
  5.'s company timeline
  6. E-Commerce Times: Toys 'R' Us wins right to end amazon partnership., March 3, 2006
  7. Locations
  8. "Amazon to set up shop in South Lake Union". Accessed online 15 July 2008.
  9. Fulfillment by Amazon from the company's website
  10. shuttering 3 U.S. distribution centers, a March 2009 Computer World article
  11. Warehouse Deals address
  12. Wales Online - Call for jobs to go to locals
  13. BBC NEWS | Wales | Jobs boost as web warehouse opens
  14. money-home-page
  17. U.S. Trademark registrations numbered 3216667 and 3266840/3266847, issued March 6, 2007 and July 17, 2007
  18. Trademark Electronic Search System from the USPTO, supplying "PINZON" as the search term
  19. Release
  20. Launches Public Beta of Amazon MP3
  22. Remember Webvan? So Does Amazon TechCrunch article referencing the defunct Webvan.
  23. Amazon, Fox nursing 'Stolen Child' Variety.
  24. SnapShot of, Retrieved April 12, 2008.
  25.'s online reader Search Inside reference
  26. Search Inside reference
  27. Search Inside Public announcement via URLwire
  28. The Tiltboys: How to Read a Book for Free on Amazon
  29. Associates: The web's most popular and successful Affiliate Program
  30. SnapShot of (rank #11) - Compete
  31. Wisconsin Technology Network: "Amazon acquires Madison-based Shopbop"
  32., Amazon launches accessories brand in Japan, Financial Times, March 23, 2009
  33. Internet Retailer: "Amazon weaves into its e-commerce quilt"
  34. Amazon looks to fill niche with AbeBooks purchase
  36. Reflexive acquired by
  37. [1]
  39. More than $43 Million Raised by Consumer Programs for Red Cross Tsunami Relief, American Red Cross press release, January 21, 2005.
  40. Amazon MP3 Frequently Asked Questions
  44. From the Free Software Foundation site: amazon philosophy.
  45. Linux Journal Talking Patents
  47. 10,000 signatures
  48. An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos
  49. Kiwi actor v
  50. Short shrift for unions in Amazon's silicon jungle
  51. Divide and rule
  52. Union Busting at in Britain by Dr Gregor Gall
  53. The HSUS v., Inc., et al. (Animal fighting materials) | The Humane Society of the United States
  54. - Report: Glitch IDs anonymous Amazon reviewers, February 14, 2004
  55. Amazon Glitch Unmasks War Of Reviewers
  56. Hansell, Saul. "Amazon Sues New York State to Void Sales Tax Rules". May 1, 2008.
  57. Sage, Alexandria and Edith Honan. "NY Judge Tosses Lawsuit Over Sales Tax". January 13, 2009.
  58. Bobby Johnson and Helen Pidd "'Gay writing' falls foul of Amazon sales ranking system", The Guardian, 13 April 2009
  59. "US Companies That Paid The Least Taxes," BusinessWeek, April 23, 2009
  62. Amazon Climbdown Over Obscene Wenger CD

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