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Amazon announces a record-breaking holiday, ‘tens of millions’ of new Prime subscribers

Amazon announces a record-breaking holiday, ‘tens of millions’ of new Prime subscribers

Amazon  had another record-breaking holiday season, the retailer announcedthis morning. The company says it added “tens of millions” of people who signed up for Prime memberships, both paid and on a trial basis. Its worldwide customers also shopped and ordered more items than ever before, including “millions more Amazon devices” compared with this time last year. The device best-sellers, as on Black Friday, again included Amazon Echo speakers and Fire TV.Specifically, Amazon said its top devices sold over the holidays were the Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick 4K and the Echo.Millions of Fire TV devices, Fire tablets and Kindle devices were also sold. Smart home devices sold in record numbers as well, with best sellers including Amazon Smart Plug, Ring Video Doorbell 2, TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug Mini Outlet and the iRobot Roomba 690.
Amazon is making it more expensive to fulfill 'dangerous' items in its warehouses weeks after a can of bear spray exploded and injured dozens of workers

Amazon is making it more expensive to fulfill 'dangerous' items in its warehouses weeks after a can of bear spray exploded and injured dozens of workers

Amazon appears to be discouraging its sellers who use the Fulfillment by Amazon program from sending more dangerous items into its warehouses.FBA is a program in which third-party sellers send their goods to be stored in Amazon warehouses before they are sold on Amazon.com. Items are then shipped out like a normal order by the e-commerce giant.Amazon announced on its seller forum last Wednesday that it will be introducing a new fee for "dangerous" items like aerosol cans and lithium-ion batteries that sellers send to Amazon warehouses. The fees are higher than the regular fees Amazon charges for using Fulfillment by Amazon.For example: a normal item with a shipping weight of between 10 and 16 ounces and is considered small would qualify for a fee of $2.48, while a "dangerous" item the same size would carry a charge of $3.45.
Microsoft, Amazon respond to Facebook privacy concerns

Microsoft, Amazon respond to Facebook privacy concerns

Microsoft and Amazon were called out in a New York Times investigation of Facebook this week, as customers of the social media site that received data about users that Facebook didn’t receive permission to distribute.Microsoft received information about Facebook users’ friends, the report said, and Amazon got contact info about people, also through access to their friends.Microsoft acknowledged the Facebook report Wednesday morning, but said it did not use data from Facebook to create profiles for advertising on its Bing search engine.
Last-Minute Shoppers Increasingly Trust Only Amazon to Deliver

Last-Minute Shoppers Increasingly Trust Only Amazon to Deliver

SEATTLE — Olivia Zimmermann started her holiday shopping early this year, buying a Bluetooth speaker from Best Buy for her sister. It was supposed to arrive by Dec. 10, two weeks before Christmas.The speaker never showed up — and the post office said it had delivered the package to a different town. Best Buy apologized and offered to reship it. But Ms. Zimmermann, who works in marketing in Chicago, was over it.“I just want a refund,” she told the retailer, and then added: “At this point, I have already ordered from Amazon because I know for a fact it will be here when they say it will.”
Amazon Runs Out of Some Echo Speakers the Week Before Christmas

Amazon Runs Out of Some Echo Speakers the Week Before Christmas

Shoppers hoping to get their hands on one of Amazon.com Inc.’s Echo smart speakers before Christmas may come away disappointed.Several of the e-commerce giant’s online stores in North America and Europe showed various models of the Alexa-powered line of gadgets temporarily out of stock on Monday, with shipment delayed to January or beyond in some places.The Echo is the flagship device in Amazon’s growing line of consumer electronics and a fixture of the company’s advertisements during the holiday shopping season.The company said it sold “millions” of Echo devices worldwide during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and Cyber Monday and that the hockey puck-shaped Echo Dot was the bestselling product on Amazon during that period.
NYC Council grills Amazon over HQ2: ‘You’re worth $1 trillion. Why do you need our $3 billion?’

NYC Council grills Amazon over HQ2: ‘You’re worth $1 trillion. Why do you need our $3 billion?’

Amazon got a healthy dose of New York brashness Wednesday as city councilmembers grilled company executives and their economic development partners over the plan to build a 25,000-person office in Queens.Amazon’s appetite for incentives was a key concern raised by the Council, along with frustration over the bid’s lack of transparency and the bypassing of the traditional land-use process. Total incentives from New York City and the state could amount to $3 billion.“You’re worth a trillion dollars,” said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, citing the company’s massive market value. “Why do you need our 3 billion dollars when we have crumbling subways, crumbling public housing, people without healthcare, public schools that are overcrowded?
Instacart and Amazon-owned Whole Foods are parting ways

Instacart and Amazon-owned Whole Foods are parting ways

Instacart  has announced this morning it will no longer be doing business with Whole Foods, a U.S. organic grocery chain the company launched a partnership with in 2014. This comes roughly one year after Amazon  closed its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods; Amazon, of course, has its own grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh.Currently, Instacart has 1,415 in-store shoppers, or paid Instacart couriers, at 76 Whole Foods locations; 243 of those couriers, who exclusively deliver groceries from Whole Foods, will no longer be able to make Instacart deliveries beginning February 10, when the company officially winds down its partnership. Instacart says they have already placed 75 percent of those workers in new roles, though 25 percent, or about 60 workers, have been laid off.
Amazon Is Bringing in Elite Lobbyists Amid Seething Rage Over HQ2

Amazon Is Bringing in Elite Lobbyists Amid Seething Rage Over HQ2

Amazon might be too big to tax, but it’s not too big to freak out. As the company tries to erect a massive headquarters in America’s largest city, it has come up against staunch opposition from residents, politicians and unions—all concerned the powerful monopoly will serve to inflate rent and strain local infrastructure, especially the housing supply and subway system. And while it might seem like a trillion-dollar company could easily quash protesting naysayers, turns out CEO Jeff Bezos might actually have good reason to try and win the haters over.
Amazon's fleet of 767s is bad news for FedEx and UPS, Morgan Stanley says (AMZN, FDX, UPS)

Amazon's fleet of 767s is bad news for FedEx and UPS, Morgan Stanley says (AMZN, FDX, UPS)

Amazon's cargo planes are poised to take market share from the logistics giants UPS and FedEx, Morgan Stanley says. "The market is missing the risk Amazon Air poses to UPS/FDX growth," a group of Morgan Stanley analysts led by Ravi Shanker said Tuesday.  In August 2016, the online retailer revealed its first cargo plane, Amazon One, — a converted Boeing 767 operated by Amazon partner Atlas Air — highlighting its desire to take over package-delivery logistics.
Amazon briefly becomes the world's most valuable publicly traded company (AAPL, AMZN)

Amazon briefly becomes the world's most valuable publicly traded company (AAPL, AMZN)

Amazon on Monday briefly surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable publicly traded company, days after Microsoft dethroned longtime leader Apple. Amazon rose as much as 4.7%, giving it a market capitalization of $865 billion ahead of Apple's $864.8 billion valuation. Apple reclaimed its crown with a market value $846.4 billion — after Amazon's market cap dropped to $827.1 billion as of 3 p.m. ET. Microsoft, whose market capitalization last Monday surpassed Apple's for the first time in eight years, had a market value of $844.9 billion.
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