American Independent Business Alliance

All About Amazon.com Corporation

This selective archive of news and commentary is intended to help readers gain a better understanding of this hugely influential corporation. Contact us if you seek information on a particular aspect of Amazon’s operations.

Recent Headlines

Amazon’s Next Market to Conquer: Payment Processing by Spencer Soper, Bloomberg.com, April 1, 2016

Amazon Leans on Government in Its Quest to Be a Delivery Powerhouse By Cecilia Kang, New York Times, March 20, 2016

List Prices Have Become Meaningless: False Bargains Promoted by Amazon and Others By David Streitfeld, New York Times, March 6, 2016

E-Commerce: Convenience Built on a Mountain of Cardboard By Matt Richtel, New York Times, February 16, 2016

Click image to enlarge

Impact on Employment, Local Business and Communities

Amazon to Open Hundreds of Actual Bookstores? By AMIBA staff, February 2, 2016

Amazon and Empty Storefronts Study by Civic Economics, January 25, 2016

Amazon.com Opens First Brick and Mortar Bookstore AMIBA staff, November 3, 2015

Life as an Amazon Bicycle Courier: Steep Hills and Even Steeper Expectations By Jacob Demmitt, Geekwire, September 24, 2015

Amazon’s Next Plan for Killing Retail Jobs: Automated Stores by Jason Del Rey, Recode, March 30, 2015

Amazon Seeks to Become Portal for Sevice Providers The Economist, March 30, 2015

Amazon Spends and Grows, but Still Wants for Money by David Streitfeld, New York Times, October 23, 2014

At Amazon, It’s All About Cash Flow by Justin Fox, Harvard Business Review, October 20, 2014

Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not O.K. by Paul Krugman, New York Times, October 20, 2014. Counterpoints by an Amazon advocate.

Why We Need to Break Up Amazon…And How to Do It by Matt Stroller, Medium.com, October 16, 2014

see-here-buy-here-keep-here

Engage your social media audience! (please link or tag us). See also How to Counter Showrooming

Amazon.com Creates 5,000 Jobs, Destroys 25,000 in the Process? by Alex Daley, Casey Research

Amazon Sales Take Hit in States With Online Tax, Report Shows by Adam Satariano, Bloomberg BNA, April 22, 2014

Amazon.com, Predatory Pricing and Small Business (3rd of 3-part series) by Christopher Zara, International Business Times, December 20, 2013

Amazon: 20 Years and No Profits, but Investors Don’t Seem To Care* (1st of 3-part series) by Meagan Clark and Angelo Young, International Business Times, December 18, 2013

Amazon.com Makes 2.5 million Price Changes Every Day Profitero, December 11, 2013

Amazon’s Investments in Technology Shape the Future for Retailers Everywhere by George Anders, Technology Review, November 7, 2013

Amazon.com and the President’s Blind Spot on Job Creation by Jeff Milchen, Bloomberg Businessweek, July 31, 2013

The Truth About Amazon and Job Creation* by Stacy Mitchell, ILSR, July 30, 2013

Amazon Inc. Recruits Customers to Spy on Competitors by AMIBA, December 2011. Related interest: Seven Ways to Counter “Showrooming”,  November, 2012*

Amazon a Virtual No-show in Hometown Philanthropy by Amy Martinez & Kristin Heim, The Seattle Times, March 31, 2012

Amazon Price Check Flap Is No Strategic Blunder by Janet Novack, Forbes, December 12, 2011

Amazon Price Check May Be Evil but It’s the Future by Erik Kain, Forbes, January 14, 2011

Impact on Authors, Readers & Publishing

Amazon’s Book Monopoly (video of panel discussion) January 27, 2016 Hosted by New America Foundation A long (3 hr) video, but recommended discussion for those digging deep into this issue

Authors, Booksellers and Others Call on DOJ to Investigate Amazon’s Abuse of Market Power Authors United, American Booksellers Assoc., July 13, 2015     Amazon-box-downtownNEW

What if Authors Were Paid Every Time Someone Turned a Page? By Peter Wayner, The Atlantic, June 20, 2015

Is Amazon.com Good for Readers? A Live Debate (video) Presented by Intelligence Squared. January 23, 2015

The War of the Words (How Amazon Became Literary Enemy No. 1) by Keith Gessen, Vanity Fair, December 2014 issue

Amazon Can’t Discount the Power of Community by Betsy Burton, Salt Lake Tribune, August 16, 2014 (Burton serves on AMIBA’s Advisory Board)

Hachette CEO Replies to Emails Generated by Amazon.com by Todd Bishop, Geekwire, August 10, 2014

Plot Thickens as 900 Writers Battle Amazon by David Streitfeld, New York Times, August 7, 2014 (Authors’ letter here)

Amazon.com Statement Re Hachette / Amazon Business Interruption by Amazon.com Inc., posted here June 1, 2014

Bringing Down the Hachette by Evan Hughes, Slate, May 30, 2014

Bye Bye Buy Links: Buy Local by Louis Greenberg, Books Live, May 23, 2014

As Publishers Fight Amazon, Books Vanish by David Streitfeld and Melissa Eddy, The New York Times, May 23, 2014

Amazon Sabotages Sales of Publisher by David Streitfeld, New York Times, May 14, 2014

Cheap Words: Amazon is Good for Customers. But is it Good for Books?* by George Packer, The New Yorker, February 17, 2014

Amazon Offer Met With Chilly Reaction From Indies by Sydney Jarrard, American Booksellers Association, November 7, 2013

Indie Booksellers’ Concerns Snubbed by Obama by Arit John, The Atlantic Wire, August 28, 2013

Independent Booksellers Respond to the President’s Promotion of Amazon.com A compilation of commentary from indie booksellers and their trade associations, August 1, 2013

As Competition Wanes, Amazon Cuts Back Discounts David Streitfeld, New York Times, July 4, 2013

Amazon’s $1 Million Secret by Alexander Zaitchik, Salon, April 8, 2013

Do You Truly Own Your E-book? by Laura Miller, Salon, February 28, 2013

Justice Department Abets Amazon’s E-Book Monopoly by Stacy Mitchell, ILSR, June 20, 2012

The Amazon Effect by Steve Wasserman, The Nation, May 29, 2012

Amazon.com Trying to Wring Deep Discounts from Publishers by Amy Martinez, The Seattle Times, April 1, 2012

Amazon Bullies Independent Publishers by Denise Johnson, Melville House, February 24, 2012

Author Discovers Amazon Can Reprice His Books and Cut His Royalties at Will by Cory Doctorow, boing boing, February 26, 2012

Amazon Yanks 5,000 Titles from Independent Publishers Group, a Chicago Book Distributor by Corilyn Shropshire, Chicago Tribune, February 23, 2012

Publishing’s Ecosystem on the Brink: The Backstory Authors Guild, January 31, 2012

Why Publishers, Not Amazon, Should Set Book Prices by Stacy Mitchell, ILSR, June 23, 2011

Hold the Applause for Amazon.com by Jeff Milchen, AlterNet, August 12, 2005*

Subsidies & Sales Tax Avoidance

Bookstore-Growth

See other single-industry graphics at amiba.net/buy_local_materials/trade_specific/

Amazon Ends Tax Dodge Tactic in Several European Nations 

BBC News, May 25, 2015 Franklin Foer Confuses Amazon’s Subsidies From the Government With Profits by Dean Baker, Beat the Press blog, October 10, 2014

Member of British Parliament Calls for Amazon Boycott Over Tax Dodging by Juliette Garside, The Guardian, May 10, 2014

The Latest on the Amazon Tax in States, Courts and Congress by Penelope Lemov, Government Technology, October 25, 2013

Amazon’s (Not So Secret) War on Taxes (link to overview by Columbia Journalism Review) by Peter Elkind with Doris Burke, Fortune, June 10, 2013

Inside Amazon’s Tax Fight by Peter Elkind, CNN Money, May 23, 2013

After 20 Years, Congress May Finally Pass Internet Sales Tax. Is it Too Late? by Stacy Mitchell, ILSR, May 13, 2013

Amazon’s Sales-Tax Victory: How the Internet Giant and a Supine Congress Delayed Online Taxes… by Jacob Weisburg, Slate, April 30, 2013

Amazon’s Billion-Dollar Tax Shield by Tom Bergin, Reuters, December 6, 2012

As Tax-Free Sales Go, Amazon Looks to Speed, Convenience by Amy Martinez, Seattle Times, Sep. 1, 2012

States Fight Back Against Amazon.com’s Tax Deals by Jim Brunner, Seattle Times, April 2, 2012

Loophole for Cheap Labor: Amazon Accused of Systematic Job Subsidy Abuse by Janko Tietz, Speigel Online, November 28, 2011

To Help Main Street, Close the Internet Sales Tax Loophole by Jeff Milchen, Bloomberg Businessweek, April 28, 2011

Impact on Third-Party Sellers

amazon-local-charity

Note: Please don’t confuse Amazon Inc’s Smile marketing program with charity. Smile is a straight sales commission contract whereby organizations marketing Amazon links receive a percentage of sales referred by their website.

Is Amazon Undercutting Third-Party Sellers Using Their Own Data? by George Anderson, Forbes.com, October 30, 2014

Wholesale Slaughter? Amazon.com Moves Into B2B Sales by ClareO’Connor, Forbes, May 26, 2014 issue

Amazon Ramps Up $13.9 Billion Warehouse Building Spree by Danielle Kucera, Bloomberg News, August 19, 2013

While Espousing Support for Sales Tax Fairness, Amazon Continues Bullying States, Affiliates (description, not article title) by Mark Davis, Kansas City Star, August 16, 2013

Amazon Sellers Complain of Tied-Up Payments, Account Shutdowns by Amy Martinez, Seattle Times, November 17, 2012

From Warehouse to Powerhouse by Barney Jopson, Financial Times, July 8, 2012

Competing With Amazon on Amazon by Greg Bensinger, Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2012

Working Conditions & Environment

Mayor Vows to Sue Amazon Over Violating Agreement, Creating Traffic Gridlock By Cristina Rojas, NJ.com, December 2, 2015

“Prime Now” Drivers Sue Amazon for Labor Law Violations By Joe Mullin, ARS Technica, October 28, 2015

5 Things Local Officials Need to Know About Amazon Warehouses Institute for Local Self-Reliance fact sheet, October 22, 2015

Life as an Amazon Bicycle Courier: Steep Hills and Even Steeper Expectations By Jacob Demmitt, Geekwire, September 24, 2015

The Amazonization of Everything By David Golumbia, Jacobin, August 15, 2015

Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace By J. Kantor & D. Streitfeld, NY Times, August 15, 2015 See also Jeff Bezos’ response and analysis

Amazon’s Workforce: Diversity Among Warehouse Laborers, but White Males Run the Show at Headquarters By Jay Greene, Seattle Times, August 14, 2015

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse, Human-Robot Symbiosis MIT Technology Review, July 7, 2015

What Is Amazon Really Delivering? By Jessica Bruder, Reuters, June 17, 2015

Amazon Inc. Forces Low-wage Workers to Sign Non-compete Agreements by Josh Lowensohn, The Verge, March 26, 2015 Note: Amazon promptly ended the practice once it was publicized

Supreme Court Rules Against Worker Pay for Screenings in Amazon Case by Adam Liptak, New York Times, December 9, 2014

Unlike Other Tech Giants, Amazon Doubles Down on Coal by David Pomerantz, Clean Technica, November 11, 2014

Amazon.com’s Workers: Is This the Future? (2nd of 3-part series) by Angelo Young, International Business Times, December 19, 2013

Area Woman Sues Amazon Over Off-the-clock Security Checks by Roger DuPuis, Times Leader, October 11, 2013

Amazon Faces Strike Threat in Germany Over Pay, Conditions by Victoria Bryan, Reuters, April 29, 2013

Amazon Under Fire Over Alleged Worker Abuse in Germany by Carol Matlack, Bloomberg Businessweek, Februrary 19, 2013

Amazon Warehouse Jobs Push Workers to Physical Limit by Hal Bernton and Susan Kelleher, Seattle Times, April 3, 2012

Inside Amazon’s Warehouse by Spencer Soper, Allentown Morning Call, September 18, 2011

Pro-Amazon Commentary

(Amazon Critics) Wrong About Everything by David Gaughran, David Gaughran.com, March 10, 2012

Don’t Support Your Local Bookseller by Farhad Manjoo, Slate, December 13, 2011 (see also this Response to Manjoo:

Slate Magazine’s Misguided Rant by Jarek Steele, Jarek Steele Blog, December 14, 2011

Jeff Bezos Profiles

It’s Bezos v Bezos in Battle Over Amazon’s Alleged Tax Evasion Bloomberg BNA, February 15, 2015

Lawsuit Alleges Amazon Prime Buyers Are Victims of Fraud by Tricia Duryee, Geek Wire September 25, 2014

Citizen Bezos by Steve Coll, The New York Review of Books, July 10, 2014 issue Relentless.com The Economist, June 21, 2014

Bezos’ Quest for Total Retail Domination by JJ McCorvey, Fast Comany, September 2013 edition (see also Columbia Journalism Review’s critique of this fawning profile) multiplier-dollars

Jeff Bezos Does Rare On-Camera Interview with Hanson Hosein, posted September 17, 2013

Jeff Bezos has Two Words for You: ‘No Comment” by Jack Shafer, Reuters, August 19, 2013

Expecting the Unexpected from Jeff Bezos by David Streitfeld and Christine Haughney, New York Times, August 17, 2013

Washington Post Myths About Its New Owner, Jeff Bezos by Dean Baker, Beat the Press, August 11, 2013 (media critic’s response to “Five Myths About Jeff Bezos“)

What Amazon Lobbies for in D.C. and Ready for Washington Post Prime? by Brad Plumer and Ezra Klein, Washington Post, August 6, 2013

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to Buy Washington Post by Paul Farhi, Washington Post, August 5, 2013

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: The Ultimate Disrupter by Adam Lashinsky, CNN Money, November 16, 2012

Jeff Bezos Owns the Web in More Ways Than You Think by Steven Levy, Wired, November 13, 2011

Birth of a Salesman by Richard Brandt, Wall Street Journal, October 15, 2011

Amazon v. Competitors and Other Topics

Amazon Building Global Delivery Business to Take on Alibaba By Spencer Soper, Bloomberg Business, February 9, 2016

Amazon Gets Wall Street’s Blessing to Grab Growth Now, Profits Later By Martin Moylan, MPR News January 20, 2016

Amazon is Master of Low Price Perception, Not Necessarily Prices By Jason Del Rey, recode, January 13, 2016

Amazon Takes More Than Half the Total Increase in Online Sales in 2015 By Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, December 30, 2015

amazon-cuisinart-price-scam

The illusion of value. Caught in the act of posting fake list prices.

Is Amazon Seeking to Become It’s Own Shipping Company? By Elizabeth Weise, USA Today, December 9, 2015

Amazon Sues Scammers to Try Stemming Flow of Bogus Reviews By John Bingham, The Telegraph, October 18, 2015

Amazon Drive-Throughs? By Nathan Weinstein, Silicon Valley Business Review, July 23, 2015

Position Paper on the Need for Antitrust Enforcement Against Amazon (24 pp pdf) by Douglas Preston and Barry C. Lynn, July 13, 2015

To Gain the Upper Hand, Amazon Disrupts Itself by 

Amazon Must Be Stopped by Franklin Boer, The New Republic, October 9, 2014

Amazon Under Attack by Jillian D’onfro, Business Insider, September 8, 2014

Seven Ways Businesses and Communities Can Counter “Showrooming” by Jeff Milchen and Casey Woods

Amazon, in Threat to UPS, Tries Its Own Deliveries by Greg Bensinger and Laura Stevens, The Wall Street Journal, April 24, 2014

Amazon, Twitter and Oracle Draw Criticism as Biggest Users of “Dirty” Energy for Cloud Services BBC News, April 3, 2014

Lucrative Role as Middleman Puts Amazon in Tough Spot (paywall protected) by Serena Ng (sic) & Greg Bensinger, Wall St. Journal, January 22, 2014

U.S. Postal Service to Deliver Amazon.com Packages on Sundays by Tiffany Hsu, L.A. Times, November 10, 2013

IBM Ad Campaign Attacks Amazon by Spencer E. Ante, Digits, November 3, 2013

Ten Charts: Why Wall Street Loves Amazon and Hates Apple by Phillip Elmer-DeWitt, CNN Money, July 29, 2013

Amazon’s Wikileaks Rejection Raises Cloud Trust Concerns by Keir Thomas, PC World, December 2, 2010

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