American Independent Business Alliance

Notable Quotes from or About Amazon.com & Jeff Bezos

For in-depth news and opinion on Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos, see All About Amazon.

“The store he [Whole Foods’ John Mackey} started as a rebellion against the big grocery chains and chemically laced foods will soon be the property of a company that will sell almost anything as long as it is legal.” — Chris Tomlinson, Houston Chronicle

“Our goal with Amazon Prime, make no mistake, is to make sure that if you are not a Prime member, you are being irresponsible.”
— CEO Jeff Bezos at 2016 shareholder meeting

“There’s a market for selling your soul to the devil. When you accept Amazon Payments, you get access to the coveted Amazon customers. The trade-off is you are opening your kimono to your biggest competitor.”
— Gil Luria, securities analyst, on businesses using Amazon’s online payment processing system.

“The economics of platform markets create incentives for a company to pursue growth over profits, a strategy that investors have rewarded…Under these conditions, predatory pricing becomes highly rational — even as existing doctrine treats it as irrational and therefore implausible.” – Lina Khan, quoted in NY Times

“If I were a resident in that area, I would be furious. This is not what we signed up for, it’s not what the residents signed up for and it’s not what the roads were built for.
— Mayor Dave Fried of Robbinsville, NJ, commenting on Amazon violating their warehouse permitting agreement and creating traffic gridlock.

“I don’t think [Amazon.com] wants to own a piece of retail, they want to own all of it.”
— Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

“We don’t consider [not collecting] tax as a competitive advantage.”
— Richard Prem, Amazon’s VP for Indirect Taxes and Tax Reporting

“A successful assertion by one or more states or foreign countries that we should collect sales or other taxes on the sale of merchandise or services could result in substantial tax liabilities for past sales, decrease our ability to compete with traditional retailers, and otherwise harm our business.”
— Amazon’s 2008 Annual Report (p. 14).

“My report card is based on profits. I think Jeff Bezos has a much easier way of life than I do.”
–CBS chief Les Moonve, quoted in New York Times

“Barnes & Noble and Borders had a vested interest in ensuring the book business was protected. Amazon’s strategy is radically different. Amazon can afford to use [books] as a vehicle to sell everything else.”
— Oren Teicher, head of the American Booksellers Association

“[Jeff Bezos] just makes ordinary control freaks look like stoned hippies.”
Steve Yegge, former Amazon.com engineer

“Once you become a Prime member, your human nature takes over. You want to leverage your $79 (increased 25% since) as much as possible,” he says. “Not only do you buy more, but you buy in a broader set of categories. You discover all the selections we have that you otherwise wouldn’t have thought to look to Amazon for.”
— Robbie Schwietzer, VP of Prime, quoted in Fast Company, Aug. 5, 2013

“I don’t think that you can invent on behalf of customers unless you’re willing to think long-term, because a lot of invention doesn’t work. If you’re going to invent, it means you’re going to experiment, and if you’re going to experiment, you’re going to fail, and if you’re going to fail, you have to think long term.”
— Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, interview with Hanson Hosein, Sept. 17, 2013

“Amazon’s tax avoidance strategy was not marginal to the company, but part of its very DNA, from Bezos originally plotting to start Amazon on an Indian reservation to avoid collecting taxes forward…Manipulating the tax system does not mean you are a better retailer. That is not innovative. That is old school.”
Dean Starkman, Columbia Journalism Review, Aug. 14, 2013

“Proceed as if your goal is to put everyone selling physical books out of a job.”
— attributed to Jeff Bezos in The New Yorker

[Amazon has] “sent a clear signal to its users: If you engage in controversial speech that some individual members of the U.S. government don’t like – even if there is a strong case to be made that your speech is constitutionally protected – Amazon is going to dump you at the first sign of trouble.”
— Journalist Rebecca MacKinnon, on Amazon’s violating its contract with Wikileaks and take the website offline at the government’s request.

“…Amazon should approach these small publishers the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle.”
—  attributed to Jeff Bezos in The New Yorker

“Amazon is doing something vitally important for book culture by making books readily available in places they might not otherwise exist…. But culture is best when it is robust and decentralized, not when there is a single authority that controls the bulk of every transaction.”
— Ted Striphas, associate professor at U. Indiana. The New York Times, Jul. 4, 2013

“… the biggest threat is Amazon’s willingness to sell e-books at a loss in order to seduce millions of unwitting consumers into the leviathan’s cornucopia of online goods and services.”
— Steve Wasserman, The Amazon Effect, May 29, 2012

“A civilization without retail bookstores is unimaginable. Like shrines and other sacred meeting places, bookstores are essential artifacts of human nature. The feel of a book taken from the shelf and held in the hand is a magical experience, linking writer to reader.”
— Jason Epstein, Book Business, quoted in The Amazon Effect, May 29, 2012

“Amazon’s productivity numbers are apparently purposely designed to be unattainable for most workers so that the employees feel that they are falling down on the job and push harder to hit the impracticable levels. This strategy [is] known as management by stress…”
–Angelo Young in International Business Times, December 19, 2013

“Amazon had 90 percent of the [e-book] market, a fact conspicuously absent from the DOJ’s complaint.  Amazon’s $9.99 price on select books was not the product of competition, but rather a calculated strategy to block competition.”
— Stacy Mitchell, Justice Department Abets Amazon’s E-Book Monopoly, June 20, 2012

“I invite anyone who thinks that Amazon is doing us a favor [by making it easy for writers to self-publish without the need for a publisher and their professional editors] to read a random sampling of self-published books sometime. You will soon change your mind.” –Joshua Hill

“Your margin is my opportunity.”
— Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com

“…direct hiring isn’t all that matters. Amazon’s independent brick-and-mortar competitors typically employ the services of many other local entrepreneurs in their communities, from accountants to graphic designers, creating a multiplier effect. These higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs are essential to building prosperous local economies and seeding future entrepreneurial activity.”
— Jeff Milchen, Bloomberg Businessweek, Jul. 31, 2012

For in-depth news and opinion on Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos, see All About Amazon.

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