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What Did Amazon Do This Week? - April 7th

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WDADTW is the newsletter that even Amazon execs read to keep up with the world of Amazon. Let me kno
 
April 7 · Issue #8 · View online
What Did Amazon Do This Week?
WDADTW is the newsletter that even Amazon execs read to keep up with the world of Amazon.
Let me know you think it can be improved, simply hit reply or email me here.

Amazon's Plan To Launch Satellite Broadband Network
Amidst divorce settlements, Amazon’s plans to create a broadband network in space emerged. Known internally as ‘Project Kuiper’, Amazon’s latest space plan (now hiring employees) is to launch 3,236 satellites to create a network to provide global high-speed internet. While Google is using balloons to provide Wi-Fi, Amazon’s plan is more robust (and more costly). Beyond giving those without good connectivity a reliable network to use, the move would also give Amazon new customers and data that it could exploit its numerous products through in a variety of ways. Aside from this, Amazon would become an internet provider which could be a step too far for regulators and the companies who are foaming at the mouth because of the move. Elon Musk is also launching a similar venture (called 'Starlink’) as has Facebook (through a collaboration), Boeing and Telesat (Canadian Operator) - no-one is happy being suckered to existing providers. Amazon did not provided any costs or timelines in filings but the FCC and other bodies will be watching this closely for a variety of reasons from consumer protection to antitrust.
Space wasn’t the only big news this week for Amazon as the company; demoted promotion of Amazon’s products (a swift move against regulation/further prying eyes), public FOIA requests will go to the company (!) and directly challenged Apple’s new cash cow with its AirPod offering leaking. With Alexa built in, Amazon’s version of the popular earphones will likely be priced lower and disrupt Apple’s complete control of this market if the design is right.
Amazon Studios cancelled and defended cancelling Woody Allen film. ··· Amazon has inked a (rumoured $150m) deal with ‘WestWorld’ creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. ··· Amazon is offering a whopping three month trial of Amazon Music Unlimited in reaction to Apple’s latest media cycle. ··· Amazon Prime Video is releasing 'How to Survive Being Single’/'Como Sobrevivir Soltero’, the Spanish-language sitcom worldwide (a first). ··· Amazon has added a 2500 hours of Jim Henson ('Muppets’) content (but not for the US). ··· Amazon has acquired the French fantasy series ’Apnea’.
Amazon accused of ‘institutionalised theft’ over delayed supplier payments. ··· Amazon’s (and other companies) rating systems were accused of being worthless by a Guardian study on inferior products. ··· Whole Foods slashed prices again but shoppers blasted Amazon Prime Member discounts. ··· Amazon has put in an extra $35m into its Indian arm of the business. ··· J.Crew just launched a cheap line of kids clothing on Amazon.
Amazon responded to patent filings on its Space satellite broadband network. ··· Amazon has pulled back on its aggressive self-promotion of products in search results. ··· Amazon is making a rival set of headphones to Apple’s AirPods. ··· Amazon’s purchase of WiFi router company Eero was $98m and looks like it saved the company from a bad end per ‘leaked’ documents. ··· Alexa now has six HIPAA compliant skills so expect more medical apps and Doctor’s appointment scheduling apps. ··· Amazon took heat this week for delay in removing data from servers that were found to be home to the Facebook breach of +540m users data by app company Cultura Colectiva. ··· Amazon has almost totally transitioned away from Oracle. ··· Amazon Alexa gave International Transgender Day some much needed visibility with (but will human psychology win out?). ··· Amazon has reduced speech-recognition errors by 22% with Alexa thanks to semi-supervised learning. ··· Amazon will release a ’Topical’ conversational and knowledge dataset of 4 million words later in 2019. ··· AWS is opening a new region in Indonesia. ··· Echo Show is now available in India.

Amazon wanted to skip facial recognition discussions from stakeholders but the SEC said no. ··· Brazil wants Amazon to share the .com rights with eight South American countries. ··· Amazon (and others) came out against Texas legislation that would protect employees from acting against their conscience. ··· Amazon staff at a UK warehouse have been given contracts and other improved terms after a probe into conditions. ··· Amazon Prime’s Air Hub is expected to break ground in the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International airport on May 14. ··· Amazon is the ‘most loved’ brand in US according to Morning Consult (market research firm). ··· 'Amazon Future Engineer’ winners were announced. ··· Amazon’s workplace injuries and treatment policies made headlines again after a Guardian investigation. ··· NY’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, now pushed a budget provision to remove board members if they veto decisions he doesn’t like (like HQ2). ··· Amazon is now taking cash payments at Mexico’s top corner store, Oxxo. ··· Amazon plans to move its entire Seattle-based worldwide operations to neighbouring Bellevue by 2023. ··· Amazon Germany is supporting a female founders funding initiative. ··· Italy now has a new sorting house in Arzano. ··· Amazon Japan started full-scale operations at its new distribution base in Osaka.
— Bezos will keep 75% of couples Amazon stock in divorce. [Guardian]
— Amazon Blimp video is a fake. [AFP]
— Sellers are not happy about the changes to the Order Detail page. [Amazon]
— Luxury brands prefer to work with Alibaba rather than Amazon. [WSJ]
— Amazon has a trade-in programme few people know about. [BI]
— AI researchers penned an open letter to Amazon about its facial recognition software. [Verge]
— Goodwill has developed a browser add-on that could harm Amazon. [Bloomberg]
— WPP more than doubled its spend yoy on Amazon, [SeekingAlpha]
— 16-month old startup, Sensei, might just be a thorn in Amazon Go’s side. [Bloomberg]
— Amazon is seeing TV-like commitments for its new channels. [BI]
— What it’s really like to create a brand for Amazon. [Digiday]

THE NUMBERS
SHARE PRICE = $1,837.28 ··· CHANGE = 18.42 (1.01 %) ··· MARKET CAP = $902,477.25 B.
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