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What Did Amazon Do This Week? - March 10

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WDADTW is the newsletter that even Amazon execs read to keep up with the world of Amazon. Looking at
 
March 10 · Issue #4 · 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. Looking at Amazon from a variety of angles from specific moves, acquisitions, fringe/subsidiary activities, new patents, partnerships and beyond over the last seven days, WDADTW is your one-stop-shop to know what Amazon is up to and where it’s going next.
Let me know you think it can be improved, simply hit reply or email me here.

Does Amazon Have Some Problems Looming?
Overall a quiet week for Amazon that showed the company is still refining its retail strategy as it closes all its pop-up entities across 21 states. No big announcements, but lots of smaller blips that paint the darker picture.
Proving utility wins over ethics yet again, Amazon’s reputation is steady at #2 (down from #1), which, as Axios points out could be “because customers hold a different set of expectations for what is essentially a store, compared to a platform like Facebook or Google where people mingle, share and argue.” Fair but still, come on people. Expect some privacy issues down the line but really, Amazon looks like it can do no wrong, especially in the UK.
Despite the dip, Amazon is still riding high in the UK with 84% using at least one of the services Amazon provided in 2018. Although the seas could get choppy if more countries adopt the 3% tax that France just slapped on big tech (something the UK’s Culture Secretary has hinted at). Fear not for the smiling cardboard abuser, Amazon is a big proponent of lobbying (see image above) and outspent most of its big tech rivals last year, throwing $14.2m, a record for Amazon, at different organisations according to Bloomberg.
One glimmer of hope for the future could be news out of Philadelphia where they have just banned Cashless stores (aka Amazon Go) in a bid to avoid Amazon getting a stranglehold over other retailers. A move that could gain traction with other states and countries if local authorities and governments want to slow Amazon’s progress in this area quickly and easily.
Amazon is appealing the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board push to raise songwriter payouts 44%. ··· Amazon may be about to stream sports content locally thanks to its Yankees deal. ··· UK Culture Secretary hints that regulation is coming for Amazon and content pals. ···
15 million people in the UK use Amazon Prime. ··· Amazon will close all 87 of its pop-up shops as it moves to condense its retail strategy. ··· Amazon Household now enables people to share the benefits of Prime with non-Prime users (ala Netflix). ··· Whole Foods cut workers’ hours after Amazon introduces $15 per hour minimum wage. ··· Amazon had a ruling upheld in German court regarding paid reviews. ··· Amazon is hiring 3,000 remote workers for tech support in the US. ··· Amazon hired an 11-year Tesco exec to join its food businesses. ··· Amazon has cut Whole Foods workers’ hours after introducing $15 per hour minimum wage. ··· 84% of the UK used Amazon in the last 12 months.
Despite predictions and rumours, Amazon will not spin off AWS. ··· Amazon partnered with Ticketmaster to allow Alexa users to book tickets using their voice (initial tests say it can takes as much as 4x as long). ··· Amazon technologies are helping US hospitals save time and money. ··· Alexa now has ‘Song ID’ (aka Shazam) feature that identifies the song and artist of a track playing. ··· Roku finally got Echo support so users can control it using pretty much any Alexa device. ··· AWS is expected to move into South Africa in 2020. ··· Amazon and Mexico’s central bank are working on a QR code payment system. ··· Alexa Developer Rewards is now available in India.
Amazon’s reputation is pretty steady according to Axios Harris poll. ··· Handily timed around IWD (if you were cynical), Amazon wants to increase the number of female employees. ··· Amazon’s healthcare JV will be called ’Haven’ and run by these people with this vision. ··· France has hit Amazon with a 3% tax called the ‘GAFA tax’ aimed at tax avoidance. ··· Amazon stopped buying from Wholesalers creating panic across multiple markets in a bid to raise profits made from more profitable Marketplace. ··· A significant flurry of HQ2 loss stories emerged this week, that said NY made a mistake. ··· Amazon is spending more on lobbying every year and here’s how that compares to other tech firms. ··· Suffered an overnight strike from Minnesota workers. ··· Amazon was exposed to have lobbied for non-compete clause bars to be lowered to $100,000 workers. ··· Amazon mums are lobbying the company about back-up daycare. ··· Amazon China released ’Digital Era New Woman Research Report’ which explores the digital differences between men and women.
— Philadelphia has banned cashless systems (aka Amazon Go stores) which could spark a larger trend. [Ars Technica]
— A great summation of the case for Antitrust with Amazon. [Politico]
— Amazon may sell marijuana a lot sooner than people thought. [Fool]
— Is Amazon a bigger threat to PayPal than Visa./Mastercard? [IBD]
— How Amazon finances it’s growth *MUST READ* [Seeking Alpha]
THE NUMBERS
SHARE PRICE = $1,620.80 ··· CHANGE = -5.15 (-0.32 %) ··· MARKET CAP = $796,141.64 B
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