Amazon filed its Form 10-K annual report with the Securities Exchange Commission this morning, and I’ve been dutifully scouring the filing and its footnotes for actual data on Kindle and Kindle Fire sales, Amazon Prime subscriptions and other juicy specifics not revealed in the company’s earnings report yesterday.
No luck. But there is a bunch of other interesting stuff in there. Some of the highlights so far:
Amazon spent $771 million on acquisitions in 2011, up from $228 million in 2010. The filing doesn’t list them, but know that much of the activity over the past year was in Europe. Deals announced publicly included European movie subscription service LoveFilm, and UK indie bookseller The Book Depository.
Eleven companies filed patent infringement suits against Amazon.com in 2011, up from nine in 2010.
In some situations the cases involve multiple suits. Products targeted include Kindle and features of Amazon’s e-commerce platform. The plaintiffs are SFA Systems LLC, Walker Digital LLC, GPNE Corp., Parallel Iron LLC, Lochner Technologies LLC, Semiconductor Ideas to the Market BV, Droplets Inc., Execware, LLC, Select Retrieval, Inc., LVL Patent Group LLC, and Smartphone Technologies LLC.
Amazon now occupies 4.25 million square feet of office space, up from 3 million a year ago. Much of the company’s growth has come in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, at the company’s headquarters complex. As noted yesterday, Amazon’s total employment is now more than 56,000.
The state of Arizona is going after Amazon for $53 million in back taxes for the period of March 2006 through December 2010, alleging that Amazon should have been collecting a transaction tax during those periods. That’s in addition to the $269 million that texas is trying to collect from Amazon on similar grounds. Amazon is fighting both assessments. The company says SEC staff notified Amazon in late 2011 that it had completed its inquiry into the Texas assessment.
On the broader issue of tax collection on e-commerce sales, here’s what the company says in the latest filing.
U.S. Supreme Court decisions restrict the imposition of obligations to collect state and local sales taxes with respect to remote sales. However, an increasing number of states have considered or adopted laws that attempt to impose obligations on out-of-state retailers to collect taxes on their behalf. We support a Federal law that would require sales tax collection under a nationwide system. More than half of our revenue is already earned in jurisdictions where we collect sales tax or its equivalent. A successful assertion by one or more states or foreign countries requiring us to collect taxes where we do not do so could result in substantial tax liabilities, including for past sales, as well as penalties and interest.
In its summary of customers and partners, Amazon now lists “content creators” in addition to consumers, sellers and enterprises. Amazon hasn’t done that in the filing past. Here’s what it says …
We serve authors and independent publishers with Kindle Direct Publishing, an online platform that lets independent authors and publishers choose a 70% royalty option and make their books available in the Kindle Store. Amazon’s own publishing arm, Amazon Publishing, offers authors another outlet to publish their books. We also serve authors, musicians, filmmakers and other content creators through CreateSpace, which provides on-demand publishing and manufacturing for independent content creators, publishers, film studios, and music labels.
Amazon’s top 12 executive officers are exactly the same as a year ago. That’s actually somewhat remarkable in this day and age. Here’s the list.
- Jeffrey P. Bezos, 48, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board
- Jeffrey M. Blackburn, 42, Senior Vice President, Business Development
- Sebastian J. Gunningham, 49 Senior Vice President, Seller Services
- Andrew R. Jassy, 44, Senior Vice President, Web Services
- Steven Kessel, 46, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Digital Media
- Marc A. Onetto, 61, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Operations
- Diego Piacentini, 51, Senior Vice President, International Retail
- Shelley L. Reynolds, 47, Vice President, Worldwide Controller, and Principal Accounting Officer
- Thomas J. Szkutak, 51, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
- H. Brian Valentine, 52, Senior Vice President, Ecommerce Platform
- Jeffrey A. Wilke 45, Senior Vice President, North America Retail
- L. Michelle Wilson, 48, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary
That’s it for now. Here’s the full text of the filing.