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Amazon is paying big bucks for those HBO exclusives

Reaction to Amazon’s content deal with HBO this morning was decisive: Neftlix just lost. Amazon gains three things from the deal: It sets itself apart from the streaming-video leader; gives customers a reason to continue paying $99 for its Prime program; and maybe provides additional incentive to buy its devices. Up until now, Netflix has enjoyed having a much… Read More

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Study: Sales tax cuts into Amazon’s sales, as consumers look to other online retailers

Laws that require online retailers to collect local sales tax are hitting Amazon particularly hard, according to a new study by researchers at Ohio State University. Amazon’s sales in states where it collected sales tax decreased about 10 percent, compared to states that don’t require tax collection. In turn, brick-and-mortar retailers in those states saw a 2… Read More

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Netflix voice support coming to Amazon Fire TV this year

Last week, it was Hulu and Crackle joining the Amazon Fire TV party. Now, Netflix is in, too. In his letter Q1 earnings letter to shareholders, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that his company expects to enable voice search for Amazon’s new $99 set-top box “later this year.” Currently, the voice search feature — which we came… Read More

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China’s Tencent looking to expand globally to take on Facebook, Amazon and more

Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Twitter, Zynga and Uber all have each other to contend with, but what if a fierce new competitor were to enter to the U.S. market? Tencent may be the latest Chinese superpower eyeing global expansion, according to an article published in the May edition of Fast Company. Similar to Alibaba, which is expected… Read More

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Apple, Google — and now Amazon — offer game publishers top app store placement for exclusivity

Video game publishers are no strangers to signing exclusive deals with platforms, and now that practice is becoming apparent in the mobile gaming industry. A Wall Street Journal report this morning notes that Apple and Google are now offering mobile game publishers highly-coveted placement within their app stores in exchange for exclusivity. As a classic example, WSJ notes… Read More

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Amazon vet’s grocery delivery startup Instacart is coming to Seattle

Watch out, Amazon Fresh: a new competitor is heading into town. Instacart, the grocery delivery service that leverages the ‘sharing economy,’ is looking to expand to Seattle, according to a new posting on GeekWork, GeekWire’s job site. It’s a big step for Instacart, which has seen explosive growth since the company launched in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company… Read More

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Should Amazon buy Sears? Retail analyst makes the case

Amazon should acquire Sears Holdings, including 2,400 Kmart and Sears stores, creating a major physical retail presence in the U.S. and allowing the stores to double as new distribution centers. And the Seattle company should axe the Kmart and Sears brands. At least, that’s the contention of retail industry analyst Robin Lewis, writing this week… Read More

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Amazon and Samsung partner on special Kindle app, book deals

A specialized app called “Kindle for Samsung” will debut this month, starting on the Samsung Galaxy S5, under an agreement announced this morning between Amazon and Samsung. Under the partnership, Samsung tablet and smartphone users will also get one free Kindle book a month. The deal is notable in part because Amazon is separately poised to become… Read More

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Streik! German workers at Amazon to walk off job today

Some German workers at Amazon.com are expected to walk off the job today, part of an ongoing protest organized by the labor union Verdi. The Wall Street Journal reports that hundreds of workers at fulfillment centers in Leipzig and Bad Hersfeld are set to stage an all-day strike, beginning with the first shift. Amazon employs about… Read More

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Tech Moves: Amazon exec leaves for Square, Edifecs expands leadership team, and more

—Alyssa Henry has joined Square as its head of Engineering, the company announced today. Prior to her work at the payments company, which is helmed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Henry served in a number of engineering leadership roles at Amazon, and was most recently the Vice President of Amazon Web Services Storage Services. Prior to that,… Read More

Photo via Flickr user btckeychain.

No Bitcoin for Amazon: Online retail giant says it’s not seeing enough demand

Overstock.com has made a big fuss about accepting the digital currency to the point where you’d expect other major online retailers to follow suit, but Amazon says it won’t be one of them. In an interview with Re/code’s Jason del Rey, Amazon payments head Tom Taylor said they’ve considered accepting bitcoin, but there’s no rush. “We’re… Read More

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Here’s why Amazon pays $5K to warehouse workers who quit

In Jeff Bezos’ annual letter to shareholders, the Amazon.com CEO and founder revealed an interesting program that pays workers at the company’s warehouses to quit. Yes, that’s right: Amazon gives money to those who jump ship. “Pay to Quit,” an idea born at Amazon-owned Zappos.com, was put into place to get rid of employees who… Read More