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Amazon takes aim at Microsoft Azure with new Mobile Services push

Amazon wants make it easier for mobile app developers to integrate cloud services into their apps. The company today unveiled a quartet of new services all targeted at developers who want to build cross-platform applications for mobile devices. The move is a strike against Microsoft Azure Mobile Services, which is also designed to give developers a simple way… Read More

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FTC sues Amazon over kids’ in-app purchases

The Federal Trade Commission has sued Amazon for charging parents for unauthorized in-app purchases made by their children. In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the regulator is seeking a court order requiring Amazon to refund all unauthorized charges made through its Appstore, as well as an… Read More

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Amazon jumps into enterprise collaboration with ‘Zocalo’

Amazon just unveiled a new collaboration and document sharing service called Zocalo — using its leadership position in cloud computing to compete more aggressively against Box and others in the market for enterprise applications. Zocalo lets users store, share and collaborate on a variety of file types across devices including iPad, Kindle Fire and Android tablets. The service works via… Read More

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Amazon wants to give 100% of revenue to e-book authors as Hachette dispute continues

Some prominent authors have publicly voiced their frustration with Amazon amid its ongoing e-book contract dispute with Hachette Book Group. Now, it appears Amazon is responding. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal both report that the online bookseller is offering Hachette authors 100 percent of e-book revenue made off their titles. According to a… Read More

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Why groceries are an attractive online segment explained in two slides

This might be the explanation you’ve been waiting for if you’ve been wondering why Amazon and others are willing to invest millions in selling groceries online. In a special report on Business Insider, a lengthy slideshow recounts how consumer behavior is shifting from offline to online, and how that’s affecting the retail industry. The high-level summary is that… Read More

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Former Amazon employee: Disputed non-compete deal ‘excessive’ and ‘overbroad’

A former Amazon manager is responding defiantly to the company’s lawsuit over his new job at Google — further positioning his case as a new legal test for tech-industry employment agreements. A lawyer for Zoltan Szabadi, the former Amazon Web Services partnerships manager who was sued by the company after taking a job with Google, is asking a King County Superior Court judge to throw out the… Read More

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Amazon faces potential lawsuit by the FTC over in-app purchases made by children

Amazon is fighting claims by the Federal Trade Commission, which charge that it failed to get parents’ permission for purchases made by children inside applications on its Kindle Fire tablets. The Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into the Seattle retailer’s practices are not public, however, The Wall Street Journal reports it was able to obtain documents sent yesterday by Amazon… Read More

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Amazon says its Hachette standoff is ‘in the long-term interest of our customers’

A top executive for Amazon’s e-book business is defending the company’s tactics in its high-profile dispute with publisher Hachette, saying that it’s “acting in the long-term interest of our customers.” “This discussion is all about e-book pricing,” said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s senior vice president of Kindle content, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “The terms under… Read More

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Groupon leases more space in Seattle with room to add another 75 employees

Two years after opening a Seattle office, Groupon is gearing up for another growth spurt. The Chicago-based daily deals company currently employs 195 people here, and has plans to add another 75 positions to bring the total to 270. Groupon spokeswoman Laura Roman tells GeekWire that in order to accommodate the burgeoning office, it has leased a third floor at the 505 Fifth Avenue South… Read More

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Amazon payments engineering director leaves for health-care tech company

Doug Hebenthal, who left Microsoft in 2012 to become engineering director for Amazon’s e-commerce payments platform, is leaving Amazon to take a job as senior vice president with Emdeon, a company that provides payment solutions and patient management systems for health care. Hebenthal confirmed the move via phone this week, saying that he was intrigued by the opportunity with Emdeon… Read More

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Amazon promotes a Hachette title that it’s not willing to provide on pre-order

Amazon calls Edan Lepucki’s new book California one of the “best books of July,” but the highly anticipated novel about a post-apocalyptic world has been caught in a real-life battle. Lepucki finds herself in the cross fire between Amazon and her publishing house Hachette, which have been in a contract dispute for months now. As a bargaining tactic, Amazon has been delaying shipments of… Read More

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Amazon sues former employee for taking Google cloud job, in new test of non-compete deals

Amazon is suing a former Amazon Web Services strategic partnerships manager, Zoltan Szabadi, alleging that his new job at Google Cloud Platform violates the terms of a non-compete agreement that he signed when he originally joined Amazon. The suit will be closely watched in the tech industry as a new test of the standard employment agreements that Amazon and some other large… Read More

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announces the Fire smartphone.

Amazon Fire Phone nosedives on company’s bestsellers list, dropping to #61 after debuting in top five

Amazon’s first smartphone isn’t setting the world on fire, judging from the company’s own rankings. Less than two weeks after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the device, the Amazon Fire Phone has plummeted on the company’s list of bestselling electronics across Amazon.com. Today, Amazon’s 32 GB model is ranking as the 61st best-selling electronic, far below its fourth-place position two days… Read More

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Online sales exceeded physical retail revenue for US book publishers in 2013

An annual report from BookStats reveals that U.S. publishers are now seeing more revenue from online sales than from physical retailers. Last year, BookStats found that publishers brought in $7.54 billion in online orders — which include revenue from e-books — compared to $7.12 billion made from sales at physical retailers. However, while e-book sales… Read More

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Jeff Bezos casts such an intimidating presence that some prayed for a heart attack rather than face his wrath

Amazon.com is not known as the most lovey-dovey company. Founder Jeff Bezos has instituted a hard-charging culture, one that lacks the frills of other tech giants like Google and Microsoft. That culture was showcased in Brad Stone’s book “The Everything Store,” and now it is on display again in a documentary film from CNBC dubbed “Amazon… Read More

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GeekWire Radio: How data, technology and Amazon are reshaping children’s television

What happens when a tech company makes its own television shows? We get the inside details this week from a children’s television veteran whose latest show was developed as part of Amazon’s move into original programming. Joining us via phone is Angela Santomero, the television producer and writer known for shows including Blue’s Clues, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Super… Read More

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Q&A: Blue’s Clues and Super Why! creator Angela Santomero on her new Amazon kids show

Television producer and writer Angela Santomero has repeatedly broken new ground in children’s television programming with shows such as Blue’s Clues, Super Why! and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. On Friday her newest show, Creative Galaxy, premieres on Amazon Instant Video — the latest step in the Seattle-based technology company’s move into original television programming. The show, featuring… Read More