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No ‘Lego’ DVD for Amazon customers: Warner Home Video pre-orders nixed in latest negotiating standoff

Amazon’s contract battle with Hachette has been getting lots of attention, with the Seattle company delaying book shipments and declining to take pre-orders for popular Hachette titles amid negotiations with the publisher. But it turns out that’s not the only standoff affecting the retailer’s catalog. Upcoming DVDs and Blu-ray versions of Warner Home Video movies — including “The… Read More

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eBay scales back same-day delivery plans, but denies report that it’s giving up

eBay is drastically scaling back its plans for same-day delivery, but says rumors that the service is shutting down are completely false. “It’s just not true,” said Christopher Payne, an SVP and head of eBay North America, in an interview with GeekWire. “We have no plans to shutdown our same-day delivery offering.” Payne says it will continue to focus on Chicago, Dallas, New York, and the… Read More

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Amazon plans local services marketplace launch, challenging Yelp, Angie’s List

Amazon is preparing to launch a local marketplace that could compete with Yelp, Angie’s List, or even home improvement businesses, like Home Depot and Lowe’s, according to a Reuters report today. Sources told Reuters that the marketplace could encompass anything from babysitters to handymen. Amazon declined to comment to Reuters, which referenced several unnamed sources familiar with… Read More

A sign outside of Amazon's HQ in Seattle. Photo via Matt Shobe.

Ever-expanding Amazon takes another half-million square feet in four Seattle buildings

Amazon is growing so fast in Seattle, it’s hard to keep up. The tech giant is preparing to move into more than 540,000 square feet of additional office space in three existing buildings north of downtown Seattle — in the Denny Triangle, Belltown and on Elliott Ave. W. — according to city permits and county property records. The Seattle Times reported… Read More

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Amazon Kindle apps get new Audible integration, syncing

Amazon added audiobook integration to its Kindle apps for iOS and Android this morning, further tightening the connection between the Kindle platform and the company’s Audible audiobook subsidiary. The new feature brings Amazon’s “Whispersync for Voice” feature to its primary e-book apps on third-party devices — letting users quickly switch between reading and listening to a book without leaving the app. The “Whispersync… Read More

amazon payments

Amazon beefs up its payments platform to compete against PayPal, Stripe

Amazon quietly unveiled a new initiative today that will encourage more companies to use its payments platform for the check-out process. The new offering is subtle, but will allow it to compete more directly with PayPal, which acquired Chicago-based payments gateway Braintree late last year for $800 million. It’s a big business that Amazon has been meddling… Read More

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Book excerpt: The Amazon Way

Editor’s note: This excerpt is from chapter three of the book The Amazon Way: 14 Leadership Principles Behind the World’s Most Disruptive Company, by John Rossman, the former director of merchant integration at Amazon. In the world of business, the term platform has come to refer to a state in which machines interact seamlessly to… Read More

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Amazon’s ‘bulletproof’ reputation largely unhurt by Hachette dispute, study finds

Amazon has been taking it on the chin in media coverage of its dispute with publisher Hachette, culminating with Stephen Colbert comparing Jeff Bezos to Voldemort this week. But the company’s reputation has so far proven strong enough to withstand the barrage. Research by YouGov BrandIndex last year ranked Amazon the best-perceived brand in the… Read More

Barnes & Noble CEO Michael Huseby

Interview: Barnes & Noble CEO ‘not worried about Amazon’ as Nook ties fortunes to Samsung

Barnes & Noble laid out a new plan for its Nook e-reader business this morning, announcing plans to partner with Samsung on a Nook-branded Galaxy Tab 4 tablet. So what does this mean for the bookseller’s partnership with Microsoft, and its competition with Amazon? GeekWire spoke with Barnes & Noble CEO Mike Huseby via phone this morning, getting… Read More

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Stephen Colbert likens Jeff Bezos to Voldemort, declares ‘war’ on Amazon over Hachette dispute

OK, Amazon this is one PR fight you’ll probably lose. The Seattle online retailer just pissed off Stephen Colbert. Colbert happens to publish his books through Hachette, the publishing house whose contract dispute with Amazon has led the online retailer to delay shipments of Hachette books. In a segment that aired Wednesday night, the comedian ripped… Read More

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Patents show how Amazon’s smartphone could use 3D, hand gestures, and more

Smartphones already do so much more than make calls: they talk to you, provide turn-by-turn directions, record-and-play back HD video, and some, have fancy doodads, like built-in heart rate monitors. But Amazon has apparently come up with something entirely new. A video released by the Seattle-based company today showed potential customers oohing and ahhing over the mystery device. Reactions included everything… Read More

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The Amazon model: 4 reasons your company should move to the heart of the city

The Weyerhauser Corporate Headquarters in Federal Way has earned awards for its architecture, interior design and energy conservation. It’s a “gorgeous, gorgeous” building, Scott Wyatt tells me. There’s just one problem. “There’s nothing happening there.” Wyatt, chairman of Seattle-based architecture firm NBBJ, far prefers the scene around Amazon’s offices in South Lake Union, where hotspots… Read More

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Seattle indie bookstore jabs at Amazon, enters Hachette fray with promise to hand-deliver J.K. Rowling’s new novel

Walmart and Barnes & Noble aren’t the only ones capitalizing on Amazon’s contract dispute with the Hachette Book Group — brick-and-mortar retailers are, too. Seattle-based independent bookstore Third Place Books said today that it will hand-deliver copies of The Silkworm, a new novel by J.K. Rowling (she wrote the book under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith). Amazon is currently locked… Read More

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Why this U.S. ambassador was sworn in on a Kindle

Yes, it’s true: Suzi LeVine, a former Microsoft and Expedia executive, non-profit leader and new U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, took the oath of office using a Kindle loaded up with a copy of the U.S. Constitution, as she was sworn in by VP Joe Biden. It’s believed to be a first for U.S. ambassadors,… Read More

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Amazon’s architect paints picture of urban campus, open to public, integrated with community

Will Amazon’s new campus in Seattle’s downtown make it a less secretive company? Probably not, but the company’s architect, Scott Wyatt, the chairman of NBBJ, painted a picture of Amazon’s new urban headquarters today of an open concept that will help employees be more productive and innovative, and ultimately, more part of the community. Wyatt appeared… Read More

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Walmart, Barnes & Noble take advantage of Amazon-Hachette fight with big book discounts

Walmart and Barnes & Noble are taking advantage of Amazon’s contract dispute with the Hachette Book Group. While Hachette and Amazon are currently locked in a stalemate over pricing and profit margins for e-books, Walmart is offering big discounts on books written by authors like James Patterson, David Baldacci and Robert Galbraith, all of whom publish with Hachette. CNN… Read More

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Amazon’s new TenMarks math app makes Kindle debut

TenMarks, the math instruction company acquired by Amazon last year, released its first app for Amazon’s Kindle platform this morning, and said its summer math program, normally $39/student, will now be available for free. The release of TenMarks Math for Students for Kindle Fire tablets is a new step by Amazon into the educational market and the first… Read More

googledelivery

Chart: As same-day shipping ramps up, retailers focus on free shipping

If same-day delivery is the future of retail, then the present is all about free shipping. Free shipping continues to gain in importance, hitting an all-time (non-holiday) high in the first quarter at 58 percent, according to ComScore. Free shipping in the fourth quarter, which is the busiest period for e-commerce, hit an even more impressive high at 67 percent. But… Read More

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon credits Amazon for ‘teaching the world what’s possible’

Walmart and Amazon are two giants in the world of retailing, one started off in the physical world and the other online. But today those two lines are blurring more than ever before, according to Walmart’s Doug McMillon who was interviewed at the Code Conference. “Clearly, Amazon is teaching the world what’s possible,” said McMillon, who was named CEO four months ago…. Read More