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Tuesday, 28 October 2014 17:14

Out-of-patience investors sell off Amazon

NEW YORK Amazon has long acted like an ideal customer on its own website: a freewheeling big spender with no worries about balancing a checkbook. Investors confident in founder and CEO Jeff Bezos' invest-and-expand strategy flooded into the stock as the company revolutionized shopping, upended the book industry and took on the cloud even though its vast range of initiatives ate up all the company's profits.

After all, when Amazon.com filed for its IPO 17 years ago, it was very clear: the company would post losses for the 'foreseeable future' while it invested in the business to drive bigger and bigger sales. Stockholders seemed to like playing Bezos' long game: shares more than quadrupled between 2010 and 2014 to over $400 apiece.

Published in Biz

NEW YORK Cord cutters rejoiced last week after HBO and CBS announced plans to sell stand-alone streaming services, a move that cable and satellite television providers have resisted for years. Customers tired of paying big fees for hundreds of channels they never watch just to have access to a few favorite shows might be expected to start cancelling cable service in droves. Get Netflix, throw in HBO, add a network here and there why would anyone sign up now for cable?

Well, don't sound the death knell for cable companies yet.

Published in Tekk

NEW YORK (AP) Think you're in control? Think again.

This week, OKCupid became the latest company to admit that it has manipulated customer data to see how users of its dating service would react to one another. The New York-based Internet company's revelation follows news earlier this month that Facebook let researchers change news feeds to see how it would affect users' moods. The fact is, big companies use customers as unwitting guinea pigs all the time -online and in the real world.

Published in Tekk

NEW YORK Real estate website operator Zillow is buying rival Trulia in a $3.5 billion deal that would make the biggest player in the online real estate market.

Zillow would also become the king of real estate listings available on smartphones.

Published in Biz
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 23:10

5 features an Amazon phone might offer

NEW YORK A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.

Amazon hasn't confirmed that it has plans for a smartphone. Introducing such a device would be tough in a crowded market dominated by Apple and Samsung. Even so, innovations like the Kindle Fire and Prime membership program demonstrate that the online retailing giant has a knack for using its massive size and marketing budget to capitalize on gaps in the marketplace.

Published in Tekk
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 20:46

Wal-Mart, Amazon show changing shopping habits

NEW YORK The financial strains and shifting shopping habits of Americans have led to uneven fortunes for retailers.

Traditional consumer companies like Wal-Mart and Mattel have continued to struggle as Americans spend more cautiously in the uncertain economy. Meanwhile, Amazon.com has flourished as shoppers increasingly buy online rather than head to stores.

Published in Biz

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