Amazon

Profile

Summary

Amazon is a retail behemoth whose real business is data – Big Data. Founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994, the company relentlessly gathers data every time an individual uses its website or its voice assistant in order to be able to sell more stuff. It is infamous for its use of low paid warehouse workers and delivery drivers who are tasked with delivering a wide variety of products to online shoppers. It also owns one of the world’s largest clusters of ‘cloud’ computer networks (Amazon Web Services) that millions of individuals, businesses and government agencies use to host their data, including the Central Intelligence Agency.

Products

online shopping, data hosting, supermarkets, Alexa voice assistant, Kindle e-book reader

Violations

Top 5 Offense Groups (Groups Defined)Penalty TotalNumber of Records
competition-related offenses$61,700,0001
environment-related offenses$12,829,48717
employment-related offenses$12,768,07510
consumer-protection-related offenses$3,711,4669
safety-related offenses$3,115,61368

(April 7, 2021)

Number of Records
96
Total Penalties
$94,259,164 (4/7/21)
Individual Records & Summaries
Click here for details of Amazon's violations.
Information in this section is drawn from the Violation Tracker database produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on business violations of laws and regulations in the United States. For specific examples of misconduct, please click on the links.

Stories

Article Archive
Videos & Podcasts
Amazon employees protest against Jeff Bezos over reduced benefits
USA: Amazon workers hold Black Friday protest outside company headquarters
Amazon Worker Leads Protest Against Working Conditions, Is Fired

 

Books
  • Seasonal Associate by Heike Geissler (MIT Press, 2018)

    How the brutalities of working life are transformed into exhaustion, shame, and self-doubt: a writer's account of her experience working in an Amazon fulfillment center.

Activism

Recent & Ongoing Campaigns
EthicalConsumer calls for boycott of Amazon over company's tax avoidance

Ethical Consumer | January 29, 2021

In 2020, Amazon announced that its key UK business paid just £14.46 million in tax in 2019 - a 3% increase from the previous year, despite pre-tax profits growing by more than 35%. We have estimated that in 2017 Amazon’s tax avoidance from profit shifting alone cost the UK £52million.

More than 400 lawmakers from 34 countries back 'Make Amazon Pay' campaign

Paul Sandle | Reuters | December 3, 2020

More than 400 lawmakers from 34 countries have signed a letter to Amazon.com Inc boss Jeff Bezos backing a campaign that claims the tech giant has “dodged and dismissed … debts to workers, societies, and the planet,” organisers said.

US book stores launch 'Boxed Out' campaign against Amazon

Techxplore | October 15, 2020

The American Booksellers Association has launched an advertising campaign against Amazon to alert the public to what it calls the growing danger that book stores are under from the online goliath during the coronavirus pandemic.

Black Friday protests at Amazon warehouses in England

The BBC | 29 November 2019

A union has held protests outside Amazon warehouses to coincide with the Black Friday sales.

 

Major Investigations
Amazon To Pay $61.7 Million to Settle FTC Charges It Withheld Some Customer Tips from Amazon Flex Drivers

Federal Trade Commission | February 3, 2021

Amazon will pay more than $61.7 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it failed to pay Amazon Flex drivers the full amount of tips they received from Amazon customers over a two and a half year period. The FTC’s complaint alleges that the company stopped its behavior only after becoming aware of the FTC’s investigation in 2019.

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Amazon for the use of non-public independent seller data and opens second investigation into its e-commerce business practices

The European Commission | November 10, 2020

The European Commission has informed Amazon of its preliminary view that it has breached EU antitrust rules by distorting competition in online retail markets. The Commission takes issue with Amazon systematically relying on non-public business data of independent sellers who sell on its marketplace ...

EU says Amazon breached antitrust rules, opens second investigation into its e-commerce business

Silvia Amaro | CNBC | November 10, 2020

The European Commission said Tuesday that Amazon breached European antitrust rules by using independent sellers’ data for its own benefit.It has also announced a second formal investigation into the company’s e-commerce processes.

Amazon is reportedly facing a new antitrust investigation into its online marketplace led by the FTC and attorneys general in New York and California

Tyler Sonnemaker | The Insider | August 3, 2020

State attorneys general from New York and California have teamed up with the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Amazon's online marketplace, Bloomberg reported Monday. The agencies plan to begin interviewing witnesses in the coming weeks, according Bloomberg.

 

Employment Practices
Amazon keeps a close eye on employee activism to head off unions

Annie Palmer | CNBC | October 24, 2020

Amazon warehouse workers have a long history of agitating for change. But the coronavirus crisis has generated new momentum for employees to speak candidly about workplace conditions.

Amazon is cracking down on protesters and organizing, workers say

Michael Sainato | The Guardian | May 5, 2020

Amazon’s revenues topped $33m an hour in the first three months of the year as the coronavirus pandemic locked down large parts of the world. The sales boost has handed Amazon the biggest dilemma of its 25-year life: how to deal with a growing chorus of critics within the company. So far its reaction has only made matters worse.

 

Financials

Corporate Headquarters
410 Terry Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109
Most Recent Gross Revenue
$280.522 billion (2019) | source
Most Recent Net Revenue
$11.588 billion (2019) | source
Stock Exchange Tickers
NASDAQ: AMZN
Subsidiaries

Note: Most recent list is not always the most complete list.

Croctail Subsidiary Tool using the CorpWatch API - This API uses automated parsers to extract the subsidiary relationship information from Exhibit 21 of companies' 10-K filings with the SEC.

Major Shareholders

Click here for the latest list.

Political Spending

OpenSecrets.org Profile of Amazon.com

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Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker is a project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on state and federal subsidies in the United States. For more details, click on the links.
Click here for details of subsidies received by Amazon.
Tax Havens
& Evasion
Amazon had sales income of €44bn in Europe in 2020 but paid no corporation tax

Rupert Neate | The Guardian | May 4, 2021

Fresh questions have been raised over Amazon’s tax planning after its latest corporate filings in Luxembourg revealed that the company collected record sales income of €44bn (£38bn) in Europe last year but did not have to pay any corporation tax to the Grand Duchy.

Amazon Has Record-Breaking Profits in 2020, Avoids $2.3 Billion in Federal Income Taxes

Matthew Gardner | ITEP | February 3, 2021

Amazon’s winning streak in its battle against the U.S. tax system remains intact. This week the retail giant announced record-breaking sales and income for 2020, and an effective federal income tax rate of just 9.4 percent, less than half the statutory corporate tax of 21 percent.

New study deems Amazon worst for 'aggressive' tax avoidance

Rupert Neate | The Guardian | December 2, 2019

The big six US tech firms have been accused of “aggressively avoiding” $100bn (£75bn) of global tax over the past decade.

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