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BUSINESS
August 30, 2012 | By David Lazarus
Here is today's Consumer Confidential segment from KTLA-TV. We looked at the announcement from Amazon that its Kindle Fire tablet is now sold out. Really? Could that have anything to do with a mysterious news conference the company has scheduled for next week? We also look at how Americans get off easier at the gas pump than people in other countries, and a recall of more than 600,000 Mr. Coffee machines.  
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BUSINESS
July 11, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Amazon could start producing its own smartphone as soon as this year, according to a second report that claims the online retailer is working on a smartphone. The Seattle-based company along with suppliers in Asia are testing a smartphone, the report says, citing "people familiar with the situation. " The report also says Amazon might start production either this year or early 2013. Details are sketchy, but the new report, by the Wall Street Journal , says the device is expected to have a screen somewhere in the 4- to 5-inch range.
BUSINESS
August 24, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
Amazon.com Inc. upped the ante in its effort to overturn a new state law requiring all Internet sellers to collect sales taxes on purchases by California customers. The Seattle online retailer reported late last week that it contributed $2.25 million to the More Jobs Not Taxes campaign to qualify a referendum for the June primary election ballot. The contribution brought the company's cumulative investment in the campaign to $5.25 million. The referendum, if signed by at least 505,000 registered voters, would ask voters whether they want to uphold the law, which took effect July 1, or repeal it. Amazon is asking for a repeal, saying the California law is an unconstitutional interference with interstate commerce.
BUSINESS
August 7, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times
Amazon.com Inc. has launched a new textbook rental program, this time with old-fashioned print books. The program sends the print copies to students, for a fee, with the stipulation that they be returned in reasonably good condition within 130 days unless other arrangements are made. The e-commerce giant has a digital textbook rental service that began last year. Amazon said the fees it's charging to rent the print books represent savings of up to 70% compared with retail purchase prices.
BUSINESS
May 24, 2012 | By Amy Martinez
SEATTLE — Amazon.com Inc., addressing issues that have drawn heavy criticism of the company, told shareholders that it planned to improve warehouse conditions and drop its membership in a conservative public-policy organization. More than 100 protesters rallied outside the company's annual shareholders meeting Thursday at the Seattle Art Museum, calling on the Internet retailer to pay more taxes, treat its workers better and drop its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 16, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Amazon workers in Germany went on strike Monday, protesting the working conditions at the online retailer's shipping centers. The workers' union, Ver.di, also sent a delegation to the company's Seattle offices. "The Amazon system is characterized by low wages, permanent performance pressure and short-term contracts," Ver.di said in a statement. Amazon employs about 9,000 workers in Germany plus an additional 14,000 seasonal workers; not all of them are union members. According to estimates, about 1,600 people took part in the strikes Monday at three German locations: Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig, and Graben.
NEWS
September 4, 2012 | by Carolyn Kellogg
A best-selling British author has been caught red-handed slamming others' books on Amazon while praising his own under a number of pseudonyms. It was the assiduous work of Jeremy Duns, another writer, that laid out a case demonstrating that prize-winning mystery writer R.J. Ellory had been writing the "sock puppet" reviews on Amazon. Ellory has admitted to using the sock puppetry -- pseudonymous handles to post positive Amazon reviews of his own books and one-star reviews of others'.
BUSINESS
September 11, 2012 | By Salvador Rodriguez
On the eve of Apple's expected rollout of a new iPhone, Amazon has slashed by half the price of a Galaxy S III smartphone for new activations. The Seattle online retailer is selling the 16-gigabyte version of the phone for $99 for those who sign up for a two-year service contract with wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon and Sprint. Amazon said the offer was for a "very limited time" but did not specify when it would expire. Amazon is also offering smaller discounts for those who already have an account with one of the carriers and want to upgrade to the Galaxy S III. Purchasers of the Sprint and Verizon versions of the phone can save $50 and AT&T buyers can save $20. Users can also get a discount if adding a family line, knocking the price down to $119 for the Sprint version and $139 for Verizon.
BUSINESS
January 21, 2011 | By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times
The world's biggest online retailer is now competing more directly with the nation's biggest DVD rental service. Amazon.com has agreed to acquire the shares it does not already own in Lovefilm International, a DVD and online film rental service similar to Netflix that operates in Europe. The Seattle company already holds a 42% stake in Lovefilm, which is headquartered in London and Luxembourg. Financial details were not disclosed, although the Financial Times said the deal values Lovefilm at about $317 million.
BUSINESS
February 22, 2011
Amazon.com rolled out a streaming TV and movie service for its prime customers, taking a direct shot at fast growing rival Netflix. Amazon announced Tuesday that its prime customers, who pay $79 a year for free two-day shipping, can choose among 5,000 TV shows and movies such as "Syriana," "Doctor Who: Season 4," and "Analyze This" to stream through computers and devices such as Roku. Netflix shares fell 4 percent in opening trade on Tuesday while shares of Amazon were down 2.6 percent.
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