Amazon’s exclusive benefits Archives

Amazon’s exclusive benefits Archives

Amazon’s exclusive benefits Archives

Amazon’s exclusive benefits Archives

Amazon Prime Day 2020: Date prediction and early deals

Amazon Prime Day is a 48-hour retail holiday exclusively for Prime members. Although we don't know the official Amazon Prime Day 2020 date, we know that it'll take place sometime in October. That means now is the perfect time to start prepping for Amazon's massive event.  

After all, Amazon Prime Day is the biggest retail holiday of the year — excluding Black Friday. So what kind of Amazon Prime Day deals can you expect this year? Here's everything you need to know about Amazon Prime Day 2020. 

Is Amazon Prime Day 2020 postponed? 

Amazon Prime Day always occurs in July. This year, however, the pandemic has altered Amazon's plans. Earlier this summer, the retailer confirmed to TechCrunch that Amazon Prime Day would happen "sometime later this year." It was confirmation that Prime Day wasn't being cancelled, but instead it was being postponed. During an earnings call last month, Amazon execs stated that Prime Day would occur in Q4 of 2020.

Amazon Prime Day 2020 date

The official Amazon Prime Day 2020 date is still unknown. However, it's easy to estimate when Prime Day may begin. Excluding the inaugural Prime Day — Amazon's sales event tends to kick off on either a Monday or Tuesday. Rumors suggest the Amazon Prime Day 2020 date could be the first week of October, which means either Monday, October 5 or Tuesday, October 6 could be the Prime Day dates for 2020. We don't foresee Prime Day 2020 occurring later than October 20. That would place it too close to the holiday season. So early October is our best guess for the moment. 

Where is Amazon Prime Day celebrated?

The first Amazon Prime Day was celebrated in 9 countries including the U.S., UK, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada, and Austria. Amazon Prime Day has since expanded in popularity. Last year, Prime deals were held in 18 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Singapore, Netherlands, Mexico, Luxembourg, Japan, Italy, India, Germany, Austria, France, China, Canada, Belgium, and Australia. 

In 2017, Amazon also expanded Prime Day's duration. It went from a 24-hour event to one that lasted for 30 hours. In 2018, Amazon expanded the holiday to 36 hours and in 2019 it lasted a full 48 hours. 

Early Amazon Prime Day deals

Outside of Black Friday, Amazon Prime Day offers the year's best discounts on Amazon hardware. The Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick, and Kindle Paperwhite are just some of the devices that tend to see the biggest discounts on Amazon Prime Day. If you're looking for Prime Day deals you can get now, make sure to check out Amazon's daily deals page. Below we're also listing the best Amazon Prime Day deals you can get right now. 

MacBook Air 2020: was $999 now $899 @ Amazon
The 2020 MacBook Air sports a Core i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. It also features Apple's new Magic Keyboard, which offers a much better typing experience than previous generations. It's now $100 off, which is as good as early Prime Day deals get.View Deal

Amazon Fire TV Stick (1080p): was $39 now $29 @ Amazon
The Fire TV Stick is a streaming gadget that lets you watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video (of course), and just about any other service you can think of in full 1080p. It includes an Alexa remote, so you can find things to watch and interact with Amazon's assistant using your voice. It also comes with a year of Food Network Kitchen ($39 value). View Deal

Amazon Echo Show 5: was $89 now $69 @ Amazon
The Echo Show 5 is a good smart display at its discounted price. The 5.5-inch screen is perfect for checking the weather, managing to-do lists, or video calls. You can get it with a free year of Food Network Kitchen or with a free stand. View Deal

Insignia 24" Fire TV Edition: was $149 now $99 @ Amazon
Scoring a smart TV for $99 is unheard of outside of major holidays, but this early Amazon Prime Day deal takes $50 off this 720p Fire TV Edition HDTV. It's the cheapest price we've seen for it and perfect for a small room or kids' room. View Deal

Echo Show 8: was $129 now $104 @ Amazon
The Echo Show 8 can be used to control other smart home devices, stream music, or catch up on the day's news. It comes with a free Food Network Kitchen subscription, so you can keep your Echo Show 8 on your kitchen counter as you recreate your favorite recipes. View Deal

Apple AirPods Pro: was $249 now $199 @ Amazon
Currently, the AirPods Pro are $50 off and at their lowest price ever. This is the kind of deal we'd expect to see on Prime Day. The AirPods Pro offer both sweat and water resistance (IPX4 certified) along with built-in noise cancellation.View Deal

Amazon Prime Day Whole Foods benefits

Amazon-owned organic grocer Whole Foods plays a huge role on Prime Day. In fact, one of our favorite Amazon Prime Day deals comes from Whole Foods. For the past two years, Amazon has given Prime members who shop at Whole Foods a $10 Amazon credit that can be used on Amazon Prime Day. 

Other Amazon Prime Day Whole Foods deals include discounts on seafood, meat, organic produce, and more. Even if you're not a fan of Whole Foods, it's worth shopping there in the lead up to Prime Day (and during Prime Day) for the savings. 

This year, however, it's unclear what role Whole Foods will play on Amazon Prime Day. Social distancing guidelines will likely be in effect, which means in-store shopping will not be encouraged. We predict Amazon Prime Day deals will focus on online Whole Foods orders instead of in-store discounts. 

What is the Amazon Prime Day concert?

For the past two years, Amazon has kicked off Prime Day with a Prime Day concert that all Prime members can stream live via Amazon's website. In 2018, Amazon chose Ariana Grande, Alessia Cara, Kelsea Ballerina, and Julia Michaels to headline the show. Last year, the Amazon Prime Day concert featured Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Becky G, and SZA. 

Both concerts were held in New York and available for streaming throughout Prime Day. (For Prime members only, naturally). Given the current state of the pandemic, we don't foresee any concerts taking place any city. However, Amazon may still host a virtual concert without an audience. 

What is Amazon Prime Day 2020?

Amazon Prime Day originally started in July of 2015 as a way to celebrate Amazon's 20th anniversary. For 24 hours, Amazon slashed the price of hundreds of items. The sales were exclusively for Amazon Prime members only. The event was a hit and since 2015 Amazon Prime Day has grown into a massive Black Friday like event. 

Now in its sixth year, Amazon Prime Day deals include discounts on everything from the Echo Dot to Nike sneakers. It's become a massive juggernaut for Amazon and although Amazon Prime Day will occur later than usual, it'll still be a big event. 

Amazon Prime Day reminders

  • If you you're not a Prime member, you can't participate on Prime Day. However, what you can do is sign up for a free Prime membership. The free trial lasts 30 days, which is more than enough time to take advantage of Amazon Prime Day sales.  
  • Plan on cancelling your Prime membership? Here's everything you need to know before you cancel your Amazon Prime membership. 
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Illustrated by Nurul Hana Anwar.

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Thank you for signing up. For more from The Nation, check out our latest issue.

Chris Lampen-Crowell started to feel the undertow four years ago. Gazelle Sports, the running-shoe and apparel business he founded in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1985, had grown steadily for decades, adding locations in Grand Rapids and Detroit and swelling to some 170 employees. But then, in 2014, sales took a downward turn. From the outside, at least, it was hard to see why. Gazelle Sports was as beloved as ever by local runners. People continued to flock to its free clinics and community runs. And scores of enthusiastic reviews on Google and Yelp, along with an industry ranking as one of the best running-shoe retailers in the country, gave Gazelle Sports and its e-commerce website plenty of prominence in online searches.1

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The problem wasn’t so much that customers had made a conscious decision to buy their running gear elsewhere, Lampen-Crowell says. Rather, a number were doing more of their overall shopping on Amazon—and as the online giant became a pervasive, almost unconscious habit in their lives, they had started dropping into their Amazon shopping carts some of the items they used to buy from Gazelle Sports. Lampen-Crowell’s initial response was to double down on marketing his company’s own website. But while that helped, there were many potential customers who still had little chance of landing on it. That was because, by 2014, nearly 40 percent of people looking to buy something online were skipping search engines like Google altogether and instead starting their product searches directly on Amazon.2

the amazon effect

By the fall of 2016, the share of online shoppers bypassing search engines and heading straight to Amazon had grown to 55 percent. With sales flagging and staff reductions under way, Lampen-Crowell made what seemed like a necessary decision: Gazelle Sports would join Amazon Marketplace, becoming a third-party seller on the digital giant’s platform. “If the customer is on Amazon, as a small business you have to say, ‘That is where I have to go,’” Lampen-Crowell explains. “Otherwise, we are going to close our doors.”3

Gazelle Sports isn’t alone. Faced with Amazon’s overwhelming gravitational pull on the Internet’s shopping traffic, thousands of Amazon’s competitors—from small independent retailers to major chains and manufacturing brands—have felt compelled to join its orbit.4

Setting up shop on Amazon’s platform has helped Gazelle Sports stabilize its sales. But it’s also put the company on a treacherous footing. Amazon, which did not respond to an interview request, touts its platform as a place where entrepreneurs can “pursue their dreams.” Yet studies indicate that the relationship is often predatory. Harvard Business School researchers found that when third-party sellers post new products, Amazon tracks the transactions and then starts selling many of their most popular items itself. And when it’s not using the information that it gleans from sellers to compete against them, Amazon uses it to extract an ever larger cut of their revenue.5

the amazon effect

To succeed, sellers need to “win the buy-box”—that is, be chosen by Amazon’s algorithms as the default seller for a product. But according to ProPublica, “about three-quarters of the time, Amazon placed its own products and those of companies that pay for its [warehousing and shipping] services in that position even when there were substantially cheaper offers available from others.” As more third-party sellers have agreed to sign up for these services, Amazon has repeatedly raised its fees, with fulfillment fees rising this year by as much as 14 percent for standard-size items (and more for oversize goods), on top of similar increases in 2017.6

For now, Lampen-Crowell’s primary suppliers have chosen not to sell directly to Amazon, giving Gazelle Sports and other independent retailers exclusive access to their products and, with it, a measure of insulation from Amazon’s predatory tactics. That could change, however. In 2016, Amazon backed Birkenstock into a corner, threatening to allow a deluge of counterfeit Birkenstocks onto its site—many from overseas sellers—unless the shoe company agreed to sell directly to Amazon the niche products it had previously reserved for specialty retailers. Birkenstock pushed back, but other companies, including Nike, appear to have caved to a similar demand.7

Current Issue

Lampen-Crowell tries not to spend time worrying about whether his suppliers will one day be pressured to do the same. An entrepreneur at heart, he keeps his focus on finding ways to succeed and doesn’t let his attention stray too far into questions of Amazon’s market power. “Whether this is monopolization…” he says, and then pauses. “If you take this to the end, Amazon controls the rules.”8

It’s easy to mistake Amazon for a retailer. After all, the company, which was founded in 1995, sells more books and toys than any other retailer, and is projected soon to become the top seller of clothing and electronics. It now captures nearly $1 of every $2 that Americans spend online.9

To think of Amazon as a retailer, though, is to profoundly misjudge the scope of what its founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, has set out to do. It’s not simply that Amazon does so much more than sell stuff—that it also produces hit television shows and movies; publishes books; designs digital devices; underwrites loans; delivers restaurant orders; sells a growing share of the Web’s advertising; manages the data of US intelligence agencies; operates the world’s largest streaming video-game platform; manufactures a growing array of products, from blouses to batteries; and is even venturing into health care.10

Instead, it’s that Bezos has designed his company for a far more radical goal than merely dominating markets; he’s built Amazon to replace them. His vision is for Amazon to become the underlying infrastructure that commerce runs on. Already, Amazon’s website is the dominant platform for online retail sales, attracting half of all online US shopping traffic and hosting thousands of third-party sellers. Its Amazon Web Services division provides 34 percent of the world’s cloud-computing capacity, handling the data of a long list of entities, from Netflix to Nordstrom, Comcast to Condé Nast to the CIA. Now, in a challenge to UPS and FedEx, Amazon is building out a vast shipping and delivery operation with the aim of handling both its own packages and those of other companies.11

By controlling these essential pieces of infrastructure, Amazon can privilege its own products and services as they move through these pipelines, siphoning off the most lucrative currents of consumer demand for itself. And it can set the terms by which other companies have access to these pipelines, while also levying, through the fees it charges, a tax on their trade. In other words, it’s moving us away from a democratic political economy, in which commerce takes place in open markets governed by public rules, and toward a future in which the exchange of goods occurs in a private arena governed by Amazon. It’s a setup that inevitably transfers wealth to the few—and with it, the power over such crucial questions as which books and ideas get published and promoted, who may ply a trade and on what terms, and whether given communities will succeed or fail.12

Amazon is “something radically new in the history of American business,” New Yorker writer George Packer has observed. But it’s not without antecedents. In the 19th century, men like Cornelius Vanderbilt and John D. Rockefeller harnessed a disruptive new technology—the railroad—and used the control that it gave them over market access to weaken their industrial competitors and extort money from farmers and small businesses. Their actions sparked a broad movement against monopolies, which led, over the following decades, to the passage of a robust body of antitrust laws. The central purpose of these laws was to protect liberty and democracy from concentrated economic power, or what Franklin Roosevelt called “industrial dictatorship.”13

The God of All Things: Major Amazon acquisitions and investments

By the time Bezos set up his bookselling operation on the Internet, however, these laws were no longer being enforced in accordance with their original purpose. In the 1970s, an ideological revolution swept through the fields of law and economics. Led by the conservative legal scholar and former Nixon solicitor general Robert Bork, among others, this new school of thought dismissed concerns about the impact of monopolies on the rights of citizens and even on competition. Its proponents argued that antitrust law should be reduced to a single, narrow goal: maximizing efficiency. And efficiency, they insisted, was something that big, consolidated corporations could deliver better. These ideas were codified under Ronald Reagan, whose administration left the antitrust laws intact but altered the way that regulators interpreted and enforced them. These changes won support from an ascendant faction of liberals, who made efficiency more appealing by recasting it as the source of lower prices for consumers.14

“Antitrust laws have been largely reduced to a technical tool to keep prices low,” notes Lina Khan, director of legal policy at the Open Markets Institute. As a consequence, so long as Amazon has appeared to benefit consumers, it’s been allowed to grow using tactics that would once have drawn antitrust scrutiny. Amazon has an extensive history, for example, of selling goods at a loss in order to wrest market share from competitors that lack the financial backing to sustain similar losses. Bezos, a former hedge-fund executive who has an unparalleled gift for selling his vision to Wall Street, has always been candid with investors about this strategy. In a letter to shareholders after the company went public in 1997, he wrote that he would prioritize “long-term market leadership considerations rather than short-term profitability.” Over the next six years, investors barely winced as Amazon lost $3 billion selling books and other items below cost. The investment paid off: Bookstores shut down in droves, and today nearly half of all books, both print and digital, are sold by Amazon.15

Amazon has also used below-cost selling to crush and absorb upstart competitors. In 2009, it acquired the popular shoe retailer Zappos after reportedly losing $150 million selling shoes below cost in order to force the rival company to the altar. Likewise, when Quidsi, the firm behind, emerged as a vigorous competitor, Amazon offered to buy it; when Quidsi’s founders refused, Amazon slashed its diaper prices below cost. Bleeding red ink, Quidsi eventually agreed to Amazon’s offer. Over time, this behavior has had a restraining effect: Start-ups intent on challenging Amazon are unlikely to find investors and so never get off the ground. “When you are small, someone else that is bigger can always come along and take away what you have,” Bezos has said.16

Amazon’s many tentacles provide it with novel ways to strong-arm suppliers. By leveraging the interplay between the different parts of its business—retail, e-commerce, manufacturing—it can amplify its market power over them. For instance, when Amazon began producing its own apparel two years ago, one aim was to erase the only real bargaining chip that fashion brands have: their ability to decline to sell to Amazon. Speaking at a fashion-industry event, Jeff Yurcisin, a vice president of Amazon Fashion, explained that uncooperative designers would now face knockoffs: “When we see gaps, when certain brands have actually decided for their own reasons not to sell with us, our customer still wants a product like that.”17

Cornering the Market: A comparative look at Amazon’s market value

Amazon’s dominance has been aided by Bezos’s prescient grasp of how the seemingly wide-open Web could be turned into a winner-take-all environment. In 2005, Amazon launched Prime, a membership program that provides free two-day shipping and other perks for $99 a year. As a stand-alone service, Prime is a money-loser; Forrester Research estimates that Amazon loses $1 billion a year on the shipping alone. The point of getting people to fork over $99 has never been about the money, though—it’s about the psychology. When people pay for Prime, they naturally want to maximize the value in free shipping they derive from it by doing more of their shopping on Amazon. Already, some 80 million Americans, accounting for more than half of the country’s households, are Prime members. Studies show they are less likely to comparison-shop, and they spend almost twice as much with Amazon as non-Prime customers.18

With Alexa, Bezos has found a way to lure people even deeper into Amazon’s ecosystem. Alexa is the voice assistant that powers the company’s Echo speaker, and it makes buying from Amazon as effortless as a passing thought. “The fact that it’s always on, you never have to charge it, and it’s there ready in your kitchen or your bedroom or wherever you put it, the fact that you can talk to it in a natural way—removes a lot of barriers, a lot of friction,” Bezos has said of the speaker. One such friction is choice: If you ask Alexa for batteries, you won’t get to choose Duracell or Energizer; Amazon’s brand is the only option. With Alexa, Amazon will “slowly but surely take control of your preferences,” predicts Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at New York University. The digital giant has already sold at least 20 million of these devices.19

Although Amazon continues to earn relatively meager profits compared with rivals like Walmart and Apple, its stock price has soared, almost doubling in value over the past 18 months and making Bezos the wealthiest person in the world. Investors see where this is heading. In 2016, Chamath Palihapitiya, a venture capitalist and owner of the Golden State Warriors, put a name to it: Amazon, he told an audience of fellow investors, “is a multitrillion-dollar monopoly hiding in plain sight.”20

What Amazon’s giddy investors already understand, however, regulators have so far failed to grasp. Last June, Amazon announced its intention to buy Whole Foods. The deal gives Amazon a prominent foothold in the pivotal grocery industry and much else besides. With Whole Foods, Amazon gains new ways to cement its dominance online, including by extending its package-delivery infrastructure to 470 stores nestled among millions of urban consumers. And it allows the company to blur the distinction between online and offline retail, accelerating the spread of digitally driven commerce and, with it, Amazon’s power. Yet, just two months after the deal was announced, the Federal Trade Commission gave it the green light, concluding that the merger did not warrant an in-depth review.21

As it grows, Amazon is exposing the deficiencies of the Reagan-era changes in how we think about corporate concentration. By collapsing antitrust enforcement to consider only prices, we have lost sight of what earlier generations knew about monopolies: that they can harm us as producers of value, not merely as consumers of it. And their control over our livelihoods and the fate of our communities is inherently political: It’s a threat to liberty and democracy.22

Economists have recently begun to document a link between corporate concentration and rising inequality. Dominant companies, they’re finding, are funneling the spoils to a small number of people at the top. And by reducing the number of their competitors, these companies are also making it harder for workers to get a fair wage and for producers to get a fair price. A particularly troubling data point in this research is the loss of a long-standing pathway to a middle-class life: starting a business. The number of new firms launched each year has fallen by nearly two-thirds since 1980, and many economists believe that corporate power is to blame. This lack of start-ups is fueling a broader decline in the ranks of small business: Between 2005 and 2015, the number of small retailers fell by 85,000, a drop of 21 percent relative to population.23

the amazon effect

In this story of concentrated power and wealth, Amazon is a central character. In a 2016 survey, independent retailers ranked competition from Internet retailers like Amazon as the biggest threat to their businesses, more worrisome than big-box stores or rising health-insurance costs. And their decline is having ripple effects up the supply chain. As more of the market shifts to a single gatekeeper, manufacturers say they are having a harder time introducing new products. Local businesses “are in a much better position as small retailers to do that boot-strapping,” says Michael Levins, the founder of Innovative Kids, a book and puzzle producer that’s been in business for 29 years.24

At the same time that many communities are seeing local businesses disappear, they’re also losing retail jobs. This past year, more people lost jobs in general-merchandise stores than the total number of workers in the coal industry. Even as Amazon expands its network of warehouses, it isn’t creating enough jobs to make up for the losses it’s causing. The basic math of what’s under way is startling: Retail accounts for about one in 10 American jobs, and Amazon needs only half as many workers to distribute the same volume of goods as traditional stores require. Plus it’s likely to need even fewer workers in the future: Since 2015, Amazon has invited elite engineering teams to compete in an annual robotics challenge. Their mission is to design a robot that can select and grasp assorted items, a task that, for now, only humans can do.25

Onward, Upward: Amazon’s share of online retail sales in the United States

This kind of wholesale upending of an industry happens periodically, and, as a rule, we don’t run out of jobs. But today, in the absence of a flush of new businesses creating new opportunities, work for many people has become increasingly precarious—and, in the case of Amazon workers, punishing. People who work inside the company’s warehouses describe the pace as grueling, with “unit-per-hour” rates set so high that failure and exhaustion are routine. Amazon’s approach to work is at once futuristic and a throwback to labor’s distant past. Robots zip around, laden with products, while many of the people they interface with are temporary employees. Amazon calls these workers “seasonal,” but, in fact, it relies on them year-round.26

As it moves into package delivery, Amazon is bringing its labor model along, relying in part on Amazon Flex drivers, who use their own vehicles, take directions from an app, and are paid a piece rate for each batch of boxes they deliver. The impacts are already being felt at the US Postal Service and UPS, whose hundreds of thousands of unionized employees constitute one of the last surviving corners of the working middle class. A few months ago, over the objections of the Teamsters union, UPS began placing ads for drivers who will use their own vehicles.27

As a result of the economic shifts that Amazon is helping to propel, the country is being divided into a starkly unequal geography. Only a handful of metro areas are gaining significant numbers of good jobs from Big Tech. And as the formation of new businesses declines, they’re also being consolidated into fewer places: In contrast with previous recoveries, when new firms were widely dispersed, half of all businesses started between 2010 and 2014 were located in just five metro areas. Even winning cities are marked by disparity: In Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered, the median home value now exceeds $700,000, while the unsheltered homeless population doubled over 10 years. It’s not hard to imagine a future in which Amazon’s cashier-less supermarkets and nondescript bookstores populate better-off neighborhoods, while other communities become increasingly barren of commercial activity.28

In the left-behind towns and neighborhoods, the despair that has set in stems from more than just economic hardship. There is a pervasive sense of powerlessness that is toxic to democracy. In 1946, the sociologist C. Wright Mills and the economist Melville J. Ulmer published a detailed study of several matched pairs of cities. The cities in each pair were similar in all respects except for one main difference: One city’s economy was composed of many locally owned firms, while the other’s was largely controlled by absentee corporations. The cities that possessed a degree of local economic power had a bigger middle class and a greater variety of jobs, Mills and Ulmer found. But their most important findings had to do with civic health. The cities with a robust local economy invested more in public infrastructure and services, and their residents were involved in community affairs in greater numbers.29

The Everything Store: The growing share of online shoppers who start their search on Amazon

Today, using large-scale statistical techniques, sociologists have confirmed Mills and Ulmer’s broad conclusions, finding, for example, that communities that possess more local economic power are better able to solve problems. But these ideas are no longer reflected in policy. Now, instead of actively seeking to disperse economic power, policy-makers encourage its concentration. Many elected officials are as enthralled with Bezos as his investors are, and they’ve been equally willing to fund Amazon’s growth. Congress has repeatedly declined to pass legislation that would allow states to require out-of-state retailers to collect sales taxes. This allowed Amazon to largely avoid collecting sales taxes for nearly two decades, giving it a price advantage that research shows helped drive shoppers to its site. Then, as Amazon’s warehouse expansion began to compel its compliance with sales taxes, the company started angling for local development incentives. It’s raked in more than $1.1 billion through these deals, according to Good Jobs First, and more than half of the warehouses that Amazon built between 2005 and 2015 received public subsidies.30

Then, last fall, Amazon set off a frenzied bidding war to land its second headquarters. In the ensuing months, as the leaders of more than 200 cities groveled to attract the company’s eye, they sent a clear message to their constituents: Amazon’s widening reach is something to be wished for fervently. For Amazon, this public-relations windfall—coming at the very moment when some are beginning to question its power, and propelled, in many cases, by leading progressive mayors—may prove even more valuable than the subsidies that elected officials are offering. And those offers have been astonishingly large: Maryland is dangling $5 billion, along with close proximity to Congress. In New Jersey, meanwhile, Senator Cory Booker, former governor Chris Christie, and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka put together an offer worth $7 billion. That’s $2 billion more than Amazon says its new headquarters will cost.31

In June of 2016, Senator Elizabeth Warren gave a headline-grabbing speech calling for action to check monopoly power. She singled out several dominant companies, including Amazon, noting that “the platform can become a tool to snuff out competition.” And she argued that we should use antitrust policy to break up concentrations of power and broaden opportunity, presenting a progressive economic vision that has more to offer people than simply an enhanced social safety net.32

In recent months, a growing number of political leaders have started to make the case for restoring antitrust policy to its former strength and purpose. The US House of Representatives now hosts the newly formed Antitrust Caucus. Its founders include Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA), who, interestingly, hails from Silicon Valley, and who urged antitrust enforcers last summer to undertake a much more thorough review of the Amazon–Whole Foods merger than they did. Another member is Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI), who’s been outspoken about the destructive power of dominant tech platforms to manipulate consumers and impede start-ups. The caucus’s first piece of legislation, which would require the antitrust agencies to retrospectively review the effects of mergers they have approved, has been introduced by Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), who believes that “massive monopolies are threatening our democracy.”33

Democrats aren’t the only ones pushing for a more muscular approach to monopolies. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican and candidate for the US Senate, has launched an antitrust investigation of Google.34

Monopoly’s New Rules

How might we use the tools of antitrust law to check Amazon’s power? One approach would break the company into two pieces by spinning off its e-commerce platform from its retail operation, thereby eliminating the conflict inherent in controlling market access for one’s competitors. We could then designate the resulting platform company as a common carrier, obligating it to offer all sellers access on equal terms, just as we did with the railroads. Alongside this, we need to once again police predatory pricing, the practice of selling goods below cost to drive out competition. Antitrust enforcers and the courts dismissed predatory pricing as a concern in the 1980s on the grounds that the tactic rarely succeeds. Amazon has shown otherwise.35

Amazon will undoubtedly respond to any effort to rein it in by making its dominance seem like the inevitable outcome of technological progress. When Bezos was asked several years ago about his company’s effect on publishers and booksellers, he responded: “Amazon is not happening to bookselling; the future is happening to bookselling.” Bezos would like us to believe that we shouldn’t expect to enjoy the benefits of the digital revolution without surrendering our markets to Amazon’s control. But history tells a different story: Federal antitrust cases against AT&T, IBM, and Microsoft all produced a surge of innovation and start-up activity in their wake.36

Back in Michigan, Lampen-Crowell is eager to compete. He’s added a series of injury-prevention workshops to the calendar, along with a schedule of weekly runs with various goals, from improving speed to helping residents stay active during the state’s long winters. The question now is whether we as citizens will insist that this business, and many others like it, have a fair chance to succeed.37

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Amazon’s exclusive benefits Archives

Amazon S3

Cloud storage
Available inEnglish
IPv6 supportYes
RegistrationRequired (included in free tier layer)
LaunchedMarch 14, 2006; 14 years ago (2006-03-14)
Current statusActive

Amazon S3 or Amazon Simple Storage Service is a service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that provides object storage through a web service interface.[1][2] Amazon S3 uses the same scalable storage infrastructure that uses to run its global e-commerce network.[3] Amazon S3 can be employed to store any type of object which allows for uses like storage for Internet applications, backup and recovery, disaster recovery, data archives, data lakes for analytics, and hybrid cloud storage. AWS launched Amazon S3 in the United States on March 14, 2006,[1][4] then in Europe in November 2007.[5]


Although Amazon Web Services (AWS) does not publicly provide the details of S3's technical design, Amazon S3 manages data with an object storage architecture[6] which aims to provide scalability, high availability, and low latency with 99.999999999% durability and between 99.95% to 99.99% availability (though there is no service-level agreement for durability).[3]

The basic storage units of Amazon S3 are objects which are organized into buckets. Each object is identified by a unique, user-assigned key.[7] Buckets can be managed using either the console provided by Amazon S3, programmatically using the AWS SDK, or with the Amazon S3 REST application programming interface (API). Objects can be managed using the AWS SDK or with the Amazon S3 REST API and can be up to five terabytes in size with two kilobytes of metadata.[8][9] Additionally, objects can be downloaded using the HTTP GET interface and the BitTorrent protocol.

Requests are authorized using an access control list associated with each object bucket and support versioning which is disabled by default.[10] Note that since buckets are typically the size of an entire file system mount in other systems, this access control scheme is very coarse-grained, i.e. you cannot have unique access controls associated with individual files. Bucket names and keys are chosen so that objects are addressable using HTTP URLs:

  • (for a bucket created in the US East (N. Virginia) region)
  • (for requests using IPv4 or IPv6)
  • (for requests using IPv4 or IPv6)
  • (if static website hosting is enabled on the bucket)
  • (if static website hosting is enabled on the bucket)
  • (where the filetransfer exits Amazons network at the last possible moment so as to give the fastest possible transfer speed and lowest latency)
  • (where bucket is a DNSCNAME record pointing to )

Amazon S3 can be used to replace significant existing (static) web-hosting infrastructure with HTTP client accessible objects.[11] The Amazon AWS authentication mechanism allows the bucket owner to create an authenticated URL which is valid for a specified amount of time.

Every item in a bucket can also be served as a BitTorrent feed. The Amazon S3 store can act as a seed host for a torrent and any BitTorrent client can retrieve the file. This can drastically reduce the bandwidth cost for the download of popular objects. While the use of BitTorrent does reduce bandwidth, AWS does not provide native bandwidth limiting and, as such, users have no access to automated cost control. This can lead to users on the free-tier of Amazon S3, or small hobby users, amassing dramatic bills. AWS representatives have stated that a bandwidth limiting feature was on the design table from 2006 to 2010,[12] but in 2011 the feature is no longer in development.[13]

A bucket can be configured to save HTTP log information to a sibling bucket; this can be used in data mining operations.[14]

There are various User Mode File System (FUSE)-based file systems for Unix-like operating systems (Linux, etc.) that can be used to mount an S3 bucket as a file system such as S3QL. The semantics of the Amazon S3 file system are not that of a POSIX file system, so the file system may not behave entirely as expected.[15]

Hosting websites[edit]

Amazon S3 provides the option to host static HTML websites with index document support and error document support.[16] Websites hosted on S3 may designate a default page to display and another page to display in the event of a partially invalid URL, such as a 404 error, which provide useful content to visitors of a URL containing a CNAME record hostname rather than a direct Amazon S3 bucket reference when the URL does not contain a valid S3 object key, such as when a casual user initially visits a URL that is a bare non-Amazon hostname.

Amazon S3 logs[edit]

Amazon S3 allows users to enable or disable logging. If enabled, the logs are stored in Amazon S3 buckets which can then be analyzed. These logs contain useful information such as:

Logs can be analyzed and managed using third-party tools like S3Stat, Cloudlytics, Qloudstat, AWStats, and Splunk.

Amazon S3 tools[edit]

Amazon S3 provides an API for developers.[17] The AWS console provides tools for managing and uploading files but it is not capable of managing large buckets or editing files.[18] Third-party websites like or software like Cloudberry Explorer, ForkLift and WebDrive have the capability to edit files on Amazon S3.[19]

Amazon S3 storage classes[edit]

Amazon S3 offers four different storage classes that offer different levels of durability, availability, and performance requirements.[20]

  • Amazon S3 Standard is the default class.
  • Amazon S3 Standard Infrequent Access (IA) is designed for less frequently accessed data. Typical use cases are backup and disaster recovery solutions.
  • Amazon S3 One Zone-Infrequent Access is designed for data that is not often needed but when required, needs to be accessed rapidly. Data is stored in one zone and if that zone is destroyed, all data is lost.
  • Amazon Glacier is designed for long-term storage of data that is infrequently accessed and where retrieval latency of minutes or hours is acceptable. "Glacier Deep Archive" is an alternative with a retrieval time of at least 12 hours, but 1/4th the price. It is intended as an alternative to magnetic tape libraries, and is designed for long term retention of data for 7 to 10 years.

Notable users[edit]

  • Photo hosting service SmugMug has used Amazon S3 since April 2006. They experienced a number of initial outages and slowdowns, but after one year they described it as being "considerably more reliable than our own internal storage" and claimed to have saved almost $1 million in storage costs.[21]
  • Netflix uses Amazon S3 as their system of record. Netflix implemented a tool, S3mper,[22] to address the Amazon S3 limitations of eventual consistency.[23] S3mper stores the filesystem metadata: filenames, directory structure, and permissions in Amazon DynamoDB.[24]
  • reddit is hosted on Amazon S3.[25]
  • Bitcasa,[26] and Tahoe-LAFS-on-S3,[27] among others, use Amazon S3 for online backup and synchronization services. In 2016, Dropbox stopped using Amazon S3 services and developed its own cloud server.[28][29]
  • Mojang hosts Minecraft game updates and player skins on Amazon S3.[30]
  • Tumblr, Formspring, and Pinterest host images on Amazon S3.
  • Swiftype's CEO has mentioned that the company uses Amazon S3.[31]
  • Amazon S3 was used by some enterprises as a long term archiving solution until Amazon Glacier was released in August 2012.[citation needed]
  • The API has become a popular method to store objects.[32] As a result, many applications have been built to natively support the Amazon S3 API[33] which includes applications that write data to Amazon S3 and Amazon S3-compatible object stores:[34]

S3 API and competing services[edit]

The broad adoption of Amazon S3 and related tooling has given rise to competing services based on the S3 API. These services use the standard programming interface; however, they are differentiated by their underlying technologies and supporting business models.[60] A cloud storage standard (like electrical and networking standards) enables competing service providers to design their services and clients using different parts in different ways yet still communicate and provide the following benefits:[61]

  1. Increase competition by providing a set of rules and a level playing field, encouraging market entry by smaller companies which might otherwise be precluded.
  2. Encourage innovation by cloud storage & tool vendors, & developers because they can focus on improving their own products and services instead of focusing on compatibility.
  3. Allow economies of scale in implementation (i.e., if a service provider encounters an outage or as clients outgrow their tools and need faster operating systems or tools, they can easily swap out solutions).
  4. Provide timely solutions for delivering functionality in response to demands of the marketplace (i.e., as business growth in new locations increases demand, clients can easily change or add service providers simply by subscribing to the new service).

Examples of competing Amazon S3-compliant storage implementations:


At AWS Summit 2013 NYC, CTO Werner Vogels announces 2 trillion objects stored in S3.

Amazon Web Services introduced AmazonS3 in 2006.[67][68]

Amazon S3 is reported to store more than 2 trillion objects as of April 2013[update].[69] This is up from 10 billion objects as of October 2007,[70] 14 billion objects in January 2008, 29 billion objects in October 2008,[71] 52 billion objects in March 2009,[72] 64 billion objects in August 2009,[73] and 102 billion objects in March 2010.[74]. In November 2017 AWS added default encryption capabilities at bucket level. [75]

See also[edit]



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