Thu, Apr. 2, 5:57 PM
- Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) clashed with book publisher Hachette in a lengthy skirmish last year over e-book pricing, and now with its own contract lapsing, HarperCollins (NASDAQ:NWSA) seems ready to try wrestling with the retail giant.
- Amazon says it's offering HarperCollins the same deal that Hachette, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan recently agreed to. But HarperCollins has its own online sales operations, after a move last summer to sell most of its inventory on its site, as well as deals with Amazon e-publishing competitors.
- In the publishing clashes, Jeff Bezos has maintained e-books are too expensive; a way out in this negotiation (and considering Amazon's size, some kind of resolution seems likely) may come if Amazon agrees to loosen its tight grip on customer data.
Tue, Mar. 31, 3:16 AM
- Swiss luxury group Richemont (OTCPK:CFRUY) says it will merge its Net-a-Porter unit with Italian fashion site Yoox (OTCPK:YXOXY) in an all-share deal aimed at gaining a larger share of the fast-growing online luxury market.
- A report last week suggested that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) was in talks to buy the online luxury retailer.
- Richemont said it will receive 50% of the combined entity, but its voting rights will be limited to 25% to preserve the unit's independence.
- Yoox shares are up 7.1% in Italy.
Tue, Mar. 31, 2:22 AM
- Looking to lift off its drone program, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has hired the former number-two executive at the Air Line Pilots Association.
- Sean Cassidy, an Alaska Air pilot and former member of a TSA aviation-security advisory committee, will oversee "partner relationships" at Amazon's Prime Air program, which intends to use drones to make unmanned deliveries within about 10 miles of a warehouse.
- Previously: FAA gives go-ahead for Amazon drone tests (Mar. 20 2015)
Mon, Mar. 30, 12:07 PM
- Four months after the company started promoting local services to its customers, Amazon (AMZN +0.8%) has launched a Home Services site with the help of partners such as TaskRabbit, Pep Boys, and TakeLesons. Market leader Angie's List (ANGI -4.6%) isn't reacting well to the news.
- Amazon exec Peter Faricy: "We have 85 million Amazon customers who have shopped for products this past year that often require a service afterwards." 700 services are initially supported; much like Angie's List, Amazon argues it helps connect consumers with trustworthy businesses. Only 3 out of every 100 professionals in each metro are said to be accepted, with Amazon making sure each business is licensed, insured, and passes a background check.
- The e-commerce giant also claims it only takes 60 seconds for a customer to buy a service. Faricy: "We have standardized and prepackaged all of our service offerings. So you know exactly what is going to be done and how much it’s going to cost you, up front, no surprises."
- 41 states are currently supported; Amazon wants to provide strong coverage across the 30 biggest U.S. metro areas. The Verge notes a beta version of Amazon's site suggests the company is taking a 20% cut on standard services, 15% on custom services, and 10% on recurring services.
Fri, Mar. 27, 1:49 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is in talks to buy online luxury retailer Net-a-Porter in what could be the biggest acquisition yet for the e-commerce giant, Women's Wear Daily reports.
- Amazon has long coveted the high-end fashion retail sector and any deal for Net-a-Porter, which is owned by Swiss firm Compagnie Financire Richemont (OTCPK:CFRUY), could come with an approximate €2B price tag.
Thu, Mar. 26, 7:01 AM
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) announces the expansion of Prime Now to the Dallas area.
- The company says Prime customers in the city will now have the option to receive one-hour delivery on thousands of items.
- The service runs from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and costs $7.99 for the 60-minute delivery option.
- Prime Now rolled out in Manhattan last December.
Tue, Mar. 24, 9:35 AM
- Fresh & Easy is closing stores in advance of launching a fresh-food convenience store chain.
- 30 stores in California by F&E will be shuttered as part of the initiative.
- Though details on the new C-store venture are scant, Apple store designer ADMI is reportedly working on the project.
- Fresh & Easy is owned by P-E firm Yucaipa which bought the chain from Tesco after it bled money under the direction of the British retail giant.
- Fresh & Easy has rebranded some stores in the U.S. under the Wild Oats banner and has been mentioned as an IPO candidate.
- The success of the new C-store fresh food chain will be closely watched by a large number of retail and grocery companies which could partner, mimic, or ignore the concept.
- Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM), Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM), Kroger (NYSE:KR), The Fresh Market (NASDAQ:TFM), Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NYSE:NGVC), and Fairway Group (NASDAQ:FWM) all have some skin in the game.
- There's also Target (NYSE:TGT), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), and Costco (NASDAQ:COST) which are stressing both "fresh" and "easy" with their grocery strategy.
- AmazonFresh (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Instacart are also looking to captivate fresh food buyers with their models.
Tue, Mar. 24, 2:55 AM
- Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) Twitch unit has announced that its website for streaming videogame play was likely hacked, and users' account and personal information may have been compromised.
- As a result of the breach, the company said it expired passwords and stream keys, and disconnected accounts from Twitter and YouTube.
- Twitch, which has about 100M viewers on average per month, was bought by Amazon last year for $970M .
Fri, Mar. 20, 2:15 AM
- The FAA has granted Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) approval to test a delivery drone outdoors, allowing test flights over private, rural land in Washington state.
- The company also received an exemption from certain flight restrictions, but must keep flights below 400 feet and the drone in sight.
- Amazon's "Prime Air" program looks like it now has the opportunity to get off the ground, after being jeopardized in February under the FAA's commercial drone rules.
Thu, Mar. 19, 6:20 AM
- Feeling pressure from Shopify and Bigcommerce, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is shuttering its Webstore business, Re/code reports, giving its Webstore customers more than a year to find a new vendor before it kills off the service.
- The e-commerce business helps small and midsize retailers gain a competitive edge and create and run their own online shops.
Sat, Mar. 14, 8:00 AM
- Sony Pictures Television (NYSE:SNE) is within a few weeks of a deal to sell the episode library of hit '90s sitcom Seinfeld to a video streaming service: Hulu (CMCSA, DIS, FOXA), Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), or Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), and thus maybe to a whole new generation of viewers.
- Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) won't be among them, though, as it's passing -- which gives competitors a chance to nab a TV crown jewel and make up some ground in a content-acquisition arms race.
- Seinfeld -- a show that has generated more than $2.7B in syndication sales alone -- has 180 episodes, each of which should draw well over $500K in what should be a long multi-year agreement.
- While Sony has distribution rights and is making the deal, most of the revenue would likely go to Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), owner of Seinfeld producer Castle Rock Entertainment.
- Previously: Now a friendly deal between Time Warner and Netflix (Oct. 15 2014)
- Previously: CBS next to join Sony's online TV service (Nov. 06 2014)
- Previously: Bernstein: Amazon spending $2.5B+ on content next year (Oct. 13 2014)
Fri, Mar. 13, 1:04 PM
- Microsoft (MSFT -0.1%) has "generated $1 billion in total worldwide revenue from Azure since 2011," BI's Julie Bort reports after talking with sources. Bloomberg reported in 2013 Microsoft had produced $1B in Azure-related revenue; however, that figure also included software purchases tied to deployments of the cloud infrastructure/app development (IaaS/PaaS) platform.
- Bort adds over 3K companies have added Azure to their existing enterprise contracts, and that many of them "are not using Azure at all, or have dabbled with it and then ignored it." Salespeople have reportedly been pressured to boost Azure sales, and have "sold Azure by discounting other software and adding the money saved on that software back into the contract as credits to try Azure."
- Microsoft hasn't broken out Azure revenue by itself; it's only reported as part of a Commercial Cloud segment that also includes commercial Office 365 and cloud Dynamics app sales.
- BI's figure suggests Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ:AMZN) still has a sizable revenue lead over Azure. Amazon's "Other" revenue, which is dominated by AWS, totaled $5.6B in 2014 (+42% Y/Y). Synergy Research estimates Amazon had a 30% Q4 IaaS/PaaS revenue share on the back of 51% Y/Y growth, and Microsoft a 10% share (#2 overall) with 96% growth.
- GeekWire reports (citing a memo from Satya Nadella) Microsoft is moving its MSN online services group from its apps/services division (run by Qi Lu) to its OS division (run by Terry Myerson). The shakeup could yield efforts to more tightly integrate MSN's services with Windows.
- Reuters reports Microsoft is prepping a more advanced version of Cortana called Einstein that will ship with Windows 10, and also be available via standalone iOS and Android apps. Like Google Now, the new version of Cortana will read/analyze e-mail to push location and time-sensitive info to users.
Thu, Mar. 12, 6:02 PM
- 2lemetry's cloud-based platform serves as middleware for large networks of Web-connected embedded devices - the proverbial Internet of Things (IoT). It translates the various protocols used by connected devices, sets messaging rules, and analyzes the data traffic it handles to derive insights.
- The startup boasts its solution can work with any protocol or hardware platform, automatically add new devices as they join a network, and scale to millions of devices without hurting performance. Honeywell is among the company's enterprise clients.
- Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has bought 2lemetry for an undisclosed sum, and says it will continue supporting the company's clients. 2lemetry's services appear to complement AWS' Kinesis service, which provides real-time processing for massive data streams, including for data produced by IoT devices and sensors.
- TechCrunch notes 2lemetry's Incoming service might particularly interest Amazon - it helps companies (such as retailers) interact with customers using data obtained via proximity beacons, geofencing, facial recognition, and other sources.
- Though better known for their machine-to-machine (M2M) communications hardware, Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ:SWIR) and CalAmp (NASDAQ:CAMP) are two companies that have been going after the budding IoT service market. Sierra recently bought M2M connectivity/messaging service provider Wireless Maingate, and CalAmp has launched its Connect service platform for deploying and managing M2M devices.
Wed, Mar. 11, 10:29 PM
- About two in five households now subscribe to some kind of video streaming, according to Nielsen, shedding some light on an area that the streaming companies haven't really been illuminating.
- Aside from subscriber numbers that the companies report, the new research is focused on penetration. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) was top-ranked, with 36% of households subscribing in November.
- Amazon Prime (NASDAQ:AMZN) was next (13% of households), followed by Hulu Plus (CMCSA, FOXA, DIS) with 6.5%.
- Streaming-subscriber households are spending more screen time than nonsubscribers: 2 hours, 45 minutes a day, vs. 1:57.
- Reactions are mixed as to what that means for cord-cutting: "People who like TV, love TV," says Pivotal Research's Brian Wieser, arguing that Netflix subscribers aren't necessarily abandoning pay TV.
- While a third of households have just one service, only 10% have two and just 2.6% subscribe to three; those numbers correlate heavily with income.
- Time-shifting, however, is way up, especially among younger audiences. Live watching is down among adults to 4 hours, 51 minutes a day, down 13 minutes from the prior year.
Tue, Mar. 10, 12:51 PM
- ChannelAdvisor (ECOM -3.6%) clients saw their Amazon (AMZN -2.1%) same-store sales rise 22.7% Y/Y in February. That's down from January 27%, and also below the growth seen during 9 of the prior 10 months (December being the exception). Growth peaked at 45.1% in August.
- 38% of tracked Amazon sales relied on Amazon's fulfillment services (FBA), up from 32.2% a year earlier. 2.3% of sales relying on FBA involved non-Amazon transactions. Amazon stated in its Q4 report 3rd-party sellers using FBA grew 65% in 2014, and made up over 40% of Q4 3rd-party units.
- eBay (EBAY -2.5%) continues to lose share: Its ChannelAdvisor same-store sales grew 5.1% in February, down from January's 6.8% and below total U.S. e-commerce growth of 15% (per comScore) - auctions -26.2%, fixed-pride +8.6%, Motors +25.2%. eBay is coming off a Q4 in which its Marketplaces GMV only rose 2% Y/Y (3% U.S. growth, 1% international).
- Search ad-based same-store sales (largely involving Google ads) rose 10.7%, with rising clicks and orders offsetting declining ad prices. Google Shopping-related (NASDAQ:GOOG) same-store sales grew 20.7%.
- Amazon and eBay are both underperforming on a down day for equities. Amazon's volume has been below-average, and eBay's above-average.
Mon, Mar. 9, 9:20 AM
- "Critically, we think that the stock currently trades at 70x [forward] Adjusted [free cash flow], when adjusting for capital leases vs 40% growth," writes SunTrust's Bob Peck, downgrading Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) to Neutral. "Hence, we think the near term upside has been captured."
- Peck observes Amazon is up 25% since its market-pleasing Q4 report, and has topped his $370 target along the way. He remains positive on the e-commerce giant's long-term prospects, and also likes its plans to begin breaking out AWS revenue in Q1.
- AMZN -0.5% premarket. SunTrust upgraded Amazon to Buy back in April 2012, when shares were only at $227. In January, Peck praised Amazon's Q4 margin gains.
Amazon.com Inc is an online retailer. The Company sells its products through the website which provides services, such as advertising services and co-branded credit card agreements. It also offers electronic devices like Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets.
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