Amazon.com, Inc. (/ˈæməzɒn/), is an American multinational technology company based in Seattle, Washington that focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming and artificial intelligence. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies along with Google, Apple and Facebook.
Amazon is known for its ability to disrupt well-established industries through technological innovation and mass scale. It is the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace, AI assistant provider, and cloud computing platform as measured by revenue and market capitalization. Amazon is the largest Internet company by revenue in the world. It is the second largest employer in the United States and one of the world’s most valuable companies. Amazon is the second largest technology company by revenue.
Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994 in Bellevue, Washington. The company initially started as an online marketplace for books but later expanded to sell electronics, software, video games, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization. In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion, which vastly increased Amazon’s presence as a brick-and-mortar retailer. In 2018, Bezos announced that its two-day delivery service, Amazon Prime, had surpassed 100 million subscribers worldwide.
Amazon distributes downloads and streaming of video, music, audiobook through its Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, and Audible subsidiaries. Amazon also has a publishing arm, Amazon Publishing, a film and television studio, Amazon Studios and a cloud computing subsidiary, Amazon Web Services. It produces consumer electronics including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Echo devices. In addition, Amazon subsidiaries also include Ring, Twitch.tv, Whole Foods Market, and iMDb. Among various controversies, the company has been criticised for poor working conditions, tax avoidance, and anti-competitive practices.