The, Inc. ( German pronunciation [ amaʦo ː n] or English [ æməzən ] ) is a listed American online retailer with a wide range of products. According to the company, Amazon has as the leader of the trade on the Internet the world's biggest selection of books, CDs and videos. The integrated sales platforms "Marketplace" and "z - shops " can also be private individuals or other companies offering new and used products in the context of online commerce. Under its own brand in addition to the Amazon Kindle as a reader for electronic books and the Amazon Kindle Fire, a tablet computer marketed.

  • 7.1 Criticism of working conditions
  • 7.2 strikes in December 2013

History, Inc. was founded by computer scientist Jeff Bezos. The idea of an electronic book business was established together with the investor David E. Shaw, as Bezos worked in the finance company DE Shaw & Co.. In 1994, he left it in order to further develop the idea alone can, and founded in the same year the parent company, the US-based parent company, in the State of Washington as an online bookstore ( " online bookstore "). In July 1995, the Company sold on its website in his first book: Douglas R. Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies work: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. To this end, he invited 300 friends to test his creation. In the first four weeks, the company books sent to customers in all 50 U.S. states and in over 45 other countries, in the second month of weekly sales already exceeded $ 20,000. In October 1995, the platform opened with the URL " " the general public. In 1996 the company achieved a turnover of 15.7 million U.S. dollars and it increased it in 1997 to 147.8 million.

The year 1998 was marked by the establishment of the first international websites. With the acquisition of the company Tele Facebook Inc. - In April 1998, the owners sold the parent company ABC Book Service GmbH, the leading german Internet mail order booksellers and online pioneer, to Amazon for a double-digit millions - Amazon entered the German market. At that time offices in Spain, the USA and Namibia. In Germany, the company was the market leader in online bookselling. On 15 October 1998, the " " has been renamed to " ".

Since 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS ) developed infrastructure services initially for other companies. From the year 2012, these services were offered by the technology of cloud computing to private users. In July 2009, Amazon took over for around $ 850 million online shoe store Zappos. Amazon announced that it would pay the purchase price in its own shares worth $ 807 million, in addition to $ 40 million in cash for the Zappos employees.

2011 took over the Amazon online bookseller The Book Depository Ltd. and thus the largest competitor within Grossbritanniens.Amazon operates alongside corresponding offers on its own platform by AbeBooks on the used book market. AbeBooks was acquired by Amazon in 2008. AbeBooks took over in 2011 also the Central Directory of Antiquarian Books ( U.S. MORE ). This is complemented by the acquired in 2005 predecessor companies of the Online Publishers, which is based in North Charleston (USA) since 2009 as " Independent Publishing Platform" the self- publishing of books in print and e-book editions as well as data sources for music and filming offers. Since May 2011 is a subsidiary of Amazon online. Javari is a premium supplier of shoes, handbags and accessories.

In March 2012, took over Amazon Kiva Systems, a provider of warehouse automation, for 775 million U.S. dollars. In August 2012, it was announced that Amazon under the name Amazon Game Studio, a company founded, whose purpose is the development and marketing of browser games. At the same time already the first game with the name Living Classics was released on Facebook. Users need to track down this many moving objects in animated landscapes, which in turn are designed in the style of a cartoon. In the spring of 2013 also the online book club GoodReads was acquired for 150 million U.S. dollars.

On December 2, 2013 Jeff Bezos announced in a CBS interview as a kind of marketing gimmick known that Amazon Prime Air plane under the label of the delivery of orders with rotor drones. The measures provided for drones possessed consequently eight small rotors and could carry a payload of up to 2.5 kg. The range of cheating 16 km. According to experts, but this was neither technically nor legally feasible according to the current state. In Germany, the use of civilian drones out of sight of the pilot under current law is not possible.


The German -language website is Amazon EU Sa rl operated in Luxembourg. The development section of a site in Munich was closed in mid-2004 and released a majority of the employees. Country-specific adjustments now take the British subsidiary in Slough directly or in Seattle. Managing Amazon Germany since 2002 Master of Business Administration Ralf Kleber, which is in the business since 1999.

Germany is the most important foreign market for Amazon: The proceeds of the business in Germany, Amazon ( ) amounted in 2012 to $ 8.7 billion (equivalent to 6.5 billion euros ). That was 21 percent more than in 2011 ( $ 7.2 billion ), and even 65 percent more than in 2010 (5.3 billion). Germany was thus 2012 for 14 percent of total sales from Amazon, which stood at $ 61.1 billion. Terms of total turnover of the German online trading in 2012, which was after the Federal Association of German Mail Order Traders at 27.5 billion euros, according to figures from the retail association at 29.5 billion euros, Amazon achieved a good fifth or even almost a quarter of total German online retail sales.

In Germany, Amazon maintains the following locations:

  • Central Amazon Germany in Munich- Schwabing (since 2010)
  • Customer service centers in Regensburg (since 1998 ) and Berlin (since July 2011)
  • Dispatch center in Graben ( MUC3, since September 2011), Bad Hersfeld ( opens FRA1 2001, as supplemented FRA3 2009), Leipzig ( LEJ1, since August 2006), Rheinberg ( DUS2, since the 3rd quarter of 2011), Werne ( House 1: EDE4, since September 2010, House 2: EDE5 from the end of 2013 ), Koblenz ( CGN1, since September 2012) and Pforzheim (STR1, since fall 2012), Brieselang ( BER3, since October 2013 )
  • Software development centers in Dresden and Berlin (since May 2013)

Tax avoidance by shifting profits to tax havens

With the Double Irish Dutch Sandwich With a principle Amazon largely avoids domestic income tax payments and forward its German corporate profits to low-tax country to Luxembourg. To this end the Group in 2003 and 2004 founded the Amazon Services Europe SARL, the Amazon Europe Holding Technologies SCS and the Amazon EU S.à.rl with current headquarters in Luxembourg. About the time he managed to Amazon, there to save about two billion dollars tax-free. Pre-tax profit in Germany amounted to 2012, according to press reports, only 10.2 million euros and 3.2 million euros taxes. The Luxembourg-based Amazon Europe Holding Technologies reported, however, in 2012 a profit of 118 million euros, but paid for the Luxembourg tax laws, there are no taxes.

Dishonest behavior in competition: Amazon's " price parity clause " for dealers

Amazon forced dealers who wanted to sell their products through Amazon, to accept a clause that they would offer their products anywhere cheaper than Amazon. Herein saw German supervisory authorities with an illegal obstruction of competition. Amazon introduced after it was able to benefit more than three years of this illegal behavior and this practice significantly the reputation of Amazon based to be effective, this practice on to get an antitrust action before.

Austria and Switzerland

Amazon customers to Austria ( ) and Amazon Switzerland ( ) use the services of Amazon Germany ( GmbH ), but with localized content and services are suited. Amazon takes on these markets an important position.

International presence with locations

The Group headquarters is Seattle, Washington State, the European headquarters and headquarters is located in Luxembourg.

Since 2005, Amazon has a software development center in Iasi (Romania ), in July 2011, Amazon opened a Seller Support Centre in Bratislava (Slovakia).

In the fall of 2013 it was announced that three new Amazon shipping center plans in Poland - one near Poznań ( Posen), the other two at ‪ Wrocław (Breslau). Furthermore, two distribution centers in the Czech Republic should arise, one in Brno (Brno ), the other near the Prague Airport. In March 2014 it was announced that the construction of the logistics center in Brno might well be failed because of the vote of the Town Council, the opponents of the project argued with an expected high exposure to truck traffic.

Offered services

Amazon in addition to its main business, classic book sale, a number of other services such as online video LOVEFiLM, the audiobook provider Audible, the analysis tool Alexa Internet and the movie database IMDb. In addition, Amazon developed its own search algorithm called A9, which is used for the search feature on Amazon.

In addition, Amazon also offers auctions and private or commercial sale of used or new goods. These deals on Amazon are listed as alternatives to the "official" Amazon product (Amazon Marketplace) and generate the lion's share of the operating result. Per item sold Amazon retains a commission of 15 percent of the sale price (plus VAT ) plus 1.14 Euros one and a dependent of the product group and the buyer country shipping transaction fee for books to Germany, for example, 1,16 € plus VAT This fee is of Amazon also in the case charged if the items sold privately ( and ships ) is. The buyer pays a flat rate in Germany for used books 3 euros, so shipping costs and commission are covered, even if the individual item costs only 0.01 euros. In addition, there are other ways for suppliers of items. Amazon Advantage gives companies and individuals the opportunity to offer their products on the Amazon product catalog. The shipping does the Amazon Logistik GmbH on demand ( "on demand "). Unlike Amazon Marketplace (where the Seller organizes shipping and logistics) takes Amazon from seller Articles in Commission and stores them in the logistics center. The items are made ​​in the "normal " Amazon catalog, that is, not about the other available platforms such as shops, auctions or the Marketplace. sells since April 2004 its own products under various brands such as Strathwood in garden furniture, Pinzon for the living area, Pike Street as a cheap brand and Denali for tools. Popular Amazon was, inter alia, through the use of recommendation engines ("Customers who have bought product A / wanted, also bought B " ).

Since 2005, offers a DVD rental LOVEFiLM. As of mid- September 2006 it launched the sale of G -18 DVDs; a rental of adult titles did not plan the mail-order first. 2008 Amazon transferred this business to LOVEFiLM (proper spelling LOVEFiLM ). In January 2011 it was announced that Amazon LOVEFiLM completely take over. In March 2013 it was reported that Amazon wants to produce his own television series, which will exclusively be sold on its own streaming offerings .. the complete LOVEFiLM offer was in February 2014 implemented in the Amazon platform. The streaming offering since called Amazon Instant Video.

In 2005, Amazon digital book printer BookSurge and thus rose into the print-on -demand business. also operates retail portals for companies and organizations such as Target, the NBA, Sears Canada, Bebe Stores, Timex, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, and Lacoste. Since 2 November 2005, as part of the Amazon Web Services released the beta version of the new Internet service, Amazon Mechanical Turk, an online marketplace for simple work on the Internet.

On the American Amazon site you can set up fundraising pages by using the "Amazon Honor System", is where paid directly by the website 's checkout process. Amazon reserves transaction fees per transaction. It is planned to offer this service in other countries.

Beginning of August 2007 Amazon launched a beta version of the online payment function Flexible Payments Service (FPS ). About an Affiliate Program Amazon in the U.S., which has, however, never applied patent rights, a website owner can place links to Amazon, which are traceable and obtain completion of a sale commission. In addition to the Affiliate Program, Amazon since the summer of 2002 to access its product database on the Amazon Web Service, a web service to. Since 2007 it is possible for website operators to create their own Amazon Store. Behind "Amazon astore " stands for a new partner program with which website owners can get the Amazon store, with selected products or entire product categories directly on their website.

In September 2007, Amazon launched in the U.S. with the public beta phase of the music download store AmazonMP3 and thereby entered into the competition of online music services. The more than two million titles from more than 180,000 performers of partner EMI, Universal and many independent labels are DRM - free / available in MP3 format at 256 kbit s. With the lack of a copy-protected MP3 files can be played on virtually any digital music players and burned to CD without restriction. Selected songs contain digital watermarks that identify the files as Amazon Music. The single title cost 89-99 U.S. cents, albums 5.99 to 9.99 U.S. dollars. In April 2009, the MP3 download service launched in Germany. The service offers some of the properties for sale on Amazon CDs as MP3 digital downloads to a partially lower price. Since April 17, 2012 Users can download on, video games and software in Germany. Launched in the USA in March 2011 Amazon Appstore since August 31, 2012 also available in Europe.

Since November 2007, is also available in Germany the Amazon Prime service, in which, after payment of an annual membership fee (29 euros in Germany, in the United States since 2005 79 U.S. dollars) at no additional cost a lot of orders the next day - or be delivered - even faster with vergünstigtem Express Shipping. According to research by analyst Morningstar Amazon had in early 2013 in the U.S. alone around 10 million Prime customers, which together generated about a third of its operating profit.

Since July 1, 2010 you can order on also food. So far, the United only in the United States and in the UK was possible.

Amazon Payments (also called " Checkout by Amazon ", engl. " Checkout by Amazon" ) is a service that allows Amazon customers accounts may also be used at online stores that do not belong to Amazon, without the payment information required to be disclosed. The service, which is available at the first German dealers since April 27, 2011, is free for customers, while traders have to pay a fee per transaction.

On February 26, 2014 went by the name Amazon Instant Video, a video-on- demand service online, which includes the offer from LOVEFiLM. The LOVEFiLM brand was dissolved in this course. The ability to rent movies and series, it is with the offer " Lovefilm DVD rental " under Amazon Instant Video for 7.99 Euros per month continued. The Prime range has been expanded function to the Amazon Prime Instant Video. Same time, the annual fee was increased by 20 €. A prime use of the existing manner is not possible.

Technologies and Patents

In September 1997, the " 1-Click " was introduced function. With it's based on cookie technology, the operation of the order with only one click possible. On 28 September 1999 Amazon this function in the United States was patented (U.S. Patent No. 5,960,411 ). Amazon sued in the U.S. successfully other companies on their websites also products could be ordered with just one click, although cookies were originally developed by the company Netscape and it is a so-called trivial patents in the One-Click technology according to popular opinion. In Germany such patenting is not permitted.

A further patent granted to the Company on a user review system, to be published in the purchase and usage experience of the products purchased by customers for customers. Furthermore, the online bookseller has patented a rating system that allows the customer to evaluate a mouse click reviews on their quality.

Controversy about working conditions and collective bargaining coverage

Criticism of working conditions

Amazon Germany was repeated because of the working conditions in the German mail- centers in the media. Similar criticism piles up even more than other language offshoot of the trading company, such as A report of the British BBC revealed extremely hard mentally and physically sickening working conditions in an Amazon fulfillment warehouse in Swansea.

In addition, the collective bargaining coverage is disputed. Amazon is based on the collective agreement of the logistics industry. The services union Verdi calls for higher wages and tariff schemes, which are common in the retail and mail order.

Strikes in December 2013

Shortly before Christmas 2013 called Verdi its members in the cities of Leipzig, digging and Bad Hersfeld warning strikes under the motto " Work hard, have fun, make collective agreement " on. Verdi demanded a payment at the rates of mail, such as Neckermann and Otto usual. Verdi said that the tariff for the bulk of the stock - work in the shipping trade between € 11.47 and € 11.94 ( starting salary ) and lay on Amazon at € 9.65 to € 11.12. One day before Christmas 2013 " dismissed " Amazon, according to the trade union Verdi on opened only in November Location Brieselang over 600 temporary employees. Amazon Germany declared that it was to avoid leakage of temporary contracts at year-end in conjunction with the contractually agreed dismantling of vacation and overtime. The non-renewal had already been made ​​clear in the contract. For (nationwide) around 1,400 employees, the contracts would be extended for at least a year, some would get permanent positions available. After criticism because of the high number of temporary employment Amazon Germany Germany had far for the Christmas Season 2013 about 14,000 employees directly employed and temporary.

End of December 2013 was one of 1018 staff at the sites of Leipzig and Bad Hersfeld signed petition published in which the signatories " of the current targets, arguments and statements (...) Verdi [s ] " distanced. The staff stressed that awakened by the union " negative public image " persecute " to the private life". Verdi's representations correspond to " not reality and not our daily working life " .. Verdi described the action as dubious signatures had been made under pressure or under the supervision of the management and some of the signatures came from now no more in Amazon employed seasonal workers.