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Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, speaks with reporters after a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus and Biden administration officials to discuss the infrastructure bill June 15 at the U.S. Capitol.
J. Scott Applewhite / The Associated Press

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) thinks big tech has gotten a little too big. She’s proposing a bill that would break up tech monopolies, including the Big Four: Google, Facebook, Apple and Washington’s biggest employer, Amazon. If passed, the federal government would be able to sue and force the companies to sell off lines of business they determined were a conflict of interest. 

Amazon begins rollout of pay-by-palm at Whole Foods near Seattle HQ

Apr 21, 2021
Amazon said Wednesday, April 21, 2021 that it is rolling out its pay-by-palm technology to some Whole Foods supermarkets. The technology, called Amazon One, lets shoppers scan the palm of their hand and connect it to their credit card or Amazon account.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press file

Amazon is rolling out pay-by-palm technology at some Whole Foods grocery stores near its Seattle headquarters to make paying quicker and more convenient.

Amazon expands its Amazon Care telemedicine program nationwide

Mar 17, 2021
People wait in line near the Amazon Spheres as they wait to check in to receive the first of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 at a one-day vaccination clinic set up in an Amazon facility in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press

Amazon is making its first foray into providing health care services, announcing Wednesday that it will be offering its Amazon Care telemedicine program to employers nationwide.

Airlift Northwest flight nurse Mikaela Hagberg looks on as she receives one of the first COVID-19 vaccinations at UW Medicine on Dec. 15, 2020, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

On the anniversary of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the United States, Amazon said Thursday it will host a one-day vaccination drive in Seattle this weekend to inoculate as many as 2,000 people.

Aaron Yoo / Flickr

Amazon said it’s donating 8,200 laptops to students in the Seattle school district to help close the technology gap that’s made it difficult for some students to continue their learning while schools are shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The donation is valued at about $2 million. The machines will be given to students to keep, and the school district said it’s prioritizing giving them to elementary students who lack access to a device at home.

In this Dec. 5, 2018, photo a box is scanned and weighed before at the Amazon fulfillment center on Staten Island borough of New York. Amazon reports financial results Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.
Mary Altaffer / The Associated Press

On June 12, 2018, the city council in Bessemer, Alabama, voted to approve its share of $51 million in incentives for Amazon. The company is locating a fulfillment center in the city of about 28,000 people.

On that same day, the Seattle City Council was voting to repeal what came to be known as the "head tax," a per-employee levy on large companies that Amazon fiercely opposed.

Amazon spheres
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

Amazon's plans to relocate one of its critical teams to Bellevue have prompted questions about the company's relationship with Seattle.

A former dock facility is shown in Queens, N.Y., late last year. Amazon announced Thursday that it no longer plans to build a new headquarters in Long Island City.
Bebeto Matthews / The Associated Press

Amazon abruptly changed course on Thursday, axing its planned headquarters project in New York in the face of ongoing backlash. The change comes after politicians and others objected to nearly $3 billion in tax incentives promised by the Seattle-based technology company. The expansion was expected to bring 25,000 jobs to the city. 

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Amazon will pay all of its U.S. employees a minimum of $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The retail giant, run by the world's richest man, was criticized earlier this year after revealing its workers' median pay was $28,446.

Amazon says the new rate will go into effect on Nov. 1, covering all of its full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees in the U.S.

Amazon's stock value briefly topped $1 trillion on Tuesday, a little over a month after Apple crossed the same milestone.

The tech and retail behemoth, founded as an online bookstore by CEO Jeff Bezos in 1994, has been consistently profitable only since 2015. In fact, Amazon profits have averaged $2 billion in each of the first two quarters of this year.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Amazon’s cloud based real time facial recognition product, called Rekognition, has come under fire from civil liberties groups. They’re petitioning the company to stop selling it to police departments and other government entities.  Some shareholders have are also signed a letter to the company expressing concern.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

In a dramatic reversal, the Seattle City Council voted 7-2 Tuesday to repeal a "head tax" on businesses that it unanimously passed less than a month earlier after pressure from companies like Amazon and Starbucks and a mounting referendum campaign.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

In a major reversal, the Seattle City Council is expected to vote Tuesday to repeal a controversial business “head tax” it approved less than a month ago.

On a cold December night last year, a meeting was called in the lobby of my apartment building. Concerned residents gathered to discuss a matter of great import: what to do about the swarms of packages jamming the lobby closet and overflowing into the entryway.

Unclaimed boxes were an eyesore and a nuisance. Finding the right package was starting to require gymnastic ability. And the boxes kept coming, by the dozens, maybe hundreds. Most of them were from Amazon: brown, with a smile on the side.

Will James / KNKX

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said the City Council's proposal to tax businesses, in its current form, does not meet her "requirements."

Durkan has the power to veto the hotly-debated "head tax," though she has not said whether she would do so.

The tax would charge Seattle's largest companies $500 per employee to fund solutions to the city's housing crisis. It's estimated to raise $75 million per year.

In a statement, she indicated she wants changes to the current legislation. She raised questions about the size of the tax and how long it should last.

Amazon spheres
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

Amazon is pausing development on two buildings in downtown Seattle as the City Council considers a "head tax" on large businesses.

Amazon really wants to come over to your house. Or at least make it to the front door.

The Seattle-based tech giant announced Tuesday it's made another move into the home security and surveillance business, acquiring Ring, a smart-doorbell maker that streams audio and video to cellphones.

Neither company has released details about the deal but Reuters reported that it cost over $1 billion.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The three large glass domes at the heart of Amazon's downtown Seattle headquarters officially opened Monday. The spheres function as both another workspace for Amazon employees and an indoor rainforest.

Updated at 11:17 a.m. ET

Health care costs are "a hungry tapeworm on the American economy," Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO Warren Buffett says, and now his firm is teaming up with Amazon and JPMorgan Chase to create a new company with the goal of providing high-quality health care for their U.S. employees at a lower cost.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Amazon Go opened to the public Monday. The downtown Seattle convenience store uses cameras and sensors to track shoppers' purchases, eliminating the need for cashiers and check-out lines.

Amazon on Monday will open its automated grocery in Seattle to the public, replacing cashiers with a smartphone app and hundreds of small cameras that track purchases.

For the past year, the 1,800-square foot mini-mart has been open to the company's employees.

There is no waiting in line for check out at Amazon Go, as the store is called — instead, its computerized system charges customers' Amazon account as they exit the store.

A team from the University of Washington has won a major award for artificial intelligence: the inaugural Alexa Prize from Amazon.

The $500,000 award was announced today at Amazon’s AWS re:Invent 2017 conference in Las Vegas.

Northwest Group Sends Relief To Puerto Rico Using Amazon Wish Lists

Oct 25, 2017
Two men push a generator down the street in Puerto Rico, a month after Hurricane Maria.
Carlos Giusti / AP

Shortly after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Laura Cancel found herself at a volunteer meeting at Amazon, where she works in the regulatory and litigation department.

Everyone at the meeting was trying to figure out how to send supplies to people on the island. When someone mentioned she had used Amazon’s wish list feature to keep track of items her family needed, Cancel had an idea.

For years, Amazon has been testing the limits of online deliveries — expanding the number of things you can order at the click of a button (sometimes literally), pushing shipments to arrive faster, toying with delivery by drones.

Will James / KNKX

Why would Amazon build its second headquarters just 30 miles from its first headquarters in Seattle? 

If you ask leaders in Tacoma, it's because their city has everything the retail giant loves about the Pacific Northwest, plus plenty of room to grow. 

There's one week left for North American cities to assemble their bids to lure one of the biggest economic prizes in years, the second Amazon headquarters. At least half a dozen Pacific Northwest places plan to submit proposals.

The Overcast: Amazon's HQ2 News Ripples Through Hometown

Sep 15, 2017
Amazon spheres
Elaine Thompson / The Associated Press

The news that Seattle-based Amazon wants to build what it calls an "equal" second headquarters somewhere else in North America sent shocks through the local political and business communities.

Amazon made the sort of announcement Thursday morning that mayors dream about.

The tech juggernaut said it was looking for the right city in which to build its "HQ2": a second headquarters in North America, equal to its campus in Seattle. And it's going to make that selection process a public one, akin to how cities bid to host an Olympic Games.

Amazon is cutting the prices of bananas, butter, organic eggs, and other best-selling staples at Whole Foods' 470 stores, promising customers lower costs and targeting the grocer's "Whole Paycheck" nickname. The online giant also says its Amazon Prime members will get special prices and perks.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods is another step closer to reality, after the Federal Trade Commission decided the grocery deal would not hamper competition or provide an unfair advantage.

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