Timeline of Amazon.com

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This is a timeline of Amazon.com, American electronic commerce and cloud computing company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington.


Time period Key developments at Amazon
1994–1998 Amazon starts off as an online bookstore selling books, primarily competing with local booksellers and Barnes & Noble. It IPOs in 1997.
1998–2004 Amazon starts to expand its services beyond books. It also starts offering convenience services, such as Free Super Savers Shipping.
2005–2011 Amazon moves into the cloud computing area with Amazon AWS, as well as the crowdsourcing area with Amazon Mechanical Turk. By being an early player, it eventually dominates the cloud computing scene, allowing it to control much of the physical infrastructure of the Internet.[1] Amazon also offers the Amazon Kindle for people to purchase their books as eBooks, and by 2010, more people buy ebooks than physical books off of Amazon.
2011–2015 Amazon starts offering streaming services like Amazon Music and Amazon Video. By 2015, its market capitalization surpasses that of Walmart.

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
1994 July 5 Company Amazon founded.[2]
1997 May 15 Company Amazon IPOs at $18.00/share, raising $54 million.[2]
1998 April 27 Acquisitions Amazon acquires the Internet Movie Database, a comprehensive repository for movie information on the Internet.[3]
1998 August 5 Company Direction Amazon announces that it will move beyond books.[4]
1998 December Competition Jack Ma launches Alibaba in China, which would later grow to dominate the Chinese online retail market, and provide an obstacle to Amazon's attempts to expand in China.[5][6]
2002 January Product Amazon launches Free Super Saver Shipping, which allows customers to get free shipping for orders above $99.[2]
2002 March Legal, Competition Amazon settles its October 1999 patent infringement suit against Barnes & Noble (over its 1-Click checkout system, which it received a patent for in September 1999). It originally charged that Barnes&Noble.com had essentially copied Amazon's 1-Click technology.[7]
2003 October Product Amazon launches A9.com, a subsidiary of Amazon.com based in Palo Alto, California that develops search and advertising technology.[8]
2004 August 19 International Amazon acquires Joyo, an online bookstore in China, for $75 million, which then becomes the 7th regional website of Amazon.com. joyo later becomes Amazon China.[9]
2005 February Product Amazon launches Amazon Prime, a membership offering free two-day shipping within the contiguous United States on all eligible purchases for a flat annual fee of $79.[2]
2005 November Product Amazon launches Amazon Mechanical Turk, an application programming interface (API) allowing any Internet user to perform "human-intelligence" tasks such as transcribing podcasts, often at very low wages.[2]
2006 August 25 Product Amazon launches Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), a virtual site farm allowing users to use the Amazon infrastructure to run applications ranging from running simulations to web hosting.[10]
2006 September 19 Product Amazon launches Fulfillment by Amazon, giving small businesses to use Amazon.com's own order fulfillment and customer service infrastructure - and customers of Amazon.com shipping offers when buying from 3rd-party sellers.[11]
2006 Legal Amazon agrees to settle a legal dispute with Toys R Us (over a partnership that gave Toys R Us exclusive rights to supply some toy products on Amazon's website) and pays $51 million.[12]
2006 March Product Amazon launches Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), which allows other websites/developers to store computer files on Amazon's servers.[2]
2007 August Product CreateSpace announces launch of Books on Demand service, which makes it easy for authors who want to self-publish their books to distribute them on Amazon.com.[13]
2007 August Product Amazon launches AmazonFresh, a grocery service offering perishable and nonperishable foods.[14]
2007 September 25 Products Amazon launches Amazon Music, an online music store and music locker.[15]
2007 November 19 Products Amazon launches the Amazon Kindle.[2]
2009 July 22 Acquisitions, Competition Amazon acquires Zappos for $850 million.[16]
2009 October 20 Competition Barnes & Noble announces the Nook, an eReader.[17]
2010 January Competition Apple introduces its own virtual bookstore, called iBooks, and then partners with five major book publishers.[18] It later convinces them to raise the price of ebooks (using the agency pricing model that gives publishers full control over ebook prices).
2010 February 1 Competition Microsoft launches Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing platform that will compete with Amazon AWS over cloud services.
2010 July Product Amazon announced that e-book sales for its Kindle reader outnumbered sales of hardcover books for the first time ever.[19]
2011 January Acquisitions, International Amazon acquires Lovefilm, a DVD rental service known as the Netflix of Europe.[20]
2011 February 16 Competition Borders Group, outcompeted by Amazon, applies for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[21]
2011 February 22 Product Amazon rebrands its Amazon Video service as Amazon Instant Video and adds access to 5,000 movies and TV shows for Amazon Prime members.[22][23]
2011 March 22 Product Amazon launches the Amazon Appstore for Android devices and the service was made available in over 200 countries.[24]
2011 July 1 Legal California starts collecting sales taxes on Amazon.com purchases.[25]
2011 September Product Amazon launches Amazon Locker, a delivery locker system that allows users to get items delivered at specially-designed lockers.[26]
2011 September 28 Product Amazon announces the Kindle Fire, a tablet computer that takes aim at Apple's iPad with a smaller device that sells at $199, compared with the $499 value of Apple's cheapest iPad.[27]
2012 April Legal The Department of Justice files suit against Apple Inc and five major publishing houses (the "Big Five"), alleging that they colluded in 2010 to raise the price of ebooks (using the agency pricing model that gives publishers full control over ebook prices).[28] Amazon had originally set the price of ebooks at $9.99 (using the wholescale pricing model giving Amazon full control over ebook prices).
2012 March 19 Acquisitions Amazon acquires Kiva Systems for $775 million, a robotics company that creates robots that can move items around warehouses.[29]
2012 April Legal Amazon agrees to allow collection of sales taxes in both Nevada and Texas (starting on July 1), and agrees to create 2,500 jobs and invest $200 million in new distribution centers in Texas.[30]
2012 September 6 Products Amazon announces the Kindle Fire HD series of touchscreen tablet computers.[31]
2013 March Acquisitions Amazon acquires social reading and book-review site GoodReads.[32]
2013 June International Amazon launches in India.[33][34]
2014 July 25 Products Amazon launches the Amazon Fire.[35]
2014 August 25 Acquisitions Amazon announced its intent to acquire the video game streaming website Twitch for $970 million.[36]
2014 October Legal Amazon reaches agreement with Simon & Schuster, allowing the publisher to adopt the agency pricing model and set prices on its books sold on Amazon.[37]
2014 November 6 (announcement), actual rollout occurs through 2015 Products Amazon unveils Amazon Echo, a wireless speaker and voice command device that can take commands and queries, and be used to add items to the Amazon.com shopping cart, among other things.[38][39] The Alexa Voice Service that is built into Amazon Echo can also be added to other Amazon devices.[40]
2014 November Legal Amazon resolves dispute with Hachette, allowing Hachette to adopt the agency-pricing model and set prices on Hachette books sold on Amazon.[41]
2015 July Competition, International Alibaba announces that it will invest $1 billion into its Aliyun cloud computing arm, some of which would go into new Aliyun international data centers. This would allow Aliyun to compete with Amazon Web Services outside of China.[42]
2015 August 26 Products Amazon launches Amazon Underground, an Android app through which users can get gaming and other apps for free that they would otherwise have to pay for, and also get in-app purchases for free. App creator participation is voluntary. App creators are paid $0.002 for every minute a user spends in the app.[43][44][45]
2015 September 8 Products Amazon launches its Amazon Restaurants service that delivers food from nearby restaurants, for Amazon Prime customers in Seattle.[46][47] The service would subsequently be roled out to many other cities.
2015 November 2 Products Amazon opened its first physical retail store, a bookstore in the University Village shopping center in Seattle. The store, known as Amazon Books, has prices matched to those found on the Amazon website and integrate online reviews into the store's shelves.[48]
2015 December 14 Amazon begins moving into their new headquarters campus in the Denny Triangle neighborhood of Seattle, beginning with the 38-story Amazon Tower I (nicknamed "Doppler" after the codename for Amazon Echo).[49] The three towers are scheduled to be completed by 2020.
2016 December 7 Delivery Amazon Prime Air (Amazon's drone-based delivery system) makes its first delivery in Cambridge in the United Kingdom. The successful delivery is announced a week later, on December 14, along with video.[50][51]
2017 June 16 Acquisitions Amazon announces it is acquiring Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. The move is seen as potentially affecting food delivery, combining a huge physical store presence with an online delivery network.[52][53]
2017 July 19 Products Amazon launches Spark, a shoppable product feed with an Instagram-like feel, for Amazon Prime subscribers. The product is compared with Instagram and Pinterest.[54][55][56][57]
2017 July 27 Jeff Bezos becomes the world's wealthiest person with an estimated net worth of just over US$90 billion.[58]
2017 August 2 Personnel Amazon conducts massive recruitment for 50,000 empty vacancies by hosting job fairs in a number of cities in the United States and offering full-time and part-time jobs in their fulfilment centers. To be hired, individuals are asked to show up in person at one of these centers.[59][60][61]
2017 August 27 Competition Amazon spends its first day as the owner of a brick-and-mortar grocery chain cutting prices at Whole Foods Market as much as 43 percent for some products.[62][63][64]
2017 October 11 Product Amazon releases Kindle Oasis, a waterproof audible-integrated e-reader.[65][66][67]
2017 October 24 Service Amazon announces its Business Prime Shipping, a new paid membership program aimed at multi-user businesses in the United States and Germany.[68]
2017 October 25 Service Amazon launches Amazon Key, allowing delivery drivers leave packages inside customers' front doors. Available for Prime members, the new device unlocks the front door for package delivery and other trusted services, and is paired with the Amazon Cloud Cam, a $120 internet-connected security camera built by the company.[69][70][71]
2017 October 25 Personnel Amazon reveals having 541,900 employees in the third quarter, up from a little more than 300,000 in the same period a year earlier.[72]
2017 November 13 Amazon closes an estimated US$250 million deal to acquire global TV rights to The Lord of the Rings, based on the fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. The series would be produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros., which produced the movie franchise.[73][74][75][76]
2017 November 27 Product Amazon announces Amazon Sumerian, a platform for developers to build and host virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D apps quickly and with minimal coding, for smartphones and tablets, head-based displays, digital signage and web browsers.[77][78][79]
2017 December 4 International expansion Amazon offically launches in Australia, expanding the local online product range to more than 20 consumer categories, including books, computers, music, clothing, accessories, home improvement, consumer electronics, kitchen goods and baby products.[80][81][82]
2017 December 22 Acquisition Amazon acquires smart camera and doorbell startup Blink, a venture-capital backed company that makes home security cameras.[83][84][85]
2018 January 30 Partnership Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announce partnership to form a not-for-profit health care venture to lower health care costs for their employees in the United States. According to the companies, the initial focus of the independent company would be on technology that will provide their employees and their families with simplified and high-quality health care at accessible costs.[86][87][88]
2018 March 6 Jeff Bezos is formally designated the wealthiest person in the world, with a registered net worth of $112 billion by Forbes, becoming the first centi-billionaire.[89][90]

See also


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