|Bid||1,780.64 x 900|
|Ask||1,781.16 x 800|
|Day's range||1,765.01 - 1,784.00|
|52-week range||1,307.00 - 2,035.80|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||1.63|
|PE ratio (TTM)||73.91|
|Earnings date||24 Oct 2019|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||2,303.69|
eMarketer reported that Amazon is taking advertising market share from Google. Snap has also caught up with Google in the business of selling dynamic ads.
Shares on world stock indexes mostly rose on Monday, as hopes for resolving the U.S.-China trade war pushed investors toward riskier assets, while the pound was near a 5-1/2-month high. The British parliament's speaker refused to allow a vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit divorce deal, suggesting Johnson faces further problems in the Brexit ratification. Investors in Asia earlier were boosted by comments on Friday by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He that Beijing will collaborate with the United States to address mutual concerns on the trade war.
Amazon's (AMZN) third-quarter results are anticipated to reflect strengthening Prime enabled services and expanding AWS services portfolio.
World shares rose on Monday, as hopes for resolving the U.S.-China trade war and a belief that Britain will avoid a disorderly exit from the European Union gave investors cause for riskier bets. The Euro STOXX 600 added 0.4%. Appetite for riskier assets was also supported as markets judged the chances of a disruptive no-deal Brexit were receding, even after Britain's parliament delayed a vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's deal to exit the EU.
Amazon (AMZN) today announced it reached a new milestone—through its Amazon Future Engineer program, it is funding computer science courses in more than 2,000 high schools supporting students from underserved and underrepresented communities across the country. Benefitting more than 100,000 high school students, from Nenana, Alaska to Washington, D.C., Amazon is funding full-year Intro and AP computer science courses, primarily for public Title I schools that have never offered AP computer science courses before.
(Bloomberg) -- Just Eat Plc’s shares fell as much as 6.4% in London trading on Monday after the company said U.K. order growth slowed in the third quarter.Shares declined 6% to 587.6 pence at 8:56 a.m. after earlier touching 622.8 pence, the biggest intraday retreat since September.U.K. order growth slowed to 8% for the calendar third quarter -- compared to 11% for the period before -- after the company’s marketplace business slowed, Just Eat said in a statement on Monday. Increased competition from the likes of Uber Eats and Deliveroo as well as easy access to grocery delivery may be impacting the business’s expansion, analysts at Peel Hunt said in a note to investors on Monday.The company left its guidance for the full-year unchanged and expects revenue of as much as 1.1 billion pounds ($1.4 billion).The firm agreed this year to sell itself to Takeaway.com NV of the Netherlands for 5 billion pounds in shares. The companies have said they expect the deal to close by year end. The deal gave Just Eat shares an implied valuation of 731 pence.The U.K. competition regulator said last week that it had started a probe into Amazon.com Inc.’s bid for Roofoods Ltd., which does business under the Deliveroo brand.\--With assistance from Kit Rees.To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Nate Lanxon, Paul SillitoeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- On paper, you could scarcely imagine two more different companies than WeWork and Saudi Aramco. The serviced-office startup is a notorious cash sink, while Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is a gusher of dollars. In retrospect, the canceled initial public offering by WeWork’s parent We Co. seems inevitable, given its $17.32 billion in net debt and negative free cash flow of $2.94 billion in the year through June. By contrast, Aramco’s $88.49 billion of free cash flow and $5.55 billion in cash net of debt suggest there’s still plenty to tempt investors.Yet the two abortive share sales have a core attribute in common. In both cases, powerful insider interest groups came to the process with an elevated idea of the valuation they could achieve, and backed away when reality refused to conform to their expectations. Bankers put the Aramco sale on hold last week after it became clear that international investors wouldn’t swallow the $2 trillion market capitalization Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman first laid out almost three-and-a-half years ago, Bloomberg News reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. A number closer to $1.5 trillion looked more viable, one of the people said, and even that reduced number was some way above the more realistic figures in the $1 trillion range calculated by my colleague Liam Denning.If writing off the equivalent value of Tesla Inc. was disappointing for WeWork and its key investor SoftBank Group Corp., it’s no surprise that Prince Mohammed is balking at seeing an Amazon.com Inc.-worth of value disappear at the click of a banker’s spreadsheet. Still, letting markets pass the verdict on valuation is what IPOs are meant to be about. If Prince Mohammed ever wants to get this share sale away, he should take their skepticism as a cue for reflection, not rejection.For one thing, valuations just aren’t what they were when the idea of an Aramco IPO was first mooted back in early 2016. On an enterprise-value-to-Ebitda multiple, major listed independent and state-controlled oil companies are running at about a 29% discount to the valuations they were enjoying in April that year, when Prince Mohammed first put a number on Aramco’s market cap. Aramco’s cash and debt holdings are nugatory next to its vast cash flows, so you can translate that into a roughly $600 billion discount off the equity value it might have got at the time. Value Aramco’s $216.6 billion in Ebitda on the median multiple of the major listed national oil companies and you’re looking at a number just shy of $900 billion.The problems are compounded by the way the IPO has been handled. One reason the state oil companies mostly trade at a discount to independent producers is the perception that their corporate governance is caught up in politics. Aramco is hardly immune: Just last month, Khalid Al-Falih was removed from the roles of Aramco chairman and Saudi Arabia’s energy minister in the space of a week. In the first role, he was replaced by Yasir Al-Rumayyan, a SoftBank director and the head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, which will become Aramco’s largest shareholder once the IPO is completed. In the latter, his place was taken by one of Prince Mohammed’s half-brothers.Neither move suggests the sort of insulation from insider considerations that would convince shareholders to give a generous multiple to Aramco — and in terms of political risk, there’s the whole matter of a cold war with Iran, drone strikes on oil facilities, and Saudi Arabia’s position as the swing producer for the entire oil market to consider, too.Aramco has one giant advantage over WeWork. Thanks to those enormous cash flows, there’s really no reason that it needs an IPO. Without an infusion of investor cash, WeWork may struggle to make it through the next quarter. Aramco could, in theory, keep going in its current fashion for decades.The same can’t be said of the state with which it’s intertwined. The Saudi government needs an oil price of $78 a barrel to balance its budget, according to the International Monetary Fund, a level last seen in 2014. Running a fiscal deficit won’t be the end of the world, but in the long run the country still has a wicked problem. It must find a path to a sustainable economy in a world where its population is rising even as demand for oil must start to fall if the the worst effects of climate change are to be avoided.Aramco, which gives about half of its revenue back to the government in the form of taxes and royalties, is going to find itself on the front line of those challenges over the coming years. No wonder outside investors aren’t rushing to join the party.To contact the author of this story: David Fickling at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
During the third week of October, Amazon Inc. (AMZN) stock rebound. Compared to week 1 and week 2, the third-week patterns were somewhat different.
Kenneth Fisher is the founder of Fisher Asset Management LLC. He in July 2016. But now he's the executive chairman of Fisher Asset Management.
Shares have risen fivefold in five years and despite the shadow over tech analysts bet Amazon is immune to a backlash. Remember when Silicon Valley was a force for good? With their young bosses, origins in garages and revolutionary products, US tech companies were worshipped for bringing information, choice and innovation to the world. As reporting season for the US tech sector revs up this week the sheen has come off as campaigners, politicians and the wider public have asked questions about the darker side of the digital revolution. Facebook, Amazon, Google’s parent, Alphabet, Microsoft and Apple are all reporting in the next couple of weeks. Misuse of people’s data, aggressive tax avoidance, treatment of workers, enabling hate speech and the sheer size and power of the tech giants are all in the spotlight. The US government is conducting an antitrust review and Elizabeth Warren, the new frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic nomination, has pledged to break up the digital monopolies. Amazon, which reports third-quarter results on Thursday, is a case in point. Jeff Bezos’s company has faced repeated questions about working conditions at its warehouses in the US and the UK, where it is running an ad campaign featuring happy workers. Critics hold it partly responsible for the crisis on the high street. Amazon’s sprawling business – from retail sales and computer gaming to advertising and entertainment streaming – is in Warren’s sights and in Britain the competition authorities are investigating its investment in Deliveroo. It could also be affected by proposals to make big tech companies pay more tax in countries where they make sales. The Seattle-based company has told investors to expect third-quarter sales to jump by as much as 24% to a maximum of $70bn as it piles on revenue from cloud computing and its Prime service’s one-day delivery offer. Operating profit, though, is set to fall from $3.7bn to between $2.1bn and $3.1bn as Amazon spends on transport to expand its fast delivery offer. Amazon’s shares have fallen by about 10% since disappointing second-quarter results in July as investors digested its heavy spending message, amid general wariness about the tech sector made worse by dud share sales by companies such as Uber, Lyft and Slack. Neil Campling, head of technology research at Mirabaud Securities, said: “There is an overhang on big tech at the moment which is weighing on Amazon. You have got very high expectations and companies with very high valuations, and when a sector is priced for perfection that creates extra risk.” The shares are worth more than six times what they were just five years ago and Wall Street analysts reckon there is more to come. The company has so many irons in the fire that it’s hard to understand what’s going on. Supporters have to believe that its size, ability to invest and Bezos’s relentless focus on keeping customers happy is a magic combination. Andrew Murphy, managing partner of US tech investor Loup Ventures, says Amazon is still a high-growth company because of its willingness to experiment, and will escape a forced break-up despite its size. “While they’ve demonstrated the capability of turning on the profitability spigot at will in a given quarter, they are still in investment mode,” Murphy said. “Amazon will experiment and spend to test seemingly anything.” Is Amazon a risk-taking innovator or a relentless sucker up of other people’s business? Campling points out that Amazon’s cloud service supports many other companies, “creating an economy of its own”, but adds that Amazon can use the information it gets from the service to move in on the next trend. “Amazon is affecting every part of our lives,” Campling said. “Some people will think it’s the devil and others will think it gives us choice.”
Analyst Christopher Eberle reiterated a "buy" rating and a price target of $161 on Microsoft stock. He predicts that Azure could grow 61.6% in Q1.
(Bloomberg) -- Mark Hurd, who was chief executive officer of three major technology companies including Oracle Corp., has died. He was 62.Most recently Hurd was co-CEO at Oracle with Safra Catz where he focused on sales, marketing and press and investor relations, while she ran finances and legal matters. Oracle announced on Sept. 11 that Hurd had begun a leave of absence for unspecified health-related reasons and that Catz and Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison would assume his responsibilities during his leave. The company didn’t disclose a cause of death Friday.“It is with a profound sense of sadness and loss that I tell everyone here at Oracle that Mark Hurd passed away early this morning,” Ellison wrote in an online post. “Mark was my close and irreplaceable friend, and trusted colleague. Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle.”Hurd began his career in 1980 as a salesman for National Cash Register Corp. (now NCR), before rising in the ranks to the CEO post. In 2005, he was hired away as CEO by Hewlett-Packard Co., then the world’s biggest personal-computer maker. Hurd joined Oracle as a co-president in 2010, after resigning from HP following a sexual-harassment probe. While an internal investigation didn’t find a violation of the company’s sexual-harassment policy, it concluded that he violated company standards by filing inaccurate expense reports to conceal a personal relationship with a contractor.During his Oracle tenure, Hurd produced solid revenue and profits as the Redwood City, California-based company’s stock price hit a historic high in 2019. He was also a key driver in Oracle’s turn from an old model of licensing software toward the use of cloud computing, a burgeoning business dominated by rivals Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp.When he hired Hurd, Ellison said, “There is no executive in the IT world with more relevant experience than Mark.” Ellison described Hurd’s dismissal by HP as the “worst personnel decision since the idiots on the Apple board fired Steve Jobs.”Transformed SalesforceHurd reshaped Oracle’s salesforce. Beginning in 2013, he implemented a “specialist” model that made each member an expert in a single product category. In that year alone, he hired more than 4,000 people to implement his idea.He also created the “Class of” program that was designed to inject a startup feel into Oracle. College graduates were hired for a dedicated program that prepared them to become Oracle’s future sales leaders.In 2014, Hurd and Catz were named co-CEOs, while Ellison continued to serve as chairman of the board, orchestrate management changes and develop products as chief technology officer.Hurd was regarded as the most media-friendly of the trio, frequently serving as the public face of the company to outline its goals. At the time Hurd and Catz were named CEOs, Oracle’s central business was selling software designed to run on gear owned by the customer and charging a license fee. Hurd was among those inside Oracle who saw the company’s future in cloud computing -- which would let customers rent software and run their data on servers owned by vendors such as Oracle. He predicted in 2015 that by 2025 all enterprise data would be stored in the cloud and that 100% of software development and testing would run through it.Today, the company is much less ambitious in its cloud efforts, and has been making smaller promises. In June, Oracle said it would partner with Microsoft, a decades-long rival, to connect the two companies’ cloud services, so customers can use Oracle databases or applications tied to Microsoft’s Azure cloud. While Catz said Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, wanted an alliance to give clients access to Oracle’s AI-driven databases, the move was a concession—signaling Oracle knew it could no longer go at it alone.It’s now Catz who will have to go it alone, at least for now. Some analysts expect the company will move to appoint a new partner soon. “It’s much more manageable to have two CEOs, so we would be surprised if Oracle goes back to one CEO going forward,” said John Barrett, an analyst at Morningstar Investment Service. “The larger question is how Oracle will go about searching for the co-CEO role and how quickly they can find a successor.”The succession will likely come from within the company’s deep bench. One option is Jeff Henley, Oracle’s vice chairman and former chief financial officer, according to Abby Adlerman, CEO of Boardspan, which provides software and services to address board governance. “I think from a succession planning perspective, they are in a much better place than most companies. They have a lot of options.” Ellison will likely stay close and in the long term, “it’s a matter of if Safra wants to go at it alone. It’s such a big company that there was a reason for the co-CEO role.”Ellison has mentioned Don Johnson, head of Oracle’s cloud infrastructure division, and Steve Miranda, head of Oracle’s applications unit, as possible partners to Catz in the future.Growth StrategyHurd led the charge to make Oracle one of the dominant cloud players, investing heavily in research and development and acquisitions, such as the $9.3 billion purchase of NetSuite Inc., sometimes called the first cloud company, in 2016. Oracle also bought Eloqua Inc., a marketing software company, and Taleo Corp., which makes talent-management.He secured significant deals with AT&T Inc., Bank of America Corp., and Qantas Airlines to transfer their existing databases to the cloud through Oracle. By late 2019, Oracle served more than 420,000 customers in 195 countries and territories, he said.Hurd had gone on a similar acquisition binge at HP, managing about $24 billion in deals, including buying Electronic Data Systems (EDS), as part of a larger plan to diversify the computer maker.He was also a drastic cost cutter who was responsible for firing thousands of workers when he first took over as HP’s CEO and laying off thousands more after the $13.9 billion purchase in 2008 of a struggling EDS, a move many investors disliked.Still, under Hurd’s tenure, HP increased profits for 22 straight quarters, while its revenue rose about 60% and its stock price doubled, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. He also helped HP surpass International Business Machines Corp. as the largest computer maker by sales.There were some dark moments at HP too. In 2006, it was disclosed that Hurd had helped launch an investigation into internal leaks from the company’s board. Outside security consultants conducted surveillance on a journalist and HP board member, and used a subterfuge to acquire phone and fax records for HP employees, board members and journalists. The California attorney general’s office opened a criminal probe into possible privacy violations, and HP’s chairwoman at the time, Patricia Dunn, resigned her post when the scandal broke.For his part, Hurd defended the need to investigate company leakers, but claimed he didn’t know about the investigators’ tawdry tactics because he’d ducked out of a briefing on the investigation and, several months later, ignored a verbal and written summary of the leak probe.After Hurd was ousted following the sexual harassment probe in 2010, HP discontinued making smartphones and its tablet computer. Eventually it split into two companies, one focused on personal computers and printers and the other on software and services.Top CEODespite navigating several scandals, Hurd was lauded by the industry. In 2007, he was named one of Fortune magazine’s 25 most powerful business leaders. In 2008, the San Francisco Chronicle named Hurd CEO of the Year.“Saddened by the loss of Mark Hurd,” wrote Bill McDermott, who stepped down as CEO of SAP SE this month, on Twitter. “He was a self-made success in the industry & presided over mega accomplishments. While we competed vigorously in the market, we enjoyed professional respect. My heartfelt prayers are with Mark’s family on this solemn day.”Mark Vincent Hurd was born on Jan. 1, 1957, in New York and lived on the affluent Upper East Side of Manhattan. His Yale-educated father was a financier who moved the family to Miami while Hurd was in high school. His mother was a debutante.Hurd received a tennis scholarship to Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1979.He was hired in 1980 as a junior sales person by National Cash Register in San Antonio. He eventually became president, chief operating officer and CEO of the maker of automatic teller machines and cash registers.Based on his NCR record, HP hired him in 2005 as its CEO and added the chairman title the following year.“Mark just blew everybody else out of the water,” said Tom Perkins, a former HP executive who interviewed Hurd for the CEO job.Hurd served on a number of corporate boards and was a Baylor University trustee since 2014.He was married to the former Paula Kalupa in 1990. They had two daughters, Kathryn and Kelly.(Updates with comments from analyst in 12th paragraph)\--With assistance from Nico Grant, Peter Waldman and Candy Cheng.To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Oster in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew Pollack, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The New Yorker and the Atlantic have never been known for their business coverage, so when both magazines published long articles about Amazon.com Inc. in their current issues it signaled that something is in the air. That something is antitrust.More precisely, what’s in the air is the question of what the government should do to rein in the tremendous power of the big four tech companies: Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Apple Inc. and Amazon.Once the province of think tanks and law reviews, this topic has become such a public concern that 48 of the 50 state attorneys general are conducting antitrust investigations, presidential hopefuls are calling for tech giants to be broken up, and general interest magazines like, well, the New Yorker and the Atlantic are asking whether the companies abuse their market power. In this particular case, the magazines are asking it about Amazon.The Atlantic article is by Franklin Foer, who has long raised concerns about Big Tech. Five years ago, for instance, he wrote a cover story for the New Republic titled “Amazon Must Be Stopped.” It focused on Amazon’s dominance over the book business.This time around, he is writing about the unbridled ambition of Amazon’s founder and chief executive officer Jeff Bezos. (The new article is “Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan.”) “Bezos’s ventures are by now so large and varied that it is difficult to truly comprehend the nature of his empire, much less the end point of his ambitions,” Foer writes. He then goes through a list. Bezos wants to conquer space with his company Blue Origin. Bezos’s ownership of the Washington Post makes him a significant media and political figure. Bezos’s brainchild, Amazon, “is the most awe-inspiring creation in the history of American business.” And so on.He also points out that while critics fear Amazon’s monopoly power, the company is loved by consumers. “A 2018 poll sponsored by Georgetown University and the Knight Foundation found that Amazon engendered greater confidence than virtually any other American institution,” he writes. I have no doubt that this is true; Amazon’s obsession with customer service instills tremendous loyalty among consumers. It’s no accident that over 100 million people now pay the company $119 a year to be Amazon Prime members. That loyalty is also one reason taking antitrust actions against Amazon would be much more difficult than going after Facebook or Google. I’ll get to some other reasons shortly.Charles Duhigg’s New Yorker article “Is Amazon Unstoppable?” is both smarter about Amazon and more pointed about its power. Duhigg captures its relentless culture, comparing it to a flywheel that never stops. He described Bezos’s efforts to ensure that Amazon never loses the feel of a scrappy startup. The phrase that came to mind as I was reading Duhigg’s article was Andy Grove’s famous dictum: “Only the paranoid survive.”Duhigg is also interested in what Amazon’s critics have to say. Amazon paid no federal taxes last year. Amazon's work culture can be difficult for women who have children. Amazon’s warehouse workers are sometimes fired after being injured on the job. Amazon doesn't effectively police the sale of counterfeit goods on its site. (In the article, Amazon’s representatives deny these allegations.)Then there’s the fact that Amazon both serves as a platform for companies wanting to sell things and sells things itself. In other words, it competes with the same companies it enables. According to Duhigg, Amazon has been known to track items that do well, and then make its own version of the same item — which it then sells at a discounted price. (Amazon denies this, too.) Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s commissioner for competition, told Duhigg that the practice “deserves much more scrutiny.”The story’s killer anecdote, at least as it concerns antitrust, is about Birkenstock USA LP’s experience with Amazon. Although Birkenstock sold millions of dollars of shoes using the Amazon platform, it was constantly hearing customer complaints that the shoes were defective. Why? Because, according to Birkenstock, Amazon allowed counterfeits to be sold on the site. Not only would Amazon not take down the counterfeit goods, but it also wouldn’t even tell Birkenstock who was selling them.Amazon also had stocked a year’s worth of Birkenstock inventory, which terrified the company. “What if Amazon decides to start selling the shoes for 99 cents, or to give them away with Prime membership, or do a buy-one-get-one-free,” wondered Birkenstock’s chief executive officer, David Kahan. “We were powerless.”Kahan’s complaints went nowhere. So he pulled Birkenstocks off Amazon. What did Amazon do? It solicited Birkenstock retailers, offering to buy shoes directly from them. Today, if you search for Birkenstocks on Amazon you’ll be deluged with choices even though the company itself refuses to do business with Amazon. I found a pair of Arizona oiled leather sandals — listed on Birkenstock's website for $135 — marked down to $60 on Amazon. Is it the real thing, or is it a counterfeit?The hard question: What do you do about this kind of behavior? On one extreme is the Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren, who believes the most appropriate solution is to break up Amazon. At the other end of the spectrum, there are still plenty of antitrust economists who believe that if a $135 sandal is being sold for $60, that’s good for consumers. They argue that the government should just stay out of the way.I’m a proponent of breaking up Facebook, mainly because I believe if you force it to disgorge two of its prized platforms, Instagram and WhatsApp, you’ll instantly create serious competitors. That could help raise the bar on privacy, data usage and other concerns. But I’m not sure that would work with Amazon.For instance, if Amazon had to separate its highly profitable cloud service, Amazon Web Services, from its retail business the power dynamic between Amazon and the companies that use its platform would remain.What’s more, it’s harder to make a classic antitrust case against Amazon than it is against Facebook and Google. According to the research firm EMarketer Inc., Amazon is expected to account for 37.7% of all online commerce in 2019. By contrast, Google controls 89% of the search market.Still, for too many retailers, Amazon has the power to control their destiny, for good or ill. As the antitrust activist Lina Khan wrote in her now-famous 2017 article in the Yale Law Journal: “History suggests that allowing a single actor to set the terms of the marketplace, largely unchecked, can pose serious hazards.” I take that assessment to mean that government intervention at Amazon is needed.To my mind, the simplest and most sensible solution is from the economist Hal Singer: Don’t allow platform companies to favor their own products over competitors’ products. Singer calls this a “nondiscrimination regime,” and models it after the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act, which prevents cable distributors from favoring their own content over content from competitors. In that scenario, a company that felt it was being discriminated against by Amazon could bring a complaint to federal regulators just as cable stations can do now. This regime has worked well for the TV industry. It could work for Amazon, too.Secondly, the government should hold Amazon accountable for counterfeits. Counterfeiting is against the law, and although Amazon told Duhigg that it spends “hundreds of millions of dollars” on anti-counterfeiting efforts it’s no secret that many deceptively labeled goods are still sold on the site. (See, for instance, this recent Wall Street Journal story.) Companies like Birkenstock have a right to expect that a platform selling its products will rigorously police counterfeits — and will identify counterfeiters so manufacturers of authentic goods can take legal action.These are solvable problems. They don’t require extreme measures. What they do require is a government with the will to transform Amazon’s platform from what it is now, a vehicle that squelches competition, to one that lets competition flower.(Corrects paragraph eight to accurately describe the year in which Amazon paid no federal taxes and to more accurately describe the experiences of women with children who work for the company. Also changes language in paragraph eight to more accurately describe how effectively Amazon combats the sale of counterfeit goods on its site. Also corrects paragraphs 12 and 13 to accurately reflect pricing disparities between sandals sold on Birkenstock's website and those sold on Amazon.)To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Timothy L. O'Brien at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Billy Foister died last month after a heart attack at work. The incident was just one in a series of recent accidents and fatalities. In September, Billy Foister, a 48-year-old Amazon warehouse worker, died after a heart attack at work. According to his brother, an Amazon human resources representative informed him at the hospital that Billy had lain on the floor for 20 minutes before receiving treatment from Amazon’s internal safety responders. “How can you not see a 6ft 3in man laying on the ground and not help him within 20 minutes? A couple of days before, he put the wrong product in the wrong bin and within two minutes management saw it on camera and came down to talk to him about it,” Edward Foister said. Amazon said it had responded to Foister’s collapse “within minutes”. An Amazon worker on the same shift told the Guardian: “Bill was on the floor for quite some time and nobody knew that time until cameras were reviewed, but in 20 minutes a worker in a nearby department saw him lying on the floor and then began radio callouts for 911. It really is unbelievable how Bill was laying there for 20 minutes and nobody nearby saw until an Amnesty worker with a radio came by.” The worker, who requested to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, noted the Amnesty worker started CPR after finding Foister. Amnesty workers are Amazon floor monitors who ensure the warehouse floors are clear and reset robot units when necessary. The incident is among the latest in a series of accidents and fatalities that have led to Amazon’s inclusion on the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health’s 2019 Dirty Dozen list of the most dangerous employers in the United States. The report cited six Amazon worker deaths between November 2018 and April 2019, and several news reports over the past few years that have detailed dangerous working conditions. Foister, a stower who scanned and stocked warehouse shelves with products at an Amazon warehouse in Etna, Ohio, just outside of Columbus, went into cardiac arrest on 2 September 2019. On the 911 call recording, obtained by the Guardian, the operator directed an Amazon employee through finding and using an automated external defibrillator (AED) on Foister, who was unresponsive to CPR. Emergency services responded to the call in under six minutes. “After the incident, everyone was forced to go back to work. No time to decompress. Basically watch a man pass away and then get told to go back to work, everyone, and act like it’s fine,” said another Amazon worker on the shift. Billy Foister was taken to a hospital, where Edward was immediately told that his brother had passed away after efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. Edward noted that a week earlier, his brother had gone to the warehouse’s AmCare clinic and reported headaches and chest pains. According to Foister, his brother had his blood pressure taken and was told he was dehydrated, given two beverages to drink, and sent back to work. “There was no reason for my brother to have died. He went to AmCare complaining about chest pains. He should have been sent to the hospital, not just sent back to work just to put things like toothpaste in a bin so somebody can get it in an hour,” Edward said. “It seems Amazon values money way more than life. If they did their job right, I wouldn’t have had to bury my little brother.” Amazon denied that Billy Foister died at the warehouse and said he was treated “within minutes”. “The passing of the employee did not occur at the facility. The employee experienced a personal medical issue (heart attack) and lost consciousness. Several trained team members quickly responded and administered CPR and AED until local emergency responders arrived, within minutes, and took over. The employee was then transported to a local hospital for further treatment, where he was later pronounced deceased,” said an Amazon spokesperson in an email. A similar incident occurred at the Etna fulfillment center in March 2019, where a picker, Joe Bowman, died after going into cardiac arrest. According to 911 call records, a 60-year-old picker went into cardiac arrest on the job on 20 March 2019 and was found unconscious. “Go back to work,” the supervisor who reported the incident to 911 personnel told another concerned worker while on the phone with theoperator. “Everybody worked as usual,” said a third worker in Etna on the shift. The supervisor told the 911 operator on the recorded call that the worker was “down three to five minutes without CPR”. Amazon did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the incident or on the frequency of such incidents among its fulfillment center workforce. Amazon also denied providing delayed medical attention to Billy Foister, though it’s not the first time the company has been accused of providing delayed medical attention to a warehouse worker during a cardiac arrest. In January 2019, the widow of 57-year-old Thomas Becker filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging management delayed medical attention during a cardiac arrest while Becker worked at a Joliet, Illinois, Amazon warehouse in 2017. The lawsuit is pending in federal court for the northern district, eastern division, of Illinois. Between January and March 2019, 28 911 calls were made from the fulfillment center in Etna, including five instances of suicidal concerns regarding employees and five on-the-job injuries. A bout 3,700 workers are employed at the warehouse. An Amazon spokesperson said: “As a company, we work hard to provide a safe, quality working environment for the 250,000 hourly employees across Amazon’s US facilities. Safety is a fundamental principle across our company and is inherent in our facility infrastructure, design, and operations.”
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