Amazon, Inc.
Type Public
NASDAQ-100 Component
S&P 500 Component
Founded 1994
Founder Jeff Bezos
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people Jeff Bezos
(Chairman, President & CEO)
Industry Online shopping
Cloud computing
Amazon Studios
Amazon Web Services
A2Z Development
Alexa Internet
Revenue increase US$ 34.204 billion (2010)[1]
Operating income increase US$ 1.406 billion (2010)[1]
Net income increase US$ 1.152 billion (2010)[1]
Total assets increase US$ 18.797 billion (2010)[1]
Total equity increase US$ 6.864 billion (2010)[1]
Employees 33,700 (2010)[1]
Alexa rank steady 17 (July 2011)[2]
Type of site E-commerce
Advertising Web banners
Available in English, Japanese, German, French, Italian & Chinese
Launched 1995


Amazon was founded in 1995,[4] spurred by what Bezos called "regret minimization framework", his effort to fend off regret for not staking a claim in the Internet gold rush.[5] Company lore says Bezos wrote the business plan while he and his wife drove from New York to Seattle,[6] although that account is disputed. Bezos flew from New York to Texas, where he picked up a car from a family member, and then drove from Texas to Seattle.
The company began as an online bookstore;[7] while the largest brick-and-mortar bookstores and mail-order catalogs for books might offer 200,000 titles, an online bookstore could offer more. Bezos named the company "Amazon" after the world's largest river.[8] Since 2000, Amazon's logotype is an arrow leading from A to Z, representing customer satisfaction (as it forms a smile); a goal was to have every product in the alphabet.[9]
Amazon was incorporated in 1994, in the state of Washington. In July 1995, the company began service and sold its first book on - Douglas Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought.[10] In 1996, it was reincorporated in Delaware. Amazon issued its initial public offering of stock on May 15, 1997, trading under the NASDAQ stock exchange symbol AMZN, at an IPO price of US$18.00 per share ($1.50 after three stock splits in the late 1990s).
Barnes and Noble filed a lawsuit on 12 May 1997, alleging that Amazon's claim to be "The world's largest bookstore" was false. They asserted "[It] isn't a bookstore at all. It's a book broker." The suit was later settled out of court. Amazon continued to call itself "The world's largest bookstore."[11] This was followed by Walmart filing suit on 16 October 1998, alleging that Amazon had stolen trade secrets by hiring former Walmart executives. Although this suit was settled out of court, it led to work restrictions and reassignment of the former Walmart executives.[11]
Amazon's initial business plan was unusual: the company did not expect a profit for four to five years. Its "slow" growth provoked stockholder complaints that the company was not reaching profitability fast enough. When the dot-com bubble burst, and many e-companies went out of business, Amazon persevered, and finally turned its first profit in the fourth quarter of 2001: $5 million or 1¢ per share, on revenues of more than $1 billion, but the modest profit was important in demonstrating the business model could be profitable. In 1999, Time magazine named Bezos Person of the Year, recognizing the company's success in popularizing online shopping.

Amazon, LLC. (NASDAQAMZN) is a US-based multinational electronic commerce company. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, it is the world's largest online retailer,[3] with nearly three times the Internet sales revenue of the runner up, Staples, Inc., as of January 2010.
Jeff Bezos founded, Inc. in 1994 and the site went online in 1995. The company was originally named Cadabra, Inc., but the name was changed when it was discovered that people sometimes heard the name as "Cadaver". The name was chosen because the Amazon River is one of the largest rivers in the world and so the name suggests large size, and also in part because it starts with "A" and therefore would show up near the beginning of alphabetical lists. started as an online bookstore, but soon diversified, selling DVDs, CDs, MP3 downloads, computer software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, and toys. Amazon has established separate websites in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Japan, and China. It also provides international shipping to certain countries for some of its products.