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Sep 24, 2014

Dissident artist Ai Weiwei brings exhibit to Alcatraz

ALCATRAZ (Reuters) – One of China’s most famous dissidents has appropriated the United States’ most famous former prison as a way to highlight the plight of activists held in detention.

Starting Sept. 27, the former island penitentiary turned U.S. national park in San Francisco Bay will offer visitors the opportunity to view seven installations custom-designed by the artist and activist Ai Weiwei.

Sep 24, 2014

Exclusive: Amazon tests smart home gadgets, expands hardware lab

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc will boost staffing at its secretive Silicon Valley-based hardware unit by at least 27 percent over the next five years as it tests Internet-connected “smart” home gadgets such as a one-button device to order supplies.

The plans, detailed in a little-known government document and by people familiar with the matter, signal Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos’s intentions to double down on the No. 1 U.S. online retailer’s hardware strategy. This is despite the lukewarm reception of Amazon’s new Fire smart phone and some investors’ criticism of its heavy spending on highly experimental projects.

Sep 18, 2014

Alibaba set to price IPO shares amid investor frenzy

By Deepa Seetharaman

(Reuters) – Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is set to sell some $22 billion of shares on Thursday, capping a two-week road show that drew frenzied interest from investors worldwide and may be the world’s largest ever initial public offering.

The shares are expected to be priced after the markets close at 4 p.m. Thursday and start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday under the ticker “BABA.”

Sep 18, 2014

Amazon expands Kindle lineup, boosts price of basic e – reader

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc ramped up its push into hardware on Wednesday with the debut of six new or upgraded devices, including a high-end $199 (122.32 pounds) e-reader called the Kindle Voyage and its cheapest-ever touch-screen tablet.

The No. 1 U.S. online retailer also revamped its basic Kindle e-reader to include a touch screen. It will cost $79, about 15 percent more than the current basic model.

Sep 18, 2014

Amazon expands Kindle lineup, boosts price of basic e-reader

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc ramped up its push into hardware on Wednesday with the debut of six new or upgraded devices, including a high-end $199 e-reader called the Kindle Voyage and its cheapest-ever touch-screen tablet.

The No. 1 U.S. online retailer also revamped its basic Kindle e-reader to include a touch screen. It will cost $79, about 15 percent more than the current basic model.

Sep 16, 2014

Ohio offers Amazon tax breaks to build $1.1 billion data center

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – State and local officials in Ohio are courting Amazon.com Inc with tax breaks and other perks to convince the No. 1 U.S. online retailer to build a $1.1 billion data center in central Ohio and create 120 jobs, according to public records.

The records offer a rare look at the typically tight-lipped company’s growth plans for its popular cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services, founded in 2006. There are 10 AWS data centers, called regions within the company, around the world, including four in the United States, AWS said.

Sep 16, 2014

Authors urge Amazon board to end contract dispute with Hachette

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – More than 1,000 authors, including Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen King and James Patterson, have urged Amazon.com Inc’s directors to end a contract dispute with Hachette Book Group that has cost some writers 90 percent of their sales on the online retailer’s website.

Authors United, a group representing authors, including many published by Hachette, called on Amazon’s 10-person board to end what it called “sanctions” on Hachette book sales on Amazon’s website during the dispute between the two companies over e-book prices.

Sep 15, 2014

Hachette authors urge Amazon board to end contract dispute

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – More than 1,000 Hachette Book Group authors including Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen King and James Patterson have urged Amazon.com Inc’s directors to end a contract dispute with their publisher that has cost some writers’ 90 percent of their sales on the online retailer’s website.

Authors United, a group representing Hachette authors, called on Amazon’s 10-person board to end what it called “sanctions” on Hachette book sales on Amazon’s website during the dispute between the two companies over e-book prices.

Sep 11, 2014

EBay to launch an in-app mobile ad network in fourth quarter

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 11 (Reuters) – EBay Inc will
begin running advertisements on its mobile app in the fourth
quarter, moving the e-commerce company into the fast-growing and
lucrative market for ads on devices such as smart phones and
tablets.

EBay’s users spend 150 minutes on its app per month, three
times higher than its nearest rival, said Stephen Howard-Sarin,
eBay’s head of display advertising in North America.

Sep 3, 2014

Amazon CFO to step down next summer amid investor discontent

Sept 3 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc’s finance chief
plans to step down next summer after more than a dozen years at
the post, the e-commerce company said on Wednesday, at a time
when more investors have been complaining about skimpy profits
and high spending.

Chief Financial Officer Thomas Szkutak, 53, will retire in
June 2015 and be succeeded by Brian Olsavsky, vice president of
finance for global consumer business, Amazon said.

    • About Deepa

      "Deepa Seetharaman is a San Francisco-based reporter covering e-commerce companies, including Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc. She previously covered the auto industry from Detroit and wrote about airlines, hotels and the U.S. stock market from New York. She joined Reuters in June 2008 after studying journalism and history at Northwestern University."
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