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Amazon says its instant video streams jumped

(Reuters) - Inc said on Tuesday that the number of Instant Video streams it offers nearly tripled from a year ago as the world's largest online retailer tries to win a battle for control over people's living rooms. Amazon did not disclose the actual number of video streams nor how many people access Instant Video. "We've invested hundreds of millions of dollars in great TV shows and movies for Prime members, and it's working," Bill Carr, vice president of digital video and music for Amazon, said in a statement.

Amazon leaps into home entertainment fray with $99 Fire TV

By Jennifer Saba and Deepa Seetharaman NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Inc made a play for the increasingly crowded home entertainment arena by unveiling the $99 "Fire TV" video and game streaming device on Wednesday, with hopes of boosting its main online retail business over the longer term. The square device, which just about fits in the palm of one hand, streams content from Netflix Inc, Hulu and other video services - much like Apple TV or Google Inc's Chromecast.

Amazon hit by strikes in Germany

One of Amazon's key sites in Germany was the target of fresh walkouts by staff on Monday in an long-running wage dispute. The services sector union Verdi has called for morning stoppages at Amazon's logistics centre in Leipzig. And "participation has really been quite high," said Verdi spokesman Thomas Schneider. He did not specify how many employees took part in the strike, but the group has a workforce of around 2,000 in Leipzig, of whom 700 are Verdi members.

Amazon raises its 2-day free shipping Prime membership service to $99 annually

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Amazon is raising the price of its popular Prime membership to $99 per year, an increase of $20. It's the first price increase since the online retailer introduced its Prime membership program, which includes two-day free shipping on many products, in 2005. The company said it would probably raise the price by $20 to $40 in January.

UK court ruling may prompt more scrutiny of Amazon tax plans

By Tom Bergin LONDON (Reuters) - Amazon's tax affairs could come under more scrutiny in Britain, tax experts said, after a judge questioned whether it really was organized in the tax efficient way it said it was. The ruling comes as big technology groups, including Amazon, face increasing scrutiny in Britain over their tax practices.

Why Amazon Prime shoppers may flee with fee hike

By Lou Carlozo CHICAGO (Reuters) - As an Amazon Prime customer since December 2012, Michelle Huffman of Milwaukee has gladly paid the annual $79 fee for the perk of free two-day shipping on items ranging from tea and cookbooks to DVDs and Nestle Smarties (milk chocolate buttons imported from Germany). But if Inc raises its annual Prime rates by between $20 and $40, as the e-commerce giant hinted it might during a quarterly earnings conference call in January, Huffman will rethink her decision.

Amazon to hire 2,500 new workers at US order fulfilmentcentres

SEATTLE - Amazon says it is hiring more than 2,500 full-time workers at its order fulfilmentcentres around the U.S. Inc. plans to announce Wednesday that the jobs are available in Chester, Va., and Petersburg, Va.; Coffeyville, Kan.; Columbia, S.C.; Dupont, Wash.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Amazon posts higher 4th-quarter earnings, revenue but falls short of expectations, shares fall

SEATTLE - Amazon's profit and revenue both grew in the latest quarter but its results fell below what Wall Street was expecting and shares of the world's biggest online retailer declined after-hours. Amazon has long focused on spending the money it makes to grow its business and expand into new areas, from movie streaming to e-readers and even grocery delivery.

Amazon warns of possible first-quarter loss, stock falls

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Inc missed Wall Street's profit estimates for the crucial holiday period and cautioned investors about a possible operating loss this quarter, pushing its shares down more than 4 percent on Thursday. The world's largest Internet retailer, which has spent heavily to forge new markets in cloud computing and digital media, expects operating results for the current quarter to range from a $200 million loss to a $200 million profit, compared with a $181 million profit a year ago.

Print book reading tops in US despite rise of tablets

A Pew Research Center study release on Thursday showed that US readers reach for ink-and-paper books despite the rising popularity of tablets and digital works. While the portion of people who read e-books grew in the past year, most adults in the United States opted for print editions during that same time period, the Pew survey revealed. "The proportion of Americans who read e-books is growing, but few have completely replaced print books for electronic versions," researchers said in an overview of the findings.
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