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Amazon's revenue increases even as spending climbs

By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Inc's revenue grew more than expected for the first quarter, offset by a sharp increase in spending on technology, content and new warehouses as the e-commerce giant branches into new businesses. Revenue rose 23 percent to $19.74 billion in the quarter on the strength of North American sales of electronics and other items. International sales were a drag, growing only 18 percent.

Amazon's eroding tax advantage, bid to sustain growth in focus in first quarter

By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Inc's quarterly results on Thursday may heighten worries that its edge over online and even traditional brick-and-mortar rivals is narrowing as it charges sales tax in more states, curtailing growth in its core business.

Amazon's tax-free European profits drop after IRS clamp-down

By Tom Bergin LONDON (Reuters) - The amount of money Inc reports through a tax-exempt vehicle in Europe has dropped sharply in the past two years, even as European sales jumped, after the U.S. tax authority tightened rules it felt were being abused to shift profits. Amazon <AMZN.O> minimizes its tax bill by having the U.S. unit which owns its technology licenses lease the rights to re-license the technology to a tax-exempt partnership based in Luxembourg.

Amazon to unveil smartphone in time for winter holidays: WSJ

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Inc is preparing to launch its long-rumored smartphone in the second half of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people briefed on the company's plans. The Internet retailer would jump into a crowded market dominated by Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

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.

Big push into gaming brings out Amazon's gentler side

By Malathi Nayak and Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Inc, a company known for its ruthless drive, is courting the free-wheeling coders and dreamers of the gaming industry with a lighter touch as it seeks to break into an arena now dominated by Apple and Google. The online retailer, infamous for undercutting rivals and pressuring suppliers, hopes that making nice with game developers will help it build a vibrant app platform on its new Fire TV and gain ground in an area where it severely lags the competition.

Amazon launches Amazon Dash for delivery of groceries, household items

(Reuters) - Inc launched a new product named Amazon Dash on Friday that allows the user to add groceries and household goods to their shopping lists using the company's AmazonFresh service. A black-and-white hand-held wand-shaped remote-control features a microphone, speaker as well as a bar-code reader and links directly to the user's AmazonFresh account.

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 aims for TV business with free video streaming: WSJ

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Online retailer Inc plans to enter the battle for living-room viewership in the coming months, launching a free, ad-supported streaming TV service, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing anonymous sources. Amazon is likely to stream original, self-produced TV series and perhaps licensed programming for free to viewers, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Top Kindle exec to update on Amazon video business next week

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Inc will hold a rare press conference in New York on April 2 amid intense speculation that it will reveal a streaming device that rivals the Apple TV and Google Chromcast. Peter Larsen, vice president of the company's Kindle division, will provide an update on Amazon's video business at the event, Amazon said on Thursday. The company could not be immediately reached for comment.
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