Lawmakers Say Amazon ‘Misled’ and ‘May Have Lied’ to Congress

Top members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy on Monday questioning whether the tech company’s executives lied under oath to Congress.

The letter, sent by a bipartisan group of lawmakers including House Judiciary Committee Chair Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York and House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee Ranking Member Republican Rep. Ken Buck of Colorado, referred to Wednesday reporting from Reuters stating that Amazon used its online marketplace to collect data on competitors and manufacture imitations of their products, prioritizing its imitations over competitors’ products in search results. The lawmakers also cited a Thursday investigation by The Markup which found that Amazon provided its “brands” better search result locations than those awarded to competitors with better ratings and reviews.

Read More

Employees Criticize Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin for Being ‘Mostly Male and Overwhelmingly White’

Jeff Bezos

A letter written by current and former employees of Jeff Bezos’ rocket company Blue Origin took aim at the company’s workplace culture.

The letter, posted on website Lioness and written by former Head of Blue Origin Employee Communications Alexandra Abrams along with 20 unnamed current and former employees, criticized the company’s culture and work environment as “stuck in a toxic past.”

“One-hundred percent of the senior technical and program leaders are men,” the employees wrote, bashing the Blue Origin workforce for being “mostly male and overwhelmingly white.”

Read More

Amazon Plans to Open Department Stores

Amazon is planning to open department stores where consumers can purchase a variety of goods like clothing and electronics, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The planned expansion of Amazon brick-and-mortar stores is the online retail giant’s latest attempt to disrupt the industry, according to a WSJ report Thursday. The Seattle-based company has recently expanded its brick-and-mortar grocery store footprint, opening 17 Amazon Fresh stores nationwide, and is developing at least 20 more, Bloomberg reported.

Read More

Bezos Offers to Waive $2 Billion in Fees to Secure Lunar Landing Contract

Jeff Bezos

Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos offered to waive $2 billion in payments to secure his spaceflight company Blue Origin a NASA contract.

Bezos asked NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in an open letter Monday to award Blue Origin a contract to construct a Human Landing System (HLS), a lunar-landing vehicle, as part of the Artemis program, offering to waive up to $2 billion in fees. Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX had been awarded the $2.9 billion contract in April, beating out Blue Origin’s bid, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The Artemis program is intended to return human astronauts to the Moon, with a manned mission to Mars planned as well. Though the program was initially planned as a joint contract, it was awarded solely to SpaceX due to budgetary constraints which Bezos’ offer sought to alleviate, according to the letter.

“Blue Origin will bridge the HLS budgetary funding shortfall by waiving all payments in the current and next two government fiscal years up to $2 billion to get the program back on track right now,” Bezos wrote in the letter.

Read More

The Billionaire Space Race: A Competition Between the World’s Richest Men Is Resurrecting an Industry

Jeff Bezos became the second billionaire to successfully reach outer space this month when his Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft exited the atmosphere Tuesday, the latest development in the ongoing space race between Bezos, SpaceX’s Elon Musk, and Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson.

Branson was the first billionaire in space last week when he and several crew members aboard his VSS Unity spaceplane successfully flew to an altitude of 53.5 miles. His company Virgin Galactic, founded in 2004, is developing commercial spacecraft to be used in suborbital flights for those seeking a trip to outer space. Musk’s SpaceX, founded in 2002, has been at the forefront of the private space industry for over a decade, with Musk planning a mission to Mars as early as 2024.

Read More

Jeff Bezos Gifts $200 Million to Liberal Activists Van Jones and José Andrés

After completing a 10 minute flight to the edge of space, Jeff Bezos announced on Tuesday that he is gifting $100 million each to Van Jones and José Andrés.

According to Bezos, the new philanthropic endeavor, The Courage and Civility Award, awarded to the two “recognizes leaders who aim high, and who pursue solutions with courage, and who always do so with civility.”

Read More

Jeff Bezos Reaches Space in Successful Blue Origin Launch

Screen cap of live video of Blue Origin lift off

Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and three other passengers successfully launched into space Tuesday aboard the billionaire’s Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft.

Liftoff!!

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launches, carrying the company’s first crew and heading toward space.https://t.co/kYI3pmFsLB #BlueOrigin #JeffBezos pic.twitter.com/Xs0TnjpVbE

— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) July 20, 2021

Read More

Jeff Bezos Steps Down as CEO of Amazon

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos officially handed over the position of CEO to successor Andy Jassy on Monday, transitioning to the role of executive chair.

Bezos, whose stake in Amazon is worth roughly $180 billion according to the Associated Press, announced in a blog post his plans to step down from the chief executive officer position in February. Bezos said his new position as executive chair would allow him “to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives.”

Read More

Amazon, Which Routinely Avoids Taxes, Supports Biden’s Corporate Tax Rate Hike

Amazon endorsed President Joe Biden’s proposed higher corporate tax rate despite its history of routinely avoiding most or all of its federal tax obligations.

The massive online retailer supports President Joe Biden’s plan to pay for the $2 trillion infrastructure plan he unveiled last week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement Tuesday. Biden announced that the plan would raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%.

Read More

Bezos to Spend $10 Billion by 2030 on Climate Change

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos who announced plans to step down as Amazon’s CEO last month to focus on philanthropic and science interests, is set to spend the $10 billion he invested in the Bezos Earth Fund by 2030, the Associated Press reported.

Bezos announced the fund in February 2020, but he offered few details on how exactly the money would be distributed. Andrew Steer, who for eight years has been the head of the environmental nonprofit World Resources Institute (WRI), will be the fund’s CEO.

In a series of tweets, Steer revealed very few details, however he did say Bezos’ “goal is to spend it down between now and 2030.”

Read More