In this file:


·         Amazon's cloud unit follows Google into the A.I. chip market

·         Amazon is being investigated by the German antitrust authority

·         Amazon got a hostile welcome from a New York labor union, which savaged its 'deadly and dehumanizing' working conditions

·         Recode Daily: ‘I don’t think Amazon understands how close they are to blowing themselves up.’

·         Amazon Is Serious About Live Sports



Amazon's cloud unit follows Google into the A.I. chip market


    Amazon Web Services announced the Inferentia chip that will be come available to customers late next year.

    Google and Alibaba have previously announced A.I. chips.


Jordan Novet, CNBC

Nov 28, 2018


Amazon's cloud business is developing its own computer chips for artificial intelligence projects.


Amazon Web Services said on Wednesday at its AWS Re:Invent user conference in Las Vegas that its new Inferentia chips will provide A.I. researchers "high performance at low cost." It's the latest example of a giant provider of cloud services building next-generation processors.


Among providers of public cloud services, Amazon is following Google into the chip market. Google announced its first Tensor Processing Unit, or TPU, in 2016. Alibaba, a public cloud provider that's popular in China, has also announced an AI chip.


AWS is by far the leader in public cloud infrastructure, which companies can rely on to remotely run software and store data. Microsoft, Google, IBM are competing with AWS for business as companies move their workloads from traditional data centers to the cloud.


The Inferentia chips will become available in late 2019. Like with other AWS services, customers will be able to pay based on how much they use.


There are two common phases in AI — training models by feeding them lots of data, and then showing them new data that they can then use to run predictions. Since 2016 Google has introduced new TPU chips that compete with Nvidia for training AI models. Inferentia is focused only on inference for now.


Amazon said that some inference workloads require an entire graphics processing unit, which is expensive. "Solving this challenge at low cost requires a dedicated inference chip," the company said.


Earlier this week AWS announced ARM-based chips that...


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Amazon is being investigated by the German antitrust authority


    German authorities have launched a probe into Amazon's treatment of sellers on the website

    The cartel office in Germany said it had received "many complaints" over Amazon's conduct.

    The European Union is already investigating Amazon's use of data gathered from online sellers.


David Reid, CNBC

Nov 29, 2018


German antitrust officials are investigating whether Amazon is preventing fair competition in the country's online marketplace.


The Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office) said in a press release Thursday it had "initiated an abuse proceeding" over the online giant's treatment of third-party sellers on the website


"Because of the many complaints we have received we will examine whether Amazon is abusing its market position to the detriment of sellers active on its marketplace," said Bundeskartellamt President Andreas Mundt.


The statement added a list of practices that might be considered abusive practice by Amazon, including withholding payments, blocking seller accounts without explanation, and use of sellers' information.


The office said it would also closely examine if Amazon's dominance is hindering other online retailers and if sellers have become dependent on Amazon to make sales.


A separate investigation into Amazon's use of data is already underway by the European Union's Competition Commission.


Margrethe Vestager, who runs the commission, is targeting Amazon over concerns it is sucking up product data from successful rival sellers and then bringing cheaper copycat products to market.


The German cartel office said...





Amazon got a hostile welcome from a New York labor union, which savaged its 'deadly and dehumanizing' working conditions


·         Amazon's employment practices have been labelled "deadly and dehumanizing" in a report by a New York labor union.

·         The report also criticises Amazon's anti-union stance, the destruction of brick-and-mortar stores, and its history of facilitating the sale of white supremacist products.

·         It represents a hostile welcome for Amazon after it announced this month that Long Island, New York City, will be the home of its HQ2 headquarters, along with Virginia.


Isobel Asher Hamilton, Business Insider

Nov 29, 2018


A New York labor union has published  a damning report on Amazon, just as the company prepares to move into New York City under its HQ2 headquarters plan.


The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) published the report on Wednesday, honing in on Amazon's "deadly and dehumanizing employment practices" in warehouses and its anti-union activities


The RWDSU also criticized the destruction of brick-and-mortar retailers, and Amazon's record of  facilitating the sale of racist and white supremacist products.


The 13-page RWDSU report was mainly drawn from information already in the public domain, including previous press coverage and other assessments of Amazon working conditions.


The union pointed to what it sees as a pattern of preventable deaths at Amazon warehouses, citing a National Council for Occupational Safety and Health investigation which found seven people had died working in fulfilment centers.


It also made reference to  a New York Times piece from 2011, which reported that during a heatwave, Amazon paid to have ambulances stationed outside a Pennsylvania warehouse...


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Recode Daily: ‘I don’t think Amazon understands how close they are to blowing themselves up.’

Plus: Microsoft won a $480 million contract from the Army for HoloLens AR headsets; most U.S. teens believe that social media is actually good for them; elite mall Santas can make $20,000 for the season.


By Recode

Nov 29, 2018


An Amazon revolt could be brewing as the tech giant exerts more control over brands. In the last few months, Amazon has applied intense pressure to consumer brands across different product categories — seizing more control over what, where and how they can sell their goods. Amazon is telling brands — like PopSockets — that neither they nor their distributors can sell directly to customers as an independent seller on the platform for third-party merchants known as the Amazon Marketplace. The power move is believed to be a prelude to a new internal system that Amazon has yet to launch called One Vendor. ”I don’t think Amazon understands how close they are to blowing themselves up,” one analyst warned. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]


Stocks climbed immediately yesterday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell made remarks that eased investor worries about an aggressive increase in interest rates. After Powell’s midday comment that interest rates are “just below” a range of estimates of the so-called neutral level, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged more than 600 points, or 2.5 percent, erasing its November tumble; the S&P 500 climbed 61.62 points, or 2.3 percent; and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 208.89 points, or 2.9 percent. All three indexes are up more than 4.2 percent for the week, the first time since Nov. 1 that the market benchmarks climbed in three consecutive sessions. Meanwhile President Donald Trump will have a high-stakes meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 economic summit in Buenos Aires this weekend; Trump is threatening tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods unless they can strike a deal on revised terms of trade. [Amrith Ramkumar and Nick Timiraos / The Wall Street Journal]


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Amazon Is Serious About Live Sports

It could be making a $20 billion bid to dive into the deep end.


Adam Levy, The Motley Fool

Nov 28, 2018 (NASDAQ:AMZN) has been willing to spend quite a bit of money on the rights to stream live sports events. It agreed to pay the NFL $50 million for 10 Thursday Night Football games in 2017. And it renewed that contract for two years this year (possibly paying even more). It also signed a deal with the Premier League to stream 20 soccer matches in the U.K. (broadcast rights cost between 18 million and 30 million pounds per match, or between $23 million and $38.5 million).


But Amazon could be about to make its biggest sports bid yet. The retail giant reportedly made an offer for Fox's 22 regional sports networks, which have an estimated value of around $20 billion. The U.S. Department of Justice is requiring Disney to divest the regional sports networks shortly after it completes the acquisition. Disney wants to get a buyer lined up before it closes to ensure there are no hangups with the rest of the deal. Amazon could be that buyer.


Why sports? ...


Regional sports networks are a whole different beast ...