Jason Del Rey
Jason Del Rey
Jason Del Rey is a senior correspondent at Recode who has spent the last seven years reporting on Amazon, the e-commerce industry, and how technology is transforming brick-and-mortar retail. Del Rey is also the host of Land of the Giants, a new narrative podcast series about the biggest tech companies of our time. The first season is called The Rise of Amazon and explores the past, present, and future of Jeff Bezos' company.Source
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The making of Amazon Prime, the internet’s most successful and devastating membership program

The making of Amazon Prime, the internet’s most successful and devastating membership program

It’s easy to forget now, but Amazon wasn’t always the king of online shopping. In the fall of 2004, Jeff Bezos’s company was still mostly selling just books and DVDs.That same year, Amazon was under siege from multiple sides. Some of its biggest competitors were brick-and-mortar chains like Best Buy, which was still in expansion mode at the time, with sales growing 17 percent annually. Toys ‘R’ Us sued Amazon in a high-profile battle, alleging it had violated an agreement the two companies had for the toy store chain to be an exclusive seller on Amazon.com.And during the holiday season,...

May 3, 2019
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Amazon now has more than 150 million Prime members across the world

Amazon now has more than 150 million Prime members across the world

Can government investigations and activist protests slow the Prime machine? Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (center) with Amazon India Chief Amit Agarwal during the Amazon’s annual Smbhav event at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, on January 16, 2020 in New Delhi, India. Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images Amazon is facing government investigations and activist protests across the globe, from the US to Europe to India. And yet the engine behind its online retail domination just keeps getting stronger. CEO Jeff Bezos announced on Thursday that the company’s Amazon Prime membership program now boasts more...

February 6, 2020
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Amazon is creating facial recognition regulations that it wants Congress to adopt

Amazon is creating facial recognition regulations that it wants Congress to adopt

The tech giant’s hope is that federal lawmakers will adopt much of its draft legislation. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says his company is developing a set of laws to regulate facial recognition technology that it plans to share with federal lawmakers. In February, the company, which has faced escalating scrutiny over its controversial facial recognition tech, called Amazon Rekognition, published guidelines it said it hoped lawmakers would consider enacting. Now Amazon is taking another step, Bezos told reporters in a surprise appearance following Amazon’s annual Alexa gadget event in Seattle on...

October 23, 2019
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How not to be a jerk while ordering groceries during a pandemic

How not to be a jerk while ordering groceries during a pandemic

Food and grocery delivery workers explain what online shoppers should do to make their work safer and easier. As more municipalities around the US recommend or mandate that residents stay at home to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus, online orders for grocery deliveries are soaring. During the week of March 2, even before several US regions imposed stricter social distancing rules in the past week, Instacart, Amazon, and Walmart grocery delivery services each saw at least a 65 percent sales increase compared to the same time last year, according to estimates from Earnest Research....

March 22, 2020
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Inside the conflict at Walmart that’s threatening its high-stakes race with Amazon

Inside the conflict at Walmart that’s threatening its high-stakes race with Amazon

In September 2016, Walmart made a giant, risky bet.The country’s most dominant brick-and-mortar retailer agreed to the largest-ever acquisition of an e-commerce company: of a fast-growing but money-sucking online shopping site called Jet.com.There were back then, but Walmart was desperate to close the huge gap between itself and Amazon, the online shopping wrecking ball. And CEO Doug McMillon had become convinced that Jet founder and CEO Marc Lore, who previously founded and sold it for a fortune to Amazon, was perhaps the only person who could do it.Nearly three years later, Walmart’s...

July 19, 2019
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Masks, wipes, and instant ramen: Amazon bestsellers show coronavirus fears

Masks, wipes, and instant ramen: Amazon bestsellers show coronavirus fears

Amazon said on Thursday that it blocked more than a million items from sale on its marketplace in recent weeks that made false claims about defending against the novel coronavirus, as schemers across the globe looked to make a quick buck amid a global health threat. But what’s left when searching “coronavirus” or “Covid-19” on the e-commerce site is a grab bag of rushed-to-publish pandemic books and protection gear, a mix of products that could be disorienting to the average shopper. As the global count of confirmed deaths from Covid-19 approaches 3,000, small-time authors and all kinds of...

March 4, 2020
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Amazon will now let you pay with your palm in its stores

Amazon will now let you pay with your palm in its stores

And, it hopes, at other retailers’ stores in the future.Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us.Amazon accounts for nearly 40 percent of e-commerce sales in the US today, and it takes a cut of even more online shopping by selling payments services and other technologies to external shopping sites. Now, the online retail giant is making a play to grab a piece of brick-and-mortar shopping, too — and it wants customers to literally lend a hand to do it.Amazon on Tuesday is unveiling a new biometric technology called Amazon One that allows shoppers to pay...

September 29, 2020
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Jeff Bezos asked Mike Bloomberg months ago about a presidential run

Jeff Bezos asked Mike Bloomberg months ago about a presidential run

Sometime after Amazon pulled the plug on plans for a New York City headquarters in February of this year, the city’s former Mayor Michael Bloomberg received a call from a top company executive. It wasn’t just any Amazon executive — it was Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder and CEO and the world’s richest man. Bezos was calling with a question for his fellow billionaire and media mogul: Would Bloomberg consider entering the 2020 presidential race? Bloomberg told Bezos no at the time, according to a person briefed on the phone conversation. But he had a question of his own for Amazon’s...

November 15, 2019
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Amazon wants to patent technology that could identify shoppers by their hands

Amazon wants to patent technology that could identify shoppers by their hands

The system could someday be used in Amazon Go or Whole Foods stores. Uncovering and explaining how our digital world is changing — and changing us. Today, visitors to need to scan an app to get in. In the future, Amazon may instead ask to just scan their hands instead. The US Patent and Trademark Office published that would identify people not by their faces but by characteristics associated with the palms of their hands, including wrinkles and veins. The application filing does not mean the company is definitely developing such technology, but the New York Post reported in September that...

December 28, 2019
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Walmart paid Wall Street investors $12 billion last year to keep them happy. Amazon paid $0.

Walmart paid Wall Street investors $12 billion last year to keep them happy. Amazon paid $0.

One of Amazon’s biggest advantages over Walmart is Walmart’s own success. If there’s one retailer that has a chance to be a legitimate online competitor to Amazon in the United States, it’s Walmart, the dominant retail giant of a past generation and the US leader in online grocery sales today. But Walmart’s past success — and the practices it made commonplace as a result of that success — also hamstring the brick-and-mortar giant today. The latest example: Walmart revealed on Tuesday that it spent $11.8 billion in the last year on dividends — payments it makes to every shareholder every...

February 20, 2020
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