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Charlotte Talks: Amazon Fills Its Cart With Companies, Acquiring Its Way Into New Industries

Flickr / Public.Resource.Org

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Amazon has mushroomed from an online book seller to a seller of everything, gobbling up all kinds of businesses along the way. What's behind this, and what does it mean for consumers?

There was a time when Amazon was a bookstore.

Now, it’s a media company and newspaper publisher, grocery store owner, cloud computing service, apparel maker and, with its latest purchase, a pharmacy. There’s also talk of Amazon’s own shipping service to rival the US Postal Service and UPS.

The company’s acquisition spree has been described as “unprecedented,” and the self-confidence in Amazon’s trajectory has led to its much-ballyhooed search for a second headquarters.

Credit Amazon
Amazon has come a long way from its origins as an online bookstore with a bare bones homepage, as seen here from 1994.

But the growth has also raised questions about whether Amazon is approaching monopoly status.

What’s driving the company’s expansion? Is there anything Amazon ISN’T interested in buying?


Carolyn Adolph, reporter, KUOW, Seattle; co-host of KUOW's "Prime(d)" podcast (@carolynadolph)

Priya Anand, reporter covering Amazon and e-commerce, The Information (@Priyasideas)

Steven Cox, professor, Queens University of Charlotte's McColl School of Business