Amazon.com, Inc., commonly known as Amazon is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company based in Seattle, Washington that was founded by Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994. The tech giant is the largest Internet-based retailer in the world by total sales and market capitalization. Amazon.com started as an online bookstore and later diversified to sell DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, video downloads/streaming, MP3 downloads/streaming, audiobook downloads/streaming, software, video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, and jewelry. The company also produces consumer electronics—notably, Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Echo—and is the world’s largest provider of cloud infrastructure services (IaaS and PaaS). Amazon also sells certain low-end products like USB cables under its in-house brand AmazonBasics.
Amazon has separate retail websites for the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India, and Mexico. Amazon also offers international shipping to certain other countries for some of its products. In 2016, Dutch, Polish, and Turkish language versions of the German Amazon website were also launched.
In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization. Amazon is the fourth most valuable public company in the world, the largest Internet company by revenue in the world, and the eighth largest employer in the United States. In 2017, Amazon announced their plans to acquire Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion by the end of the year, which would vastly increase Amazon’s presence as a physical retailer.The acquisition was interpreted by some as a direct attempt to challenge Walmart as a physical store.