Amazon.com, Inc., also called simply Amazon, is an American e-commerce company. It is a cloud computing company and the largest internet based retailer in the world by market capitalization and total sales. The headquarters of Amazon are located in Seattle, Washington. Amazon.com was initiated as an online book store. After some time, it started selling DVDs, Blu-rays, video downloads/ streaming, CDs, MP3 downloads/ streaming, software, video games, audio book downloads/ streaming, electronics, furniture, apparel, food, jewellery and toys. In addition to that, Amazon also produces consumer electronics—particularly, Amazon Kindle e-readers, Fire TV and Fire tablets. Amazon is the largest provider of cloud infrastructure services in the world. It sells certain low-end products such as USB cables. USB cables are sold under its in-house brand Amazon Basics. There are various retail websites of Amazon in the United States, France, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, Germany, Italy, Australia, Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Japan, China, Mexico and India. It proffers international shipping to other countries as well. In the year 2011, it professed intent to launch its websites in Sweden as well as in Poland. The list of mergers and acquisitions by Amazon include; Engine Yard, a Ruby-on-Rails platform as a service (PaaS) company in 2008, Living Social, a local deal site in 2010, Acquired the '.buy' domain in an auction for $4,588,888 in 2014, Amazon Announces Additional US $2 Billion Investment in India in June 2014 in 2014, Amazon Announces Additional US $3 Billion Investment in India in June 2016 in 2016, A9.com, a company focused on researching and building innovative technology in 2003, Lab126, developers of integrated consumer electronics such as the Kindle in 2004, Endless.com, an e-commerce brand focusing on shoes in 2007, Brilliance Audio, the largest independent audiobook producer in the US in 2007. Amazon is the owner of around 40 subsidiaries, including Shopbop, Zappos, Diapers.com, Kiva Systems, Teachstreet, Goodreads and IMDb.
Board of directors of Amazon as of February 2016 include; Jeff Bezos, President, CEO and Chairman. Amazon.in carries out the Great Indian Sale for its users every year offering discounts on items. Amazon.com Inc. launched its marketplace in India with the name Amazon.in. It gave independent merchants the platform to sell products directly to shoppers. It was launched like an entry that stimulated consolidation in online retail. The Indian site of Amazon is a shadow of the parent site. Initially, when it started, Amazon.in sold on books and video content later, it started selling mobile phones and cameras. It expanded and included many new items in the list. Amazon Prime is another feature of Amazon which is a paid service. Amazon Prime members are eligible for free shipping on most items. Users can submit reviews at Amazon for each product. The product can also be rated on a rating scale from one to five stars.A feature of Amazon "Search Inside the Book" facilitates its customers to search for keywords in the full text of many books in the catalog. "Search Inside the Book" feature commenced with 120,000 titles on October 23, 2003. At present, there are around 300,000 books in the program. 130 publishers allow users in Amazon to perform the searches. In order to avoid copyright violations, amazon.com doesn’t return the text of the book in a computer readable format. In its place, Amazon returns a picture of the matching page instructing the browser to disable printing. It also limits the number of pages in a book. In addition to that, customers can buy online access to same books via a program known as the "Amazon Upgrade" program. Amazon Marketplace is a platform that is operated and owned by Amazon.com Inc. It facilitates third-party sellers to sell the used and new offerings a fixed-price online marketplace together with the regular offerings at Amazon. By making use of Amazon Marketplace, the third party sellers expand its access to the customer base of Amazon. The Amazon Marketplace uses the software infrastructure of Amazon.com. The credit card of the buyer is charged by Amazon and the payment is sent to the seller. Amazon does not pass along any information related to credit-card. The Marketplace is available on Amazon sites. It can be accessed from over 60 countries. Some sellers restrict their shipping to their respective nations. They do not ship globally. The sales of the third party at the Amazon Marketplace costs over 40 percent (nearly around $40 billion) of the annual sales of Amazon. Amazon.com was a corporate member of the American Legislative Exchange Council. Later, it dropped its membership after various protests were carried out at the shareholders' meeting on May 24, 2012. The Amazon sales rank (ASR) given a hint of the popularity of the product sold on any Amazon location. Amazon states that “Please keep in mind that our sales rank figures are simply meant to be a guide of general interest for the customer and not definitive sales information for publishers—we assume you have this information regularly from your distribution sources— Amazon.com Help”.