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The Amazon Economy

Amazon.com is busting way off the web, taking over huge chunks of the “real world” economy. We’ll lay it out.

A worker separates packages for final shipment inside the 800,000 sq. ft. Amazon.com warehouse in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP)

A worker separates packages for final shipment inside the 800,000 sq. ft. Amazon.com warehouse in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP)

Amazon.com has become so familiar it seems like no big deal.  An online bookstore.  An online department store.  Yes, it killed Borders Books and probably a lot of others, but so it goes.  Well, it’s about to go a whole lot further.

Amazon has quietly become the back end of a huge number of businesses on and offline.  Amazon takes their orders, warehouses their stock.  Amazon ships what you buy – from them.  Its infrastructure is ginormous.  Its next target: same-day delivery.  It may be the knock-out  blow for physical retail as we’ve known it.

This hour, On Point:  Amazon, taking over the world.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Barney Jopson, U.S. retail correspondent for the Financial Times. His investigative series on Amazon, which ran in the newspaper, can be found here.

Sachin Anand, director of business development at GoVacuum.com. He is also the son of the company’s founder and owner, Bill Anand.

From Tom’s Reading List

We did a show earlier this year on the realities of online shopping, what it means for those people who ship your orders.

Financial Times “This has lifted Amazon’s economic influence beyond its tech peers Apple, Google  and Facebook and taken it into the realm of network businesses such as stock  exchanges, power grid operators, credit card processors and shipping lines.”

Washington Post “A wave of states, including Virginia, have passed laws that will require consumers to pay sales tax on all Internet purchases as soon as next year. Other states and the District are pursuing similar measures. And in Maryland, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) wants to go further and levy a tax on songs and other digital products bought through popular sources such as iTunes.”

Wall Street Journal “Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +0.91%is working with component suppliers in Asia to test a smartphone, people familiar with the situation. Officials at some of Amazon’s parts suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Seattle-based company is testing a smartphone and mass production of the new device may start late this year or early next year.”

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