Amazon, Inc., is an e-commerce mail-order house, headquartered in Seattle, Washington. All of its sales transactions are handled exclusively electronically.

The company started as an online bookstore and then later diversified its range of products. Amazon has a market share of 25% in Germany, making it the leading mail-order house on the market.[1]

History[edit], Inc., was founded in 1994 by computer scientist Jeff Bezos and currently employs 88,400 people worldwide. Amazon clearly distinguished itself from the competition with numerous innovations, such as the “1-click” feature introduced in 1997 and patented in 1981 in the US. This feature allows you to buy something with a single click. also operates retail websites, including and to name a few.

Amazon acquired the movie database IMDb as well. Other subsidiaries of, Inc., include (2011), Amazon Game Studio (founded in 2012, development and marketing of browser games), Booksurge (acquired in 2005, book printer), Zappos (acquired in 2009) and LoveFilm (acquisition completed in 2011).


Amazon allows every customer a personalized shopping experience. Features like the “wish list” (List of items viewed, access to the wish list of friends), “1-click shopping” and “Look inside” (first reading sample possible) facilitate browsing the range of products and thus help with the purchase decision.

Since 2000, both private retailers and established companies can offer their products on Amazon. Brands such as Marks & Spencer or Lacoste are among the many companies to use this function to increase their sales and attract new customers. Amazon also offers products under its own brand. In addition to the Amazon Kindle, a device for reading e-books, Amazon also released the tablet Amazon Kindle Fire.

Amazon product ads were launched in April 2014. It allows e-commerce businesses to place ads on the Amazon platform. By clicking, the user is directed to the external website of the merchant.

Amazon Germany is being criticized[edit]

Amazon as an employer has frequently been the subject of criticism by the media, government and various employee representative bodies. Amazon is accused of low compensation and lack of paid Christmas and vacation leaves. Many of its branches to date have no works councils. Moreover, Amazon has often been criticized for the so-called unpaid training of unemployed people. Unemployed people were hired mainly at Christmas time for an entrance internship but then were not retained.


According to the Consumer Research Association, Amazon is even ahead of eBay with 16.7 million customers and is clearly the leading company on the market. eBay has 16.3 million buyers. The acquisition of the hitherto largest competitor of online bookstores within the United Kingdom (The Book Depository Ltd) demonstrates Amazon’s dominant position. The competition is either bought out or forced out of the market by their enormous presence. Especially smaller online merchants have no other choice but to collaborate with Amazon. Currently, it appears to be impossible to compete against Amazon as it continues to expand.

Forecasts suggest that Amazon will double its market share by 2020. The overall e-commerce revenue share will then be 30%.


  1. Amazon achieves 8.7 billion US Dollars revenue in Germany. Accessed on 04/03/2013.