Quote"If any of these new tax collection schemes were adopted, Amazon would be compelled to end its advertising relationships with well over 10,000 California-based participants in the Amazon 'Associates Program,'" Misener wrote in the letter, dated February 24.
The letter is the latest move for Amazon in its battle with states over sales tax collection. Cash-strapped states claim online retailers that don't collect taxes are depriving states of revenue and enjoy an unfair competitive advantage over local retailers that must collect taxes. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that retailers can't be forced to collect sales tax on out-of-state shipments unless they have offices in those states.
Amazon has no physical presence in California, but some states have enacted laws that require retailers to collect sales tax if they have affiliates based in that state. Affiliates place ads for retailers on their Web sites and get paid when customers make purchases via the ads.
QuoteThe online retail giant had owned a minority stake in Lovefilm since 2008 when the latter bought Amazon's DVD rental business, which covered the U.K. and Germany. Fully acquiring Lovefilm is an interesting move for Amazon. The rental company is essentially Europe's answer to Netflix, offering DVD-by-mail rentals, as well as a streaming service available on PCs, the PlayStation 3, and some HDTVs. Lovefilm, which was founded in 2004, currently operates in the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. The company states that it has over 70,000 titles available to its 1.6 million customers. Amazon didn't say what it has planned for Lovefilm, but the acquisition will expand Amazon's video on demand service, which offers streaming or downloading of films in the U.S. Greg Greeley, Amazon's vice president of European retail, did take note of Lovefilm's streaming service in particular in the acquisition announcement.
QuoteAn Amazon spokeswoman said via an e-mail to Computerworld late Monday that the new Kindle for the Web will "enable users to read full books in the browser and [enable] any Website to become a bookstore offering Kindle books."
The spokeswoman didn't elaborate. The Kindle for the Web concept first surfaced in September and the Tuesday announcement could be a "natural evolution" of Amazon's e-book strategy, said Allen Weiner, an analyst at Gartner.
Amazon first launched Kindle for the Web as a beta application in September to allow customers to discover new books by sampling first chapters of the books directly through Web browsers without the need for a software download. Based on the spokeswoman's statement on Monday, the new version would allow book purchases of Kindle books through various Web sites offering them. It also would also allow reading of the full book, not just samples.
QuoteTexans who shop Amazon.com to avoid paying sales taxes may not have that luxury for long. The Texas Comptroller's Office is investigating whether the Internet retail behemoth, with sales last year of $14.8 billion, owes Texas possibly millions of dollars in uncollected sales taxes on purchases made by its customers in the state. Seattle-based Amazon.com has been operating a distribution center in Irving since 2006, giving it a "physical presence" in Texas, a longstanding litmus test for when sales taxes must be collected by an online or mail-order company. The issue came to light last month after Amazon.com Inc. sued the state of New York over whether it should begin charging customers state sales taxes, citing the federal law it appears to be breaking in Texas.
QuoteWe're proud and excited to announce that Dpreview has been acquired by the worlds leading online retailer, Amazon.com. Started as hobby site in 1998, dpreview.com has grown to be the number one destination for anyone interested in digital cameras and digital photography. Each month dpreview.com has seven million unique visitors (over 22 million sessions) who read over 120 million pages. "We've worked very hard over the last eight years to deliver consistently high quality content to our readers", founder Phil Askey said. "It will be fantastic to be able to expand and build on that without compromising our quality or independence. With the support and resources of Amazon we can achieve this."