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Major New Acquisition, $2B Climate Fund And Live TV Coming To Prime?

A busy week for our favourite cardboard abuser. Amazon snagged Zoox for the princely sum of $1.2 billion. A smart play for Amazon’s delivery future that the coronavirus has shown to be integral to Amazon’s future success. Whether Amazon uses Zoox for a delivery or a robo-taxi service, Amazon now controls even more of its destiny rather than relying on others. Aicha Evans, Zoox CEO, and Jesse Levinson, Zoox co-founder and CTO, will continue at the company, although analysts seem to be more focused on the delivery aspect the acquisition offers Amazon – the move could save Amazon $20 billion in annual delivery costs.

TechCrunch makes a good point about the purchase – Zoox knows how to spend money: “Zoox has chosen one of the most expensive possible paths in the autonomous driving industry, seeking to build a fit-for-purpose self-driving passenger vehicle from the ground up, along with the software and AI end to provide its autonomous driving capabilities. Zoox has done some notable cost-cutting in the past year, and it brought in CEO Evans in early 2019 from Intel, likely with an eye toward leveraging her experience to help the company move toward commercialization. With a deep-pocketed parent like Amazon, Zoox should gain the runway it needs to keep up with its primary rival — Waymo, which originated as Google’s self-driving car project, and which counts Google owner Alphabet as its corporate owner.”

Despite Amazon’s carbon footprint expanding 15%, the company wants to look and act greener. Amazon dropped $2 billion on a fund focusing on climate technology companies. Amazon also announced the company will be running entirely on clean energy by 2025 and pledged to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement ten years before the Paris accord’s goal. CNBC has the story: ‘Companies from around the world of all sizes and stages will be considered, from pre-product start-ups to well-established enterprises,’ CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. “Each prospective investment will be judged on its potential to accelerate the path to zero carbon and help protect the planet for future generations.” The fund is a part of Amazon’s “Climate Pledge,” which was first unveiled by Bezos last September.”

The big news of the week is a rumour about Amazon’s live TV ambitions from Protocol. According to open positions on job boards, Amazon is looking to ramp up this area which should trouble several media brands and thrill others. Amazon has been busy testing different release strategies of its shows and content, this move would give it a leg up on huge new competitors like Disney+: “By adding live programming to Prime Video, Amazon could differentiate itself from services like Netflix and Disney+ that are focused exclusively on on-demand video. The move is also a response to the growing popularity of linear streaming services like Pluto and Xumo, and ultimately could be part of a different take on live TV: Instead of licensing the same costly programming bundles as traditional cable services, Amazon may be looking to combine its existing on-demand content and a much more narrow take on must-see live TV.”

Think you know enough about Amazon? Now you do.

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