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Inside Amazon (Jan 11th, 2018)

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Amazon is in talks to lease 500,000 square of office space in Boston's Fort Point Channel neighborhood. Insiders believe the acquisition of such a large amount of office space could mean Amazon has selected Boston as the site of HQ2. Boston, along with Atlanta, had been considered one of the finalists for the company's second corporate headquarters. Amazon also has an option to double the amount of lease space. More than 230 cities bid to become Amazon's second headquarters.  Amazon previously said the first phase of the project would be to open about 500,000 square feet of space in 2019 in the new city. — FORTUNE

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Amazon has created a Virtual Dash Button Service that will allow third-party developers to create Dash buttons and display them inside their own devices with screens. Virtual Dash Buttons are digital versions of the company's physical Dash Buttons, which let Amazon Prime members quickly reorder products. Until now, virtual Dash Buttons have only been available via Amazon's mobile app, website, and the Echo Show. — PC MAG

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Startups in Israel are threatening to stop using Amazon's cloud service if the company doesn't stop poaching talent. "Just learned that Amazon is actively targeting and trying to poach Lemonade Inc. employees," Shai Wininger wrote on LinkedIn. "I wonder if that's their idea of supporting the start-up ecosystem. Reconsidering Amazon AWS." Wininger is the co-founder of Lemonade, an insurance start-up that's raised $180 million. Amir Konigsberg, CEO of the Tel Aviv-based start-up Twiggle, said Amazon's aggressive nature is turning off the startup community. Amazon CTO Werner Vogels said he would look into the issue. — CNBC

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President Trump has called for an internet tax, a move that some insiders speculate is targeted at Amazon. "The internet — they're going to have to start paying sales tax because it's very unfair what's happening to our retailers all over the country that are put out of business," Trump said Wednesday. It was the latest salvo in Trump's festering annoyance with Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post. Trump has complained, mostly via his Twitter account, about the Post's coverage of him. Brick and mortar retailers are pressuring the government to charge Amazon higher taxes, said  Daniel Ives, head of technology research at GBH Insights. — CNBC

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Amazon is raising the standard on reviews of Michael Wolff’s controversial new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The company is requiring reviewers to make bonafide purchases before they can rate Fire and Fury and other controversial products. “Our systems are designed to detect and prevent reviews that violate our guidelines, and when certain conditions are met, we suppress all non-Amazon Verified Purchase (AVP) reviews on the product,” an Amazon spokesperson said. Amazon declined to comment on when it started using this system, or how long the restrictions will stay in place. — QUARTZ

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