Hello, again. I’m Jordan Parker Erb. Today, it’s all eyes on Amazon.
That’s for a number of reasons. For starters, the company is hosting its second major sale event of the year, its two-day Prime Early Access Sale. Prime members can expect to get some holiday shopping knocked out with deals on everything from Amazon devices to kitchen tools.
But it’s not all hunky-dory in the Amazon universe. The mega-sale comes just after the company frustrated warehouse workers with the announcement of widespread raises, which some considered “a slap in the face.”
Finally, we’re giving you an inside look at Amazon’s M&A team and strategy, which has been heating up this year with high-profile buys from iRobot to One Medical.
Without further ado…
1. We have an inside look at Amazon’s deal machine. The e-commerce giant has been on a shopping spree this year, snapping up companies from One Medical to iRobot. We spoke with more than a dozen insiders to get a better understanding of Amazon’s acquisition strategy — here’s what we found:
- The spate of acquisitions is unusual for Amazon, which throughout its 28-year history never prioritized acquisitions. Instead, it opted to build in-house rather than buy for growth.
- But as Amazon looks for growth beyond e-commerce and cloud computing, it has become a more active buyer — especially when it comes to larger transactions.
- Part of the reason behind the company’s new affinity for multibillion-dollar deals is its massive scale. As Amazon reaches hundreds of billions of dollars in sales, it needs to move beyond its traditional retail and cloud businesses.
- One former exec said Amazon’s corporate development team, which is in charge of the acquisition strategy, broadly follows two main tenets: Never get into a bidding war, and always look for undervalued assets.
In other news:
2. Today kicks off Amazon’s two-day sales event. The Prime Early Access Sale starts today and will continue until tomorrow, offering early access to holiday deals. It’s the first year that Amazon has had two Prime day discount events, however, leaked documents show the company is expecting the latest bargain bonanza to be smaller than its July sale. Here’s what to expect at the event.
3. Patreon is in trouble. A leaked memo from the company’s SVP of finance shows that Patreon’s valuation plunged 70% in the past year, and that the creator-economy company is postponing its plans to go public in order to preserve cash. Everything we learned from the leaked note.
4. Facebook says 1 million accounts may have been breached. According to Bloomberg, the company identified more than 400 malicious Android and iOS apps that targeted users for their log-in information. Get the full rundown here.
5. An ex-Twitter employee explains why they left amid Elon Musk’s takeover bid. Having worked at Twitter since 2021, this employee said they felt a “night-and-day change” at the company after it announced Musk’s offer to buy it. They share why it “feels like the perfect time to try and get out.”
6. Meta workers considered advertising VR headsets to people who will get student debt relief. According to The New York Times, three employees said the ad proposal could boost sales by 20%, but the company didn’t move forward with the idea. Plus, Mark Zuckerberg urged staff to have virtual meetings — but many workers don’t own VR headsets.
7. Microsoft insiders describe a leadership vacuum in its metaverse unit. According to current and former employees, the company’s metaverse and mixed reality ambitions remain uncertain amid canceled projects, budget cuts, a struggling contract with the United States military, and lack of leadership. Here’s what insiders told us.
8. A Florida software company has to pay $73,000 after firing a remote employee who wouldn’t keep his webcam on all day. After the employee was fired for turning his webcam off, a Dutch court has ruled he was dismissed unfairly. Get the full rundown here.
Odds and ends:
9. Honda just unveiled the Prologue, its first all-electric SUV. The Prologue, one of two brand-new EVs developed with GM for the US market, was designed with enough space and storage to compete with SUVs currently on the market. Check out the Honda Prologue.
10. A YouTuber’s “disaster” towing with the F-150 Lightning highlights one of the drawbacks of electric trucks. The YouTuber found that towing significantly slashed his F-150 Lightning’s driving range, and that it’s more complicated with an electric truck than a gasoline-powered one. Read about his experience.
What we’re watching today: