1. Welcome to the Jungle
Sorry, the hot food section of the buffet is reserved for Prime members. That guy in aisle four is here to pick up the headphones he ordered online. And if you need a price check, you can just ask Alexa. The early days of the Internet were all about new, tech-fueled indie companies using their tools to take on the big corporations. Now, those tech upstarts are the big corporations, and their aspirations are far greater than those of the companies they disrupted. The latest sign of such ambitions is Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods. A company that started out as digital bookseller has moved into nearly every product category; it’s in your living room, on your TV screen, in your mailbox, and now its worked its way into your most basic need—the food you eat. Amazon’s size and scope is surpassing the reach of the jungle from which it borrowed its name. It’s even quite likely that the site where you first heard about this acquisition was powered in part by Amazon’s servers. If all that sounds like a lot to digest, don’t worry. Amazon sells fiber too.
+ NYT: “The online retailer is on a collision course with Walmart to try to be the predominant seller of pretty much everything you buy.”
+ Recode: “The deal gives Jeff Bezos something else he craves: More than 400 brick-and-mortar stores that could also serve as same-day delivery hubs, especially in urban centers.”
+ How is the market reacting? Amazon just erased $32 billion from its competitors’ market caps. (Let them eat Kombucha.)