Jeff Bezos founded Amazon.com, Inc. in 1994 and launched it online in 1995. The company was originally named Cadabra, Inc., but the name was changed when it was discovered that people sometimes heard the name as "Cadaver". The name Amazon.com was chosen because the Amazon River is one of the largest rivers in the world, and so the name suggests large size, and also in part because it starts with "A" and therefore would show up near the beginning of alphabetical lists.
Since June 19, 2000, Amazon's logotype has featured a curved arrow leading from A to Z, representing that the company carries every product from A to Z, with the arrow shaped like a smile
Amazon.com, Inc. (Public, NASDAQ:AMZN) offers services to consumers, sellers, and developers through its retail Websites. It also manufactures and sells the Kindle e-reader. The Company offers programs that enable sellers to sell their products on its Websites and their own branded Websites. Amazon.com serves developers through Amazon Web Services, which provides access to technology infrastructure that developers can use to enable any type of business.
Amazon has separate retail websites for the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Brazil, Japan, China, India, Mexico, Singapore, and Turkey. In 2016, Dutch, Polish, and Turkish language versions of the German Amazon website were also launched. Amazon also offers international shipping of some of its products to certain other countries.
In 2015, Amazon surpassed Walmart as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization. Amazon is the third most valuable public company in the United States (behind Apple and Microsoft), the largest Internet company by revenue in the world, and after Walmart, the second largest employer in the United States. In 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion, which vastly increased Amazon's presence as a brick-and-mortar retailer. The acquisition was interpreted by some as a direct attempt to challenge Walmart's traditional retail stores.
In 2018, for the first time, Jeff Bezos released in Amazon's shareholder letter the number of Amazon Prime subscribers, which is 100 million worldwide. In 2018, Amazon.com contributed US$1 million to the Wikimedia Endowment.
In November 2018, Amazon announced it would be splitting its second headquarters project between two cities. They are currently in the finalization stage of the process.