UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

____________________________________

FORM 10-K

____________________________________

(Mark One)

 

 
   
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019

or

 

 
   
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from            to             .

Commission File No. 000-22513

____________________________________

AMAZON.COM, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 
     
Delaware   91-1646860
(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

  (I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

410 Terry Avenue North

Seattle, Washington 98109-5210

(206) 266-1000

(Address and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

 
     
Title of Each Class Trading Symbol(s) Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, par value $.01 per share AMZN Nasdaq Global Select Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

____________________________________

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  ☒    No  ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  ☒    No  ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

 
           
Large accelerated filer   Accelerated filer  
Non-accelerated filer   Smaller reporting company  
      Emerging growth company  

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ☐    No  ☒

 

 
       
Aggregate market value of voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2019 $ 786,284,080,955  
Number of shares of common stock outstanding as of January 22, 2020 497,810,444  

____________________________________

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

The information required by Part III of this Report, to the extent not set forth herein, is incorporated herein by reference from the registrant’s definitive proxy statement relating to the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held in 2020, which definitive proxy statement shall be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after the end of the fiscal year to which this Report relates.

 

 
 
 

 

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AMAZON.COM, INC.

FORM 10-K

For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2019

INDEX

 

 

 
     
    Page
PART I  
Item 1. Business 3
Item 1A. Risk Factors 6
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments 15
Item 2. Properties 16
Item 3. Legal Proceedings 16
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures 16
     
PART II  
Item 5. Market for the Registrant’s Common Stock, Related Shareholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities 17
Item 6. Selected Consolidated Financial Data 18
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations 19
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk 32
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data 34
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure 71
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures 71
Item 9B. Other Information 73
   
PART III  
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance 73
Item 11. Executive Compensation 73
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Shareholder Matters 73
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence 73
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services 73
   
PART IV  
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules 74
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary 74
Signatures 76

 

 

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AMAZON.COM, INC.

 

PART I

 

 

 
   
Item 1. Business

This Annual Report on Form 10-K and the documents incorporated herein by reference contain forward-looking statements based on expectations, estimates, and projections as of the date of this filing. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements. See Item 1A of Part I — “Risk Factors.”

Amazon.com, Inc. was incorporated in 1994 in the state of Washington and reincorporated in 1996 in the state of Delaware. Our principal corporate offices are located in Seattle, Washington. We completed our initial public offering in May 1997 and our common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “AMZN.”

As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our,” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc. and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

General

We seek to be Earth’s most customer-centric company. We are guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. In each of our segments, we serve our primary customer sets, consisting of consumers, sellers, developers, enterprises, and content creators. In addition, we provide services, such as advertising to sellers, vendors, publishers, and authors, through programs such as sponsored ads, display, and video advertising.

We have organized our operations into three segments: North America, International, and Amazon Web Services (“AWS”). These segments reflect the way the Company evaluates its business performance and manages its operations. Information on our net sales is contained in Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 10 — Segment Information.” The financial results of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (“Whole Foods Market”) have been included in our consolidated financial statements from the date of acquisition on August 28, 2017.

Consumers

We serve consumers through our online and physical stores and focus on selection, price, and convenience. We design our stores to enable hundreds of millions of unique products to be sold by us and by third parties across dozens of product categories. Customers access our offerings through our websites, mobile apps, Alexa, devices, streaming, and physically visiting our stores. We also manufacture and sell electronic devices, including Kindle, Fire tablet, Fire TV, Echo, Ring, and other devices, and we develop and produce media content. We seek to offer our customers low prices, fast and free delivery, easy-to-use functionality, and timely customer service. In addition, we offer Amazon Prime, a membership program that includes unlimited free shipping on over 100 million items, access to unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, including Amazon Original content, and other benefits.

We fulfill customer orders in a number of ways, including through: North America and International fulfillment and delivery networks that we operate; co-sourced and outsourced arrangements in certain countries; digital delivery; and through our physical stores. We operate customer service centers globally, which are supplemented by co-sourced arrangements. See Item 2 of Part I, “Properties.”

Sellers

We offer programs that enable sellers to grow their businesses, sell their products in our stores, and fulfill orders through us. We are not the seller of record in these transactions. We earn fixed fees, a percentage of sales, per-unit activity fees, interest, or some combination thereof, for our seller programs.

Developers and Enterprises

We serve developers and enterprises of all sizes, including start-ups, government agencies, and academic institutions, through our AWS segment, which offers a broad set of global compute, storage, database, and other service offerings.

 

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Content Creators

We serve authors and independent publishers with Kindle Direct Publishing, an online service that lets independent authors and publishers choose a royalty option and make their books available in the Kindle Store, along with Amazon’s own publishing arm, Amazon Publishing. We also offer programs that allow authors, musicians, filmmakers, skill and app developers, and others to publish and sell content.

Competition

Our businesses encompass a large variety of product types, service offerings, and delivery channels. The worldwide marketplace in which we compete is evolving rapidly and intensely competitive, and we face a broad array of competitors from many different industry sectors around the world. Our current and potential competitors include: (1) physical, e-commerce, and omnichannel retailers, publishers, vendors, distributors, manufacturers, and producers of the products we offer and sell to consumers and businesses; (2) publishers, producers, and distributors of physical, digital, and interactive media of all types and all distribution channels; (3) web search engines, comparison shopping websites, social networks, web portals, and other online and app-based means of discovering, using, or acquiring goods and services, either directly or in collaboration with other retailers; (4) companies that provide e-commerce services, including website development and hosting, omnichannel sales, inventory, and supply chain management, advertising, fulfillment, customer service, and payment processing; (5) companies that provide fulfillment and logistics services for themselves or for third parties, whether online or offline; (6) companies that provide information technology services or products, including on-premises or cloud-based infrastructure and other services; (7) companies that design, manufacture, market, or sell consumer electronics, telecommunication, and electronic devices; and (8) companies that sell grocery products online and in physical stores. We believe that the principal competitive factors in our retail businesses include selection, price, and convenience, including fast and reliable fulfillment. Additional competitive factors for our seller and enterprise services include the quality, speed, and reliability of our services and tools, as well as customers’ ability and willingness to change business practices. Some of our current and potential competitors have greater resources, longer histories, more customers, greater brand recognition, and greater control over inputs critical to our various businesses. They may secure better terms from suppliers, adopt more aggressive pricing, pursue restrictive distribution agreements that restrict our access to supply, direct consumers to their own offerings instead of ours, lock-in potential customers with restrictive terms, and devote more resources to technology, infrastructure, fulfillment, and marketing. The Internet facilitates competitive entry and comparison shopping, which enhances the ability of new, smaller, or lesser-known businesses to compete against us. Each of our businesses is also subject to rapid change and the development of new business models and the entry of new and well-funded competitors. Other companies also may enter into business combinations or alliances that strengthen their competitive positions.

Intellectual Property

We regard our trademarks, service marks, copyrights, patents, domain names, trade dress, trade secrets, proprietary technologies, and similar intellectual property as critical to our success, and we rely on trademark, copyright, and patent law, trade-secret protection, and confidentiality and/or license agreements with our employees, customers, partners, and others to protect our proprietary rights. We have registered, or applied for the registration of, a number of U.S. and international domain names, trademarks, service marks, and copyrights. Additionally, we have filed U.S. and international patent applications covering certain of our proprietary technology. We have licensed in the past, and expect that we may license in the future, certain of our proprietary rights to third parties.

Seasonality

Our business is affected by seasonality, which historically has resulted in higher sales volume during our fourth quarter, which ends December 31. We recognized 34%, 31%, and 31% of our annual revenue during the fourth quarter of 2017, 2018, and 2019. Fourth quarter 2017 results include revenue attributable to Whole Foods Market, which we acquired on August 28, 2017.

Employees

We employed approximately 798,000 full-time and part-time employees as of December 31, 2019. However, employment levels fluctuate due to seasonal factors affecting our business. Additionally, we utilize independent contractors and temporary personnel to supplement our workforce. We have works councils, statutory employee representation obligations, and union agreements in certain countries outside the United States and at certain of our studio operations within the United States. We consider our employee relations to be good. Competition for qualified personnel has historically been intense, particularly for software engineers, computer scientists, and other technical staff.

 

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Available Information

Our investor relations website is amazon.com/ir and we encourage investors to use it as a way of easily finding information about us. We promptly make available on this website, free of charge, the reports that we file or furnish with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), corporate governance information (including our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics), and select press releases.

Executive Officers and Directors

The following tables set forth certain information regarding our Executive Officers and Directors as of January 22, 2020:

Information About Our Executive Officers

 

 
         
Name   Age   Position
Jeffrey P. Bezos   56   President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board
Jeffrey M. Blackburn   50   Senior Vice President, Business Development
Andrew R. Jassy   52   CEO Amazon Web Services
Brian T. Olsavsky   56   Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Shelley L. Reynolds   55   Vice President, Worldwide Controller, and Principal Accounting Officer
Jeffrey A. Wilke   53   CEO Worldwide Consumer
David A. Zapolsky   56   Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary

Jeffrey P. Bezos. Mr. Bezos has been Chairman of the Board of Amazon.com since founding it in 1994 and Chief Executive Officer since May 1996. Mr. Bezos served as President of the Company from founding until June 1999 and again from October 2000 to the present.

Jeffrey M. Blackburn. Mr. Blackburn has served as Senior Vice President, Business Development, since April 2006.

Andrew R. Jassy. Mr. Jassy has served as CEO Amazon Web Services since April 2016, and Senior Vice President, Amazon Web Services, from April 2006 until April 2016.

Brian T. Olsavsky. Mr. Olsavsky has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since June 2015, Vice President, Finance for the Global Consumer Business from December 2011 to June 2015, and numerous financial leadership roles across Amazon with global responsibility since April 2002.

Shelley L. Reynolds. Ms. Reynolds has served as Vice President, Worldwide Controller, and Principal Accounting Officer since April 2007.

Jeffrey A. Wilke. Mr. Wilke has served as CEO Worldwide Consumer since April 2016, Senior Vice President, Consumer Business, from February 2012 until April 2016, and as Senior Vice President, North America Retail, from January 2007 until February 2012.

David A. Zapolsky. Mr. Zapolsky has served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary since May 2014, Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary from September 2012 to May 2014, and as Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Litigation and Regulatory matters from April 2002 until September 2012.

Board of Directors

 

 
         
Name   Age   Position
Jeffrey P. Bezos   56   President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board
Rosalind G. Brewer   57   Group President, Americas and Chief Operating Officer, Starbucks Corporation
Jamie S. Gorelick   69   Partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Daniel P. Huttenlocher   61   Dean, MIT Schwarzman College of Computing
Judith A. McGrath   67   Senior Advisor, Astronauts Wanted * No experience necessary
Indra K. Nooyi   64   Former Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo, Inc.
Jonathan J. Rubinstein   63   Former co-CEO, Bridgewater Associates, LP
Thomas O. Ryder   75   Retired, Former Chairman, Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.
Patricia Q. Stonesifer   63   Former President and Chief Executive Officer, Martha’s Table
Wendell P. Weeks   60   Chief Executive Officer, Corning Incorporated

 

 

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

Please carefully consider the following discussion of significant factors, events, and uncertainties that make an investment in our securities risky. The events and consequences discussed in these risk factors could, in circumstances we may or may not be able to accurately predict, recognize, or control, have a material adverse effect on our business, growth, reputation, prospects, financial condition, operating results (including components of our financial results), cash flows, liquidity, and stock price. These risk factors do not identify all risks that we face; our operations could also be affected by factors, events, or uncertainties that are not presently known to us or that we currently do not consider to present significant risks to our operations. In addition, the global economic climate amplifies many of these risks.

We Face Intense Competition

Our businesses are rapidly evolving and intensely competitive, and we have many competitors across geographies, including cross-border competition, and in different industries, including physical, e-commerce, and omnichannel retail, e-commerce services, web and infrastructure computing services, electronic devices, digital content, advertising, grocery, and transportation and logistics services. Some of our current and potential competitors have greater resources, longer histories, more customers, and/or greater brand recognition, particularly with our newly-launched products and services and in our newer geographic regions. They may secure better terms from vendors, adopt more aggressive pricing, and devote more resources to technology, infrastructure, fulfillment, and marketing.

Competition continues to intensify, including with the development of new business models and the entry of new and well-funded competitors, and as our competitors enter into business combinations or alliances and established companies in other market segments expand to become competitive with our business. In addition, new and enhanced technologies, including search, web and infrastructure computing services, digital content, and electronic devices continue to increase our competition. The Internet facilitates competitive entry and comparison shopping, which enhances the ability of new, smaller, or lesser known businesses to compete against us. As a result of competition, our product and service offerings may not be successful, we may fail to gain or may lose business, and we may be required to increase our spending or lower prices, any of which could materially reduce our sales and profits.

Our Expansion Places a Significant Strain on our Management, Operational, Financial, and Other Resources

We are continuing to rapidly and significantly expand our global operations, including increasing our product and service offerings and scaling our infrastructure to support our retail and services businesses. The complexity of the current scale of our business can place significant strain on our management, personnel, operations, systems, technical performance, financial resources, and internal financial control and reporting functions, and our expansion increases these factors. Failure to manage growth effectively could damage our reputation, limit our growth, and negatively affect our operating results.

Our Expansion into New Products, Services, Technologies, and Geographic Regions Subjects Us to Additional Risks

We may have limited or no experience in our newer market segments, and our customers may not adopt our product or service offerings. These offerings, which can present new and difficult technology challenges, may subject us to claims if customers of these offerings experience service disruptions or failures or other quality issues. In addition, profitability, if any, in our newer activities may not meet our expectations, and we may not be successful enough in these newer activities to recoup our investments in them. Failure to realize the benefits of amounts we invest in new technologies, products, or services could result in the value of those investments being written down or written off.

We Experience Significant Fluctuations in Our Operating Results and Growth Rate

We are not always able to accurately forecast our growth rate. We base our expense levels and investment plans on sales estimates. A significant portion of our expenses and investments is fixed, and we are not always able to adjust our spending quickly enough if our sales are less than expected.

Our revenue growth may not be sustainable, and our percentage growth rates may decrease. Our revenue and operating profit growth depends on the continued growth of demand for the products and services offered by us or our sellers, and our business is affected by general economic and business conditions worldwide. A softening of demand, whether caused by changes in customer preferences or a weakening of the U.S. or global economies, may result in decreased revenue or growth.

Our sales and operating results will also fluctuate for many other reasons, including due to factors described elsewhere in this section and the following:

   
our ability to retain and increase sales to existing customers, attract new customers, and satisfy our customers’ demands;

 

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our ability to retain and expand our network of sellers;  
     
our ability to offer products on favorable terms, manage inventory, and fulfill orders;  
   
the introduction of competitive stores, websites, products, services, price decreases, or improvements;
   
changes in usage or adoption rates of the Internet, e-commerce, electronic devices, and web services, including outside the U.S.;
     
timing, effectiveness, and costs of expansion and upgrades of our systems and infrastructure;  
     
the success of our geographic, service, and product line expansions;  
   
the extent to which we finance, and the terms of any such financing for, our current operations and future growth;
   
the outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, which may include significant monetary damages or injunctive relief and could have a material adverse impact on our operating results;
     
variations in the mix of products and services we sell;  
     
variations in our level of merchandise and vendor returns;  
   
the extent to which we offer fast and free delivery, continue to reduce prices worldwide, and provide additional benefits to our customers;
     
factors affecting our reputation or brand image;  
   
the extent to which we invest in technology and content, fulfillment, and other expense categories;
   
increases in the prices of fuel and gasoline, as well as increases in the prices of other energy products and commodities like paper and packing supplies and hardware products;
   
the extent to which operators of the networks between our customers and our stores successfully charge fees to grant our customers unimpaired and unconstrained access to our online services;
     
our ability to collect amounts owed to us when they become due;  
   
the extent to which use of our services is affected by spyware, viruses, phishing and other spam emails, denial of service attacks, data theft, computer intrusions, outages, and similar events; and
   
disruptions from natural or man-made disasters, extreme weather, geopolitical events and security issues (including terrorist attacks and armed hostilities), labor or trade disputes, and similar events.

Our International Operations Expose Us to a Number of Risks

Our international activities are significant to our revenues and profits, and we plan to further expand internationally. In certain international market segments, we have relatively little operating experience and may not benefit from any first-to-market advantages or otherwise succeed. It is costly to establish, develop, and maintain international operations and stores, and promote our brand internationally. Our international operations may not become profitable on a sustained basis.

In addition to risks described elsewhere in this section, our international sales and operations are subject to a number of risks, including:

     
local economic and political conditions;  
   
government regulation (such as regulation of our product and service offerings and of competition); restrictive governmental actions (such as trade protection measures, including export duties and quotas and custom duties and tariffs); nationalization; and restrictions on foreign ownership;
   
restrictions on sales or distribution of certain products or services and uncertainty regarding liability for products, services, and content, including uncertainty as a result of less Internet-friendly legal systems, local laws, lack of legal precedent, and varying rules, regulations, and practices regarding the physical and digital distribution of media products and enforcement of intellectual property rights;
   
business licensing or certification requirements, such as for imports, exports, web services, and electronic devices;
   
limitations on the repatriation and investment of funds and foreign currency exchange restrictions;
     
limited fulfillment and technology infrastructure;  
     
shorter payable and longer receivable cycles and the resultant negative impact on cash flow;  
   
laws and regulations regarding consumer and data protection, privacy, network security, encryption, payments, advertising, and restrictions on pricing or discounts;

 

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lower levels of use of the Internet;  
     
lower levels of consumer spending and fewer opportunities for growth compared to the U.S.;  
     
lower levels of credit card usage and increased payment risk;  
   
difficulty in staffing, developing, and managing foreign operations as a result of distance, language, and cultural differences;
   
different employee/employer relationships and the existence of works councils and labor unions;
   
compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other applicable U.S. and foreign laws prohibiting corrupt payments to government officials and other third parties;
   
laws and policies of the U.S. and other jurisdictions affecting trade, foreign investment, loans, and taxes; and
     
geopolitical events, including war and terrorism.  

As international physical, e-commerce, and omnichannel retail and other services grow, competition will intensify, including through adoption of evolving business models. Local companies may have a substantial competitive advantage because of their greater understanding of, and focus on, the local customer, as well as their more established local brand names. The inability to hire, train, retain, and manage sufficient required personnel may limit our international growth.

The People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) and India regulate Amazon’s and its affiliates’ businesses and operations in country through regulations and license requirements that may restrict (i) foreign investment in and operation of the Internet, IT infrastructure, data centers, retail, delivery, and other sectors, (ii) Internet content, and (iii) the sale of media and other products and services. For example, in order to meet local ownership, regulatory licensing, and cybersecurity requirements, we provide certain technology services in China through contractual relationships with third parties that hold PRC licenses to provide services. In India, the government restricts the ownership or control of Indian companies by foreign entities involved in online multi-brand retail trading activities. For www.amazon.in, we provide certain marketing tools and logistics services to third-party sellers to enable them to sell online and deliver to customers, and we hold indirect minority interests in entities that are third-party sellers on the www.amazon.in marketplace. Although we believe these structures and activities comply with existing laws, they involve unique risks, and the PRC and India may from time to time consider and implement additional changes in their regulatory, licensing, or other requirements that could impact these structures and activities. There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation of PRC and Indian laws and regulations, and it is possible that these governments will ultimately take a view contrary to ours. In addition, our Chinese and Indian businesses and operations may be unable to continue to operate if we or our affiliates are unable to access sufficient funding or, in China, enforce contractual relationships we or our affiliates have in place. Violation of any existing or future PRC, Indian, or other laws or regulations or changes in the interpretations of those laws and regulations could result in our businesses in those countries being subject to fines and other financial penalties, having licenses revoked, or being forced to restructure our operations or shut down entirely.

We Face Risks Related to Successfully Optimizing and Operating Our Fulfillment Network and Data Centers

Failures to adequately predict customer demand or otherwise optimize and operate our fulfillment network and data centers successfully from time to time result in excess or insufficient fulfillment or data center capacity, increased costs, and impairment charges, any of which could materially harm our business. As we continue to add fulfillment and data center capability or add new businesses with different requirements, our fulfillment and data center networks become increasingly complex and operating them becomes more challenging. There can be no assurance that we will be able to operate our networks effectively.

In addition, failure to optimize inventory in our fulfillment network increases our net shipping cost by requiring long-zone or partial shipments. We and our co-sourcers may be unable to adequately staff our fulfillment network and customer service centers. Under some of our commercial agreements, we maintain the inventory of other companies, thereby increasing the complexity of tracking inventory and operating our fulfillment network. Our failure to properly handle such inventory or the inability of the other businesses on whose behalf we perform inventory fulfillment services to accurately forecast product demand may result in us being unable to secure sufficient storage space or to optimize our fulfillment network or cause other unexpected costs and other harm to our business and reputation.

We rely on a limited number of shipping companies to deliver inventory to us and completed orders to our customers. The inability to negotiate acceptable terms with these companies or performance problems or other difficulties experienced by these companies or by our own transportation systems could negatively impact our operating results and customer experience. In addition, our ability to receive inbound inventory efficiently and ship completed orders to customers also may be negatively affected by natural or man-made disasters, extreme weather, geopolitical events and security issues, labor or trade disputes, and similar events.

 

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The Seasonality of Our Retail Business Places Increased Strain on Our Operations

We expect a disproportionate amount of our retail sales to occur during our fourth quarter. Our failure to stock or restock popular products in sufficient amounts such that we fail to meet customer demand could significantly affect our revenue and our future growth. When we overstock products, we may be required to take significant inventory markdowns or write-offs and incur commitment costs, which could materially reduce profitability. We regularly experience increases in our net shipping cost due to complimentary upgrades, split-shipments, and additional long-zone shipments necessary to ensure timely delivery for the holiday season. If too many customers access our websites within a short period of time due to increased demand, we may experience system interruptions that make our websites unavailable or prevent us from efficiently fulfilling orders, which may reduce the volume of goods we offer or sell and the attractiveness of our products and services. In addition, we may be unable to adequately staff our fulfillment network and customer service centers during these peak periods and delivery and other fulfillment companies and customer service co-sourcers may be unable to meet the seasonal demand. Risks described elsewhere in this Item 1A relating to fulfillment network optimization and inventory are magnified during periods of high demand.

We generally have payment terms with our retail vendors that extend beyond the amount of time necessary to collect proceeds from our consumer customers. As a result of holiday sales, as of December 31 of each year, our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances typically reach their highest level (other than as a result of cash flows provided by or used in investing and financing activities). This operating cycle results in a corresponding increase in accounts payable as of December 31. Our accounts payable balance generally declines during the first three months of the year, resulting in a corresponding decline in our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances.

Our Commercial Agreements, Strategic Alliances, and Other Business Relationships Expose Us to Risks

We provide physical, e-commerce, and omnichannel retail and other services to businesses through commercial agreements, strategic alliances, and business relationships. Under these agreements, we provide web services, technology, fulfillment, computing, digital storage, and other services, as well as enable sellers to offer products or services through our stores. These arrangements are complex and require substantial infrastructure capacity, personnel, and other resource commitments, which may limit the amount of business we can service. We may not be able to implement, maintain, and develop the components of these commercial relationships, which may include web services, fulfillment, customer service, inventory management, tax collection, payment processing, hardware, content, and third-party software, and engaging third parties to perform services. The amount of compensation we receive under certain of our commercial agreements is partially dependent on the volume of the other company’s sales. Therefore, when the other company’s offerings are not successful, the compensation we receive may be lower than expected or the agreement may be terminated. Moreover, we may not be able to enter into additional or alternative commercial relationships and strategic alliances on favorable terms. We also may be subject to claims from businesses to which we provide these services if we are unsuccessful in implementing, maintaining, or developing these services.

As our agreements terminate, we may be unable to renew or replace these agreements on comparable terms, or at all. We may in the future enter into amendments on less favorable terms or encounter parties that have difficulty meeting their contractual obligations to us, which could adversely affect our operating results.

Our present and future e-commerce services agreements, other commercial agreements, and strategic alliances create additional risks such as:

     
disruption of our ongoing business, including loss of management focus on existing businesses;  
     
impairment of other relationships;  
   
variability in revenue and income from entering into, amending, or terminating such agreements or relationships; and
     
difficulty integrating under the commercial agreements.  

Our Business Suffers When We Are Unsuccessful in Making, Integrating, and Maintaining Acquisitions and Investments

We have acquired and invested in a number of companies, and we may in the future acquire or invest in or enter into joint ventures with additional companies. These transactions create risks such as:

     
disruption of our ongoing business, including loss of management focus on existing businesses;  
     
problems retaining key personnel;  
   
additional operating losses and expenses of the businesses we acquired or in which we invested;
   
the potential impairment of tangible and intangible assets and goodwill, including as a result of acquisitions;

 

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the potential impairment of customer and other relationships of the company we acquired or in which we invested or our own customers as a result of any integration of operations;
   
the difficulty of completing such transactions and achieving anticipated benefits within expected timeframes, or at all;
   
the difficulty of incorporating acquired operations, technology, and rights into our offerings, and unanticipated expenses related to such integration;
   
the difficulty of integrating a new company’s accounting, financial reporting, management, information and information security, human resource, and other administrative systems to permit effective management, and the lack of control if such integration is delayed or not successfully implemented;
   
losses we may incur as a result of declines in the value of an investment or as a result of incorporating an investee’s financial performance into our financial results;
   
for investments in which an investee’s financial performance is incorporated into our financial results, either in full or in part, the dependence on the investee’s accounting, financial reporting, and similar systems, controls, and processes;
   
the difficulty of implementing at companies we acquire the controls, procedures, and policies appropriate for a larger public company;
   
the risks associated with businesses we acquire or invest in, which may differ from or be more significant than the risks our other businesses face;
     
potential unknown liabilities associated with a company we acquire or in which we invest; and  
   
for foreign transactions, additional risks related to the integration of operations across different cultures and languages, and the economic, political, and regulatory risks associated with specific countries.

As a result of future acquisitions or mergers, we might need to issue additional equity securities, spend our cash, or incur debt, contingent liabilities, or amortization expenses related to intangible assets, any of which could reduce our profitability and harm our business or only be available on unfavorable terms, if at all. In addition, valuations supporting our acquisitions and strategic investments could change rapidly. We could determine that such valuations have experienced impairments or other-than-temporary declines in fair value which could adversely impact our financial results.

We Have Foreign Exchange Risk

The results of operations of, and certain of our intercompany balances associated with, our international stores and product and service offerings are exposed to foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Due to these fluctuations, operating results may differ materially from expectations, and we may record significant gains or losses on the remeasurement of intercompany balances. As we have expanded our international operations, our exposure to exchange rate fluctuations has increased. We also hold cash equivalents and/or marketable securities in foreign currencies including British Pounds, Euros, and Japanese Yen. When the U.S. Dollar strengthens compared to these currencies, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances, when translated, may be materially less than expected and vice versa.

The Loss of Key Senior Management Personnel or the Failure to Hire and Retain Highly Skilled and Other Key Personnel Could Negatively Affect Our Business

We depend on our senior management and other key personnel, particularly Jeffrey P. Bezos, our President, CEO, and Chairman. We do not have “key person” life insurance policies. We also rely on other highly skilled personnel. Competition for qualified personnel in the technology industry has historically been intense, particularly for software engineers, computer scientists, and other technical staff. The loss of any of our executive officers or other key employees or the inability to hire, train, retain, and manage qualified personnel, could harm our business.

We Could Be Harmed by Data Loss or Other Security Breaches

Because we collect, process, store, and transmit large amounts of data, including confidential, sensitive, proprietary, and business and personal information, failure to prevent or mitigate data loss, theft, misuse, or other security breaches or vulnerabilities affecting our or our vendors’ or customers’ technology, products, and systems, could expose us or our customers to a risk of loss, disclosure, or misuse of such information, adversely affect our operating results, result in litigation, regulatory action (including under privacy or data protection laws), and potential liability for us, deter customers or sellers from using our stores and services, and otherwise harm our business and reputation. We use third-party technology and systems for a variety of reasons, including, without limitation, encryption and authentication technology, employee email, content delivery to customers, back-office support, and other functions. Some of our systems have experienced past security breaches, and,

 

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although they did not have a material adverse effect on our operating results, there can be no assurance of a similar result in the future. Although we have developed systems and processes that are designed to protect customer information and prevent such incidents, including systems and processes designed to reduce the impact of a security breach at a third-party vendor or customer, such measures cannot provide absolute security and may fail to operate as intended or be circumvented.

We Face Risks Related to System Interruption and Lack of Redundancy

We experience occasional system interruptions and delays that make our websites and services unavailable or slow to respond and prevent us from efficiently accepting or fulfilling orders or providing services to third parties, which may reduce our net sales and the attractiveness of our products and services. Steps we take to add software and hardware, upgrade our systems and network infrastructure, and improve the stability and efficiency of our systems may not be sufficient to avoid system interruptions or delays that could adversely affect our operating results.

Our computer and communications systems and operations in the past have been, or in the future could be, damaged or interrupted due to events such as natural or man-made disasters, extreme weather, geopolitical events and security issues (including terrorist attacks and armed hostilities), computer viruses, physical or electronic break-ins, and similar events or disruptions. Any of these events could cause system interruption, delays, and loss of critical data, and could prevent us from accepting and fulfilling customer orders and providing services, which could make our product and service offerings less attractive and subject us to liability. Our systems are not fully redundant and our disaster recovery planning may not be sufficient. In addition, our insurance may not provide sufficient coverage to compensate for related losses. Any of these events could damage our reputation and be expensive to remedy.

We Face Significant Inventory Risk

In addition to risks described elsewhere in this Item 1A relating to fulfillment network and inventory optimization by us and third parties, we are exposed to significant inventory risks that may adversely affect our operating results as a result of seasonality, new product launches, rapid changes in product cycles and pricing, defective merchandise, changes in consumer demand and consumer spending patterns, changes in consumer tastes with respect to our products, spoilage, and other factors. We endeavor to accurately predict these trends and avoid overstocking or understocking products we manufacture and/or sell. Demand for products, however, can change significantly between the time inventory or components are ordered and the date of sale. In addition, when we begin selling or manufacturing a new product, it may be difficult to establish vendor relationships, determine appropriate product or component selection, and accurately forecast demand. The acquisition of certain types of inventory or components requires significant lead-time and prepayment and they may not be returnable. We carry a broad selection and significant inventory levels of certain products, such as consumer electronics, and at times we are unable to sell products in sufficient quantities or to meet demand during the relevant selling seasons. Any one of the inventory risk factors set forth above may adversely affect our operating results.

We Face Risks Related to Adequately Protecting Our Intellectual Property Rights and Being Accused of Infringing Intellectual Property Rights of Third Parties

We regard our trademarks, service marks, copyrights, patents, trade dress, trade secrets, proprietary technology, and similar intellectual property as critical to our success, and we rely on trademark, copyright, and patent law, trade secret protection, and confidentiality and/or license agreements with our employees, customers, and others to protect our proprietary rights. Effective intellectual property protection is not available in every country in which our products and services are made available. We also may not be able to acquire or maintain appropriate domain names in all countries in which we do business. Furthermore, regulations governing domain names may not protect our trademarks and similar proprietary rights. We may be unable to prevent third parties from acquiring domain names that are similar to, infringe upon, or diminish the value of our trademarks and other proprietary rights.

We are not always able to discover or determine the extent of any unauthorized use of our proprietary rights. Actions taken by third parties that license our proprietary rights may materially diminish the value of our proprietary rights or reputation. The protection of our intellectual property requires the expenditure of significant financial and managerial resources. Moreover, the steps we take to protect our intellectual property do not always adequately protect our rights or prevent third parties from infringing or misappropriating our proprietary rights. We also cannot be certain that others will not independently develop or otherwise acquire equivalent or superior technology or other intellectual property rights.

We have been subject to, and expect to continue to be subject to, claims and legal proceedings regarding alleged infringement by us of the intellectual property rights of third parties. Such claims, whether or not meritorious, have in the past, and may in the future, result in the expenditure of significant financial and managerial resources, injunctions against us, or significant payments for damages, including to satisfy indemnification obligations or to obtain licenses from third parties who allege that we have infringed their rights. Such licenses may not be available on terms acceptable to us or at all. These risks have been amplified by the increase in third parties whose sole or primary business is to assert such claims.

 

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Our digital content offerings depend in part on effective digital rights management technology to control access to digital content. Breach or malfunctioning of the digital rights management technology that we use could subject us to claims, and content providers may be unwilling to include their content in our service.

We Have a Rapidly Evolving Business Model and Our Stock Price Is Highly Volatile

We have a rapidly evolving business model. The trading price of our common stock fluctuates significantly in response to, among other risks, the risks described elsewhere in this Item 1A, as well as:

     
changes in interest rates;  
     
conditions or trends in the Internet and the industry segments we operate in;  
     
quarterly variations in operating results;  
   
fluctuations in the stock market in general and market prices for Internet-related companies in particular;
   
changes in financial estimates by us or decisions to increase or decrease future spending or investment levels;
     
changes in financial estimates and recommendations by securities analysts;  
   
changes in our capital structure, including issuance of additional debt or equity to the public;
   
changes in the valuation methodology of, or performance by, other e-commerce or technology companies; and
   
transactions in our common stock by major investors and certain analyst reports, news, and speculation.

Volatility in our stock price could adversely affect our business and financing opportunities and force us to increase our cash compensation to employees or grant larger stock awards than we have historically, which could hurt our operating results or reduce the percentage ownership of our existing stockholders, or both.

Government Regulation Is Evolving and Unfavorable Changes Could Harm Our Business

We are subject to general business regulations and laws, as well as regulations and laws specifically governing the Internet, physical, e-commerce, and omnichannel retail, digital content, web services, electronic devices, artificial intelligence technologies and services, and other products and services that we offer or sell. These regulations and laws cover taxation, privacy, data protection, pricing, content, copyrights, distribution, transportation, mobile communications, electronic device certification, electronic waste, energy consumption, environmental regulation, electronic contracts and other communications, competition, consumer protection, employment, trade and protectionist measures, web services, the provision of online payment services, registration, licensing, and information reporting requirements, unencumbered Internet access to our services or access to our facilities, the design and operation of websites, health, safety, and sanitation standards, the characteristics, legality, and quality of products and services, product labeling, the commercial operation of unmanned aircraft systems, and other matters. It is not clear how existing laws governing issues such as property ownership, libel, data protection, and personal privacy apply to aspects of our operations such as the Internet, e-commerce, digital content, web services, electronic devices, and artificial intelligence technologies and services. A large number of jurisdictions regulate our operations, and the extent, nature, and scope of such regulations is evolving and expanding as the scope of our businesses expand. We are regularly subject to formal and informal reviews and investigations by governments and regulatory authorities under existing laws, regulations, or interpretations or pursuing new and novel approaches to regulate our operations. For example, the European Commission announced that it has opened an investigation to assess whether aspects of our operations with marketplace sellers violate EU competition rules. Unfavorable regulations, laws, decisions, or interpretations by government or regulatory authorities applying those laws and regulations, or inquiries, investigations, or enforcement actions threatened or initiated by them, could cause us to incur substantial costs, expose us to unanticipated civil and criminal liability or penalties (including substantial monetary fines), diminish the demand for, or availability of, our products and services, increase our cost of doing business, require us to change our business practices in a manner materially adverse to our business, damage our reputation, impede our growth, or otherwise have a material effect on our operations.

Claims, Litigation, Government Investigations, and Other Proceedings May Adversely Affect Our Business and Results of Operations

As an innovative company offering a wide range of consumer and business products and services around the world, we are regularly subject to actual and threatened claims, litigation, reviews, investigations, and other proceedings, including proceedings by governments and regulatory authorities, involving a wide range of issues, including patent and other intellectual property matters, taxes, labor and employment, competition and antitrust, privacy and data protection, consumer protection, commercial disputes, goods and services offered by us and by third parties, and other matters. The number and scale of these proceedings have increased over time as our businesses have expanded in scope and geographic reach and our products, services, and operations have become more complex and available to, and used by, more people. Any of these types of

 

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proceedings can have an adverse effect on us because of legal costs, disruption of our operations, diversion of management resources, negative publicity, and other factors. The outcomes of these matters are inherently unpredictable and subject to significant uncertainties. Determining legal reserves or possible losses from such matters involves judgment and may not reflect the full range of uncertainties and unpredictable outcomes. Until the final resolution of such matters, we may be exposed to losses in excess of the amount recorded, and such amounts could be material. Should any of our estimates and assumptions change or prove to have been incorrect, it could have a material effect on our business, consolidated financial position, results of operations, or cash flows. In addition, it is possible that a resolution of one or more such proceedings, including as a result of a settlement, could involve licenses, sanctions, consent decrees, or orders requiring us to make substantial future payments, preventing us from offering certain products or services, requiring us to change our business practices in a manner materially adverse to our business, requiring development of non-infringing or otherwise altered products or technologies, damaging our reputation, or otherwise having a material effect on our operations.

We Face Additional Tax Liabilities and Collection Obligations

We are subject to a variety of taxes and tax collection obligations in the U.S. (federal and state) and numerous foreign jurisdictions. We may recognize additional tax expense and be subject to additional tax liabilities, including other liabilities for tax collection obligations due to changes in laws, regulations, administrative practices, principles, and interpretations related to tax, including changes to the global tax framework, competition, and other laws and accounting rules in various jurisdictions. Such changes could come about as a result of economic, political, and other conditions. An increasing number of jurisdictions are considering or have adopted laws or administrative practices that impose new tax measures, including revenue-based taxes, targeting online commerce and the remote selling of goods and services. These include new obligations to collect sales, consumption, value added, or other taxes on online marketplaces and remote sellers, or other requirements that may result in liability for third party obligations. For example, the European Union, certain member states, and other countries have proposed or enacted taxes on online advertising and marketplace service revenues. Our results of operations and cash flows could be adversely effected by additional taxes of this nature imposed on us prospectively or retroactively or additional taxes or penalties resulting from the failure to comply with any collection obligations or failure to provide information about our customers, suppliers, and other third parties for tax reporting purposes to various government agencies. In some cases we also may not have sufficient notice to enable us to build systems and adopt processes to properly comply with new reporting or collection obligations by the effective date.

Our tax expense and liabilities are also affected by other factors, such as changes in our business operations, acquisitions, investments, entry into new businesses and geographies, intercompany transactions, the relative amount of our foreign earnings, losses incurred in jurisdictions for which we are not able to realize related tax benefits, the applicability of special tax regimes, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, changes in our stock price, and changes in our deferred tax assets and liabilities and their valuation. Significant judgment is required in evaluating and estimating our tax expense and liabilities. In the ordinary course of our business, there are many transactions and calculations for which the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. For example, the legislation known as the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “U.S. Tax Act”) requires complex computations to be performed that were not previously required by U.S. tax law, significant judgments to be made in interpretation of the provisions of the U.S. Tax Act, significant estimates in calculations, and the preparation and analysis of information not previously relevant or regularly produced. The U.S. Treasury Department, the IRS, and other standard-setting bodies will continue to interpret or issue guidance on how provisions of the U.S. Tax Act will be applied or otherwise administered. As future guidance is issued, we may make adjustments to amounts that we have previously recorded that may materially impact our financial statements in the period in which the adjustments are made.

We are also subject to tax controversies in various jurisdictions that can result in tax assessments against us. Developments in an audit, investigation, or other tax controversy can have a material effect on our operating results or cash flows in the period or periods for which that development occurs, as well as for prior and subsequent periods. We regularly assess the likelihood of an adverse outcome resulting from these proceedings to determine the adequacy of our tax accruals. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the final outcome of audits, investigations, and any other tax controversies could be materially different from our historical tax accruals.

Our Supplier Relationships Subject Us to a Number of Risks

We have significant suppliers, including content and technology licensors, and in some cases, limited or single-sources of supply, that are important to our sourcing, services, manufacturing, and any related ongoing servicing of merchandise and content. We do not have long-term arrangements with most of our suppliers to guarantee availability of merchandise, content, components, or services, particular payment terms, or the extension of credit limits. Decisions by our current suppliers to stop selling or licensing merchandise, content, components, or services to us on acceptable terms, or delay delivery, including as a result of one or more supplier bankruptcies due to poor economic conditions, as a result of natural disasters, or for other reasons, may result in our being unable to procure alternatives from other suppliers in a timely and efficient manner and on acceptable terms, or at all. In addition, violations by our suppliers or other vendors of applicable laws, regulations, contractual

 

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terms, intellectual property rights of others, or our Supply Chain Standards, as well as products or practices regarded as unethical, unsafe, or hazardous, could expose us to claims, damage our reputation, limit our growth, and negatively affect our operating results.

We Are Subject to Risks Related to Government Contracts and Related Procurement Regulations

Our contracts with U.S., as well as state, local, and foreign, government entities are subject to various procurement regulations and other requirements relating to their formation, administration, and performance. We are subject to audits and investigations relating to our government contracts, and any violations could result in various civil and criminal penalties and administrative sanctions, including termination of contract, refunding or suspending of payments, forfeiture of profits, payment of fines, and suspension or debarment from future government business. In addition, some of these contracts provide for termination by the government at any time, without cause.

We Are Subject to Product Liability Claims When People or Property Are Harmed by the Products We Sell or Manufacture

Some of the products we sell or manufacture expose us to product liability or food safety claims relating to personal injury or illness, death, or environmental or property damage, and can require product recalls or other actions. Third parties who sell products using our services and stores increase our exposure to product liability claims, such as when these sellers do not have sufficient protection from such claims. Although we maintain liability insurance, we cannot be certain that our coverage will be adequate for liabilities actually incurred or that insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all. Although we impose contractual terms on sellers that are intended to prohibit sales of certain type of products, we may not be able to detect, enforce, or collect sufficient damages for breaches of such agreements. In addition, some of our agreements with our vendors and sellers do not indemnify us from product liability.

We Are Subject to Payments-Related Risks

We accept payments using a variety of methods, including credit card, debit card, credit accounts (including promotional financing), gift cards, direct debit from a customer’s bank account, consumer invoicing, physical bank check, and payment upon delivery. For existing and future payment options we offer to our customers, we currently are subject to, and may become subject to additional, regulations and compliance requirements (including obligations to implement enhanced authentication processes that could result in significant costs and reduce the ease of use of our payments products), as well as fraud. For certain payment methods, including credit and debit cards, we pay interchange and other fees, which may increase over time and raise our operating costs and lower profitability. We rely on third parties to provide certain Amazon-branded payment methods and payment processing services, including the processing of credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks, and promotional financing. In each case, it could disrupt our business if these companies become unwilling or unable to provide these services to us. We also offer co-branded credit card programs, which could adversely affect our operating results if renewed on less favorable terms or terminated. We are also subject to payment card association operating rules, including data security rules, certification requirements, and rules governing electronic funds transfers, which could change or be reinterpreted to make it difficult or impossible for us to comply. Failure to comply with these rules or requirements, as well as any breach, compromise, or failure to otherwise detect or prevent fraudulent activity involving our data security systems, could result in our being liable for card issuing banks’ costs, subject to fines and higher transaction fees, and loss of our ability to accept credit and debit card payments from our customers, process electronic funds transfers, or facilitate other types of online payments, and our business and operating results could be adversely affected.

In addition, we provide regulated services in certain jurisdictions because we enable customers to keep account balances with us and transfer money to third parties, and because we provide services to third parties to facilitate payments on their behalf. Jurisdictions subject us to requirements for licensing, regulatory inspection, bonding and capital maintenance, the use, handling, and segregation of transferred funds, consumer disclosures, maintaining or processing data, and authentication. We are also subject to or voluntarily comply with a number of other laws and regulations relating to payments, money laundering, international money transfers, privacy and information security, and electronic fund transfers. If we were found to be in violation of applicable laws or regulations, we could be subject to additional requirements and civil and criminal penalties, or forced to cease providing certain services.

We Are Impacted by Fraudulent or Unlawful Activities of Sellers

The law relating to the liability of online service providers is currently unsettled. In addition, governmental agencies have in the past and could in the future require changes in the way this business is conducted. Under our seller programs, we maintain policies and processes designed to prevent sellers from collecting payments, fraudulently or otherwise, when buyers never receive the products they ordered or when the products received are materially different from the sellers’ descriptions, and to prevent sellers in our stores or through other stores from selling unlawful, counterfeit, pirated, or stolen goods, selling

 

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goods in an unlawful or unethical manner, violating the proprietary rights of others, or otherwise violating our policies. When these policies and processes are circumvented or fail to operate sufficiently, it can harm our business or damage our reputation and we could face civil or criminal liability for unlawful activities by our sellers. Under our A2Z Guarantee, we reimburse buyers for payments up to certain limits in these situations, and as our third-party seller sales grow, the cost of this program will increase and could negatively affect our operating results.

 

 
   
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None.

 

 

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Item 2. Properties

As of December 31, 2019, we operated the following facilities (in thousands):

 

 

 
                 
Description of Use   Leased Square

Footage (1)

  Owned Square Footage   Location
Office space   18,051     4,961     North America
Office space   15,863     1,831     International
Physical stores (2)   20,072     662     North America
Physical stores (2)   169         International
Fulfillment, data centers, and other   187,148     5,591     North America
Fulfillment, data centers, and other   76,868     2,570     International
Total   318,171     15,615      

___________________

   
(1) For leased properties, represents the total leased space excluding sub-leased space.
     
(2) This includes 564 North America and 7 International stores as of December 31, 2019.  

 

 
             
Segment   Leased Square
Footage (1)
  Owned Square Footage (1)
North America   199,473     1,983  
International   74,231     958  
AWS   10,553     5,882  
Total   284,257     8,823  

___________________

   
(1) Segment amounts exclude corporate facilities. Shared facilities are allocated among the segments based on usage and primarily relate to facilities that hold our technology infrastructure. See Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 10 — Segment Information.”

We own and lease our corporate headquarters in Seattle, Washington and Arlington, Virginia.

 

 

 
   
Item 3. Legal Proceedings

See Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 7 — Commitments and Contingencies — Legal Proceedings.”

 

 

 
   
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

 

 

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PART II

 

 

 
   
Item 5. Market for the Registrant’s Common Stock, Related Shareholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Our common stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “AMZN.”

Holders

As of January 22, 2020, there were 3,169 shareholders of record of our common stock, although there is a much larger number of beneficial owners.

Recent Sales of Unregistered Securities

None.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

None.

 

 

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Item 6. Selected Consolidated Financial Data

The following selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto in Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” and the information contained in Item 7 of Part II, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” Historical results are not necessarily indicative of future results.

 

 
                                         
    Year Ended December 31,
    2015   2016   2017 (1)   2018   2019
    (in millions, except per share data)
Statements of Operations:                    
Net sales   $ 107,006     $ 135,987     $ 177,866     $ 232,887     $ 280,522  
Operating income   $ 2,233     $ 4,186     $ 4,106     $ 12,421     $ 14,541  
Net income (loss)   $ 596     $ 2,371     $ 3,033     $ 10,073     $ 11,588  
Basic earnings per share (2)   $ 1.28     $ 5.01     $ 6.32     $ 20.68     $ 23.46  
Diluted earnings per share (2)   $ 1.25     $ 4.90     $ 6.15     $ 20.14     $ 23.01  
Weighted-average shares used in computation of earnings per share:                    
Basic   467     474     480     487     494  
Diluted   477     484     493     500     504  
Statements of Cash Flows:                    
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities (3)   $ 11,909     $ 17,203     $ 18,365     $ 30,723     $ 38,514  
                     
    December 31,
    2015   2016   2017   2018   2019 (4)
    (in millions)
Balance Sheets:                    
Total assets   $ 64,747     $ 83,402     $ 131,310     $ 162,648     $ 225,248  
Total long-term obligations   $ 17,477     $ 20,301     $ 45,718     $ 50,708     $ 75,376  

___________________

   
(1) We acquired Whole Foods Market on August 28, 2017. The results of Whole Foods Market have been included in our results of operation from the date of acquisition.
   
(2) For further discussion of earnings per share, see Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 1 — Description of Business and Accounting Policies.”
   
(3) As a result of the adoption of new accounting guidance, we retrospectively adjusted our consolidated statements of cash flows to add restricted cash to cash and cash equivalents, which restated cash provided by operating activities by $(130) million, $(69) million, and $(69) million in 2015, 2016, and 2017. See Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 1 — Description of Business and Accounting Policies” for additional information.
   
(4) As a result of the adoption of new accounting guidance on January 1, 2019, we recognized lease assets and liabilities for operating leases with terms of more than twelve months. Prior period amounts were not adjusted and continue to be reported in accordance with our historic accounting policies. See Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 1 — Description of Business and Accounting Policies” for additional information.

 

 

 

 

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Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Forward-Looking Statements

This Annual Report on Form 10-K includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact, including statements regarding guidance, industry prospects, or future results of operations or financial position, made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K are forward-looking. We use words such as anticipates, believes, expects, future, intends, and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. Actual results could differ materially for a variety of reasons, including, among others, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, changes in global economic conditions and customer spending, world events, the rate of growth of the Internet, online commerce, and cloud services, the amount that Amazon.com invests in new business opportunities and the timing of those investments, the mix of products and services sold to customers, the mix of net sales derived from products as compared with services, the extent to which we owe income or other taxes, competition, management of growth, potential fluctuations in operating results, international growth and expansion, the outcomes of claims, litigation, government investigations, and other proceedings, fulfillment, sortation, delivery, and data center optimization, risks of inventory management, seasonality, the degree to which we enter into, maintain, and develop commercial agreements, proposed and completed acquisitions and strategic transactions, payments risks, and risks of fulfillment throughput and productivity. In addition, the global economic climate amplifies many of these risks. These risks and uncertainties, as well as other risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ significantly from management’s expectations, are described in greater detail in Item 1A of Part I, “Risk Factors.”

Overview

Our primary source of revenue is the sale of a wide range of products and services to customers. The products offered through our stores include merchandise and content we have purchased for resale and products offered by third-party sellers, and we also manufacture and sell electronic devices and produce media content. Generally, we recognize gross revenue from items we sell from our inventory as product sales and recognize our net share of revenue of items sold by third-party sellers as service sales. We seek to increase unit sales across our stores, through increased product selection, across numerous product categories. We also offer other services such as compute, storage, and database offerings, fulfillment, advertising, publishing, and digital content subscriptions.

Our financial focus is on long-term, sustainable growth in free cash flows1. Free cash flows are driven primarily by increasing operating income and efficiently managing working capital2 and cash capital expenditures, including our decision to purchase or lease property and equipment. Increases in operating income primarily result from increases in sales of products and services and efficiently managing our operating costs, partially offset by investments we make in longer-term strategic initiatives, including capital expenditures focused on improving the customer experience. To increase sales of products and services, we focus on improving all aspects of the customer experience, including lowering prices, improving availability, offering faster delivery and performance times, increasing selection, producing original content, increasing product categories and service offerings, expanding product information, improving ease of use, improving reliability, and earning customer trust.

We seek to reduce our variable costs per unit and work to leverage our fixed costs. Our variable costs include product and content costs, payment processing and related transaction costs, picking, packaging, and preparing orders for shipment, transportation, customer service support, costs necessary to run AWS, and a portion of our marketing costs. Our fixed costs include the costs necessary to build and run our technology infrastructure; to build, enhance, and add features to our online stores, web services, electronic devices, and digital offerings; and to build and optimize our fulfillment and delivery networks and related facilities. Variable costs generally change directly with sales volume, while fixed costs generally are dependent on the timing of capacity needs, geographic expansion, category expansion, and other factors. To decrease our variable costs on a per unit basis and enable us to lower prices for customers, we seek to increase our direct sourcing, increase discounts from suppliers, and reduce defects in our processes. To minimize unnecessary growth in fixed costs, we seek to improve process efficiencies and maintain a lean culture.

 

 

 

 

_______________________

   
(1) See “Results of Operations — Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for additional information on our non-GAAP free cash flows financial measures.
     
(2) Working capital consists of accounts receivable, inventory, and accounts payable.  

 

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Because of our model we are able to turn our inventory quickly and have a cash-generating operating cycle3. On average, our high inventory velocity means we generally collect from consumers before our payments to suppliers come due. We expect variability in inventory turnover over time since it is affected by numerous factors, including our product mix, the mix of sales by us and by third-party sellers, our continuing focus on in-stock inventory availability and selection of product offerings, our investment in new geographies and product lines, and the extent to which we choose to utilize third-party fulfillment providers. We also expect some variability in accounts payable days over time since they are affected by several factors, including the mix of product sales, the mix of sales by third-party sellers, the mix of suppliers, seasonality, and changes in payment terms over time, including the effect of balancing pricing and timing of payment terms with suppliers.

We expect spending in technology and content will increase over time as we add computer scientists, designers, software and hardware engineers, and merchandising employees. Our technology and content investment and capital spending projects often support a variety of product and service offerings due to geographic expansion and the cross-functionality of our systems and operations. We seek to invest efficiently in several areas of technology and content, including AWS, and expansion of new and existing product categories and service offerings, as well as in technology infrastructure to enhance the customer experience and improve our process efficiencies. We believe that advances in technology, specifically the speed and reduced cost of processing power, the advances of wireless connectivity, and the practical applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning, will continue to improve the consumer experience on the Internet and increase its ubiquity in people’s lives. To best take advantage of these continued advances in technology, we are investing in initiatives to build and deploy innovative and efficient software and electronic devices. We are also investing in AWS, which offers a broad set of global compute, storage, database, and other service offerings to developers and enterprises of all sizes.

We seek to efficiently manage shareholder dilution while maintaining the flexibility to issue shares for strategic purposes, such as financings, acquisitions, and aligning employee compensation with shareholders’ interests. We utilize restricted stock units as our primary vehicle for equity compensation because we believe this compensation model aligns the long-term interests of our shareholders and employees. In measuring shareholder dilution, we include all vested and unvested stock awards outstanding, without regard to estimated forfeitures. Total shares outstanding plus outstanding stock awards were 507 million and 512 million as of December 31, 2018 and 2019.

Our financial reporting currency is the U.S. Dollar and changes in foreign exchange rates significantly affect our reported results and consolidated trends. For example, if the U.S. Dollar weakens year-over-year relative to currencies in our international locations, our consolidated net sales and operating expenses will be higher than if currencies had remained constant. Likewise, if the U.S. Dollar strengthens year-over-year relative to currencies in our international locations, our consolidated net sales and operating expenses will be lower than if currencies had remained constant. We believe that our increasing diversification beyond the U.S. economy through our growing international businesses benefits our shareholders over the long-term. We also believe it is useful to evaluate our operating results and growth rates before and after the effect of currency changes.

In addition, the remeasurement of our intercompany balances can result in significant gains and losses associated with the effect of movements in foreign currency exchange rates. Currency volatilities may continue, which may significantly impact (either positively or negatively) our reported results and consolidated trends and comparisons.

For additional information about each line item addressed above, refer to Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 1 — Description of Business and Accounting Policies.”

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 includes a discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2017 in Item 7 of Part II, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(3) The operating cycle is the number of days of sales in inventory plus the number of days of sales in accounts receivable minus accounts payable days.

 

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Critical Accounting Judgments

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles of the United States (“GAAP”) requires estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosures of contingent liabilities in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. The SEC has defined a company’s critical accounting policies as the ones that are most important to the portrayal of the company’s financial condition and results of operations, and which require the company to make its most difficult and subjective judgments, often as a result of the need to make estimates of matters that are inherently uncertain. Based on this definition, we have identified the critical accounting policies and judgments addressed below. We also have other key accounting policies, which involve the use of estimates, judgments, and assumptions that are significant to understanding our results. For additional information, see Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 1 — Description of Business and Accounting Policies.” Although we believe that our estimates, assumptions, and judgments are reasonable, they are based upon information presently available. Actual results may differ significantly from these estimates under different assumptions, judgments, or conditions.

Inventories

Inventories, consisting of products available for sale, are primarily accounted for using the first-in first-out method, and are valued at the lower of cost and net realizable value. This valuation requires us to make judgments, based on currently available information, about the likely method of disposition, such as through sales to individual customers, returns to product vendors, or liquidations, and expected recoverable values of each disposition category. These assumptions about future disposition of inventory are inherently uncertain and changes in our estimates and assumptions may cause us to realize material write-downs in the future. As a measure of sensitivity, for every 1% of additional inventory valuation allowance as of December 31, 2019, we would have recorded an additional cost of sales of approximately $230 million.

In addition, we enter into supplier commitments for certain electronic device components and certain products. These commitments are based on forecasted customer demand. If we reduce these commitments, we may incur additional costs.

Income Taxes

We are subject to income taxes in the U.S. (federal and state) and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Tax laws, regulations, administrative practices, principles, and interpretations in various jurisdictions may be subject to significant change, with or without notice, due to economic, political, and other conditions, and significant judgment is required in evaluating and estimating our provision and accruals for these taxes. There are many transactions that occur during the ordinary course of business for which the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. Our effective tax rates could be affected by numerous factors, such as changes in our business operations, acquisitions, investments, entry into new businesses and geographies, intercompany transactions, the relative amount of our foreign earnings, including earnings being lower than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have lower statutory rates and higher than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have higher statutory rates, losses incurred in jurisdictions for which we are not able to realize related tax benefits, the applicability of special tax regimes, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, changes in our stock price, changes in our deferred tax assets and liabilities and their valuation, changes in the laws, regulations, administrative practices, principles, and interpretations related to tax, including changes to the global tax framework, competition, and other laws and accounting rules in various jurisdictions. In addition, a number of countries are actively pursuing changes to their tax laws applicable to corporate multinationals, such as the U.S. tax reform legislation commonly known as the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the “U.S. Tax Act”). Finally, foreign governments may enact tax laws in response to the U.S. Tax Act that could result in further changes to global taxation and materially affect our financial position and results of operations.

The U.S. Tax Act significantly changed how the U.S. taxes corporations. The U.S. Tax Act requires complex computations to be performed that were not previously required by U.S. tax law, significant judgments to be made in interpretation of the provisions of the U.S. Tax Act, significant estimates in calculations, and the preparation and analysis of information not previously relevant or regularly produced. The U.S. Treasury Department, the IRS, and other standard-setting bodies will continue to interpret or issue guidance on how provisions of the U.S. Tax Act will be applied or otherwise administered. As future guidance is issued, we may make adjustments to amounts that we have previously recorded that may materially impact our provision for income taxes in the period in which the adjustments are made.

We are also currently subject to tax controversies in various jurisdictions, and these jurisdictions may assess additional income tax liabilities against us. Developments in an audit, investigation, or other tax controversy could have a material effect on our operating results or cash flows in the period or periods for which that development occurs, as well as for prior and subsequent periods. We regularly assess the likelihood of an adverse outcome resulting from these proceedings to determine the adequacy of our tax accruals. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the final outcome of audits, investigations, and any other tax controversies could be materially different from our historical income tax provisions and accruals.

 

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Recent Accounting Pronouncements

See Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 1 — Description of Business and Accounting Policies.”

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Cash flow information, which reflects retrospective adjustments to our consolidated statements of cash flows as described in Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 1 — Description of Business and Accounting Policies,” is as follows (in millions):

 

 

 
               
  Year Ended December 31,
  2018   2019
Cash provided by (used in):      
Operating activities $ 30,723     $ 38,514  
Investing activities (12,369 )   (24,281 )
Financing activities (7,686 )   (10,066 )

Our principal sources of liquidity are cash flows generated from operations and our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances, which, at fair value, were $41.3 billion and $55.0 billion as of December 31, 2018 and 2019. Amounts held in foreign currencies were $13.8 billion and $15.3 billion as of December 31, 2018 and 2019, and were primarily Euros, British Pounds, and Japanese Yen.

Cash provided by (used in) operating activities was $30.7 billion and $38.5 billion in 2018 and 2019. Our operating cash flows result primarily from cash received from our consumer, seller, developer, enterprise, and content creator customers, and advertisers, offset by cash payments we make for products and services, employee compensation, payment processing and related transaction costs, operating leases, and interest payments on our long-term obligations. Cash received from our customers and other activities generally corresponds to our net sales. Because consumers primarily use credit cards to buy from us, our receivables from consumers settle quickly. The increase in operating cash flow in 2019, compared to the prior year, is primarily due to the increase in net income, excluding non-cash charges such as depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation. Cash provided by (used in) operating activities is also subject to changes in working capital. Working capital at any specific point in time is subject to many variables, including seasonality, inventory management and category expansion, the timing of cash receipts and payments, vendor payment terms, and fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.

Cash provided by (used in) investing activities corresponds with cash capital expenditures, including leasehold improvements, incentives received from property and equipment vendors, proceeds from asset sales, cash outlays for acquisitions, investments in other companies and intellectual property rights, and purchases, sales, and maturities of marketable securities. Cash provided by (used in) investing activities was $(12.4) billion and $(24.3) billion in 2018 and 2019, with the variability caused primarily by our decision to purchase or lease property and equipment and purchases, maturities, and sales of marketable securities. Cash capital expenditures were $11.3 billion, and $12.7 billion in 2018 and 2019, which primarily reflect additional capacity to support our fulfillment operations and additional investments in support of continued business growth in technology infrastructure (the majority of which is to support AWS). We made cash payments, net of acquired cash, related to acquisition and other investment activity of $2.2 billion and $2.5 billion in 2018 and 2019.

Cash provided by (used in) financing activities was $(7.7) billion and $(10.1) billion in 2018 and 2019. Cash outflows from financing activities result from principal repayments of finance leases and financing obligations and repayments of long-term debt and other, and were $8.5 billion and $12.3 billion in 2018 and 2019. Property and equipment acquired under finance leases was $10.6 billion and $13.7 billion in 2018 and 2019, with the increase reflecting investments in support of continued business growth primarily due to investments in technology infrastructure for AWS, which investments we expect to continue over time.

We had no borrowings outstanding under the commercial paper program (the “Commercial Paper Program”) or unsecured revolving credit facility (the “Credit Agreement”) and $740 million of borrowings outstanding under our $740 million secured revolving credit facility (the “Credit Facility”) as of December 31, 2019. See Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 6 — Debt” for additional information.

In 2018 and 2019, we recorded net tax provisions of $1.2 billion and $2.4 billion. Certain foreign subsidiary earnings are subject to U.S. taxation under the U.S. Tax Act, which also repeals U.S. taxation on the subsequent repatriation of those earnings. We intend to invest substantially all of our foreign subsidiary earnings, as well as our capital in our foreign

 

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subsidiaries, indefinitely outside of the U.S. in those jurisdictions in which we would incur significant, additional costs upon repatriation of such amounts. As of December 31, 2019, cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities held by foreign subsidiaries was $13.4 billion.

Tax benefits relating to excess stock-based compensation deductions and accelerated depreciation deductions are reducing our U.S. taxable income. The U.S. Tax Act enhanced and extended accelerated depreciation deductions by allowing full expensing of qualified property, primarily equipment, through 2022. Cash taxes paid (net of refunds) were $1.2 billion and $881 million for 2018 and 2019. As of December 31, 2019, we had approximately $1.7 billion of federal tax credits potentially available to offset future tax liabilities. Our federal tax credits are primarily related to the U.S. federal research and development credit. As we utilize our federal tax credits we expect cash paid for taxes to increase. We endeavor to manage our global taxes on a cash basis, rather than on a financial reporting basis. In connection with the European Commission’s October 2017 decision against us on state aid, Luxembourg tax authorities computed an initial recovery amount, consistent with the European Commission’s decision, of approximately €250 million, that we deposited into escrow in March 2018, subject to adjustment pending conclusion of all appeals.

Our liquidity is also affected by restricted cash balances that are pledged as collateral for real estate leases, amounts due to third-party sellers in certain jurisdictions, debt, and standby and trade letters of credit. To the extent we process payments for third-party sellers or offer certain types of stored value to our customers, some jurisdictions may restrict our use of those funds. These restrictions would result in the reclassification of a portion of our cash and cash equivalents from “Cash and cash equivalents” to restricted cash, which is classified within “Accounts receivable, net and other” and “Other assets” on our consolidated balance sheets. As of December 31, 2018 and 2019, restricted cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities were $426 million and $321 million. See Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 7 — Commitments and Contingencies” for additional discussion of our principal contractual commitments, as well as our pledged assets. Additionally, purchase obligations and open purchase orders, consisting of inventory and significant non-inventory commitments, were $15.7 billion as of December 31, 2019. These purchase obligations and open purchase orders are generally cancellable in full or in part through the contractual provisions.

We believe that cash flows generated from operations and our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances, as well as our borrowing arrangements, will be sufficient to meet our anticipated operating cash needs for at least the next twelve months. However, any projections of future cash needs and cash flows are subject to substantial uncertainty. See Item 1A of Part I, “Risk Factors.” We continually evaluate opportunities to sell additional equity or debt securities, obtain credit facilities, obtain finance and operating lease arrangements, enter into financing obligations, repurchase common stock, pay dividends, or repurchase, refinance, or otherwise restructure our debt for strategic reasons or to further strengthen our financial position.

The sale of additional equity or convertible debt securities would likely be dilutive to our shareholders. In addition, we will, from time to time, consider the acquisition of, or investment in, complementary businesses, products, services, capital infrastructure, and technologies, which might affect our liquidity requirements or cause us to secure additional financing, or issue additional equity or debt securities. There can be no assurance that additional credit lines or financing instruments will be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all.

 

 

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Results of Operations

We have organized our operations into three segments: North America, International, and AWS. These segments reflect the way the Company evaluates its business performance and manages its operations. See Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 10 — Segment Information.”

Net Sales

Net sales include product and service sales. Product sales represent revenue from the sale of products and related shipping fees and digital media content where we record revenue gross. Service sales primarily represent third-party seller fees, which includes commissions and any related fulfillment and shipping fees, AWS sales, Amazon Prime membership fees, advertising services, and certain digital content subscriptions. Net sales information is as follows (in millions):

 

 
               
  Year Ended December 31,
  2018   2019
Net Sales:      
North America $ 141,366     $ 170,773  
International 65,866     74,723  
AWS 25,655     35,026  
Consolidated $ 232,887     $ 280,522  
Year-over-year Percentage Growth:      
North America 33 %   21 %
International 21     13  
AWS 47     37  
Consolidated 31     20  
Year-over-year Percentage Growth, excluding the effect of foreign exchange rates:      
North America 33 %   21 %
International 19     17  
AWS 47     37  
Consolidated 30     22  
Net sales mix:      
North America 61 %   61 %
International 28     27  
AWS 11     12  
Consolidated 100 %   100 %

Sales increased 20% in 2019, compared to the prior year. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates impacted net sales by $1.3 billion and $(2.6) billion for 2018 and 2019. For a discussion of the effect on sales growth of foreign exchange rates, see “Effect of Foreign Exchange Rates” below.

North America sales increased 21% in 2019, compared to the prior year. The sales growth primarily reflects increased unit sales, including sales by third-party sellers. Increased unit sales were driven largely by our continued efforts to reduce prices for our customers, including from our shipping offers, increased in-stock inventory availability, and increased selection.

International sales increased 13% in 2019, compared to the prior year. The sales growth primarily reflects increased unit sales, including sales by third-party sellers. Increased unit sales were driven largely by our continued efforts to reduce prices for our customers, including from our shipping offers, increased in-stock inventory availability, and increased selection. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates impacted International net sales by $1.3 billion and $(2.4) billion in 2018 and 2019.

AWS sales increased 37% in 2019, compared to the prior year. The sales growth primarily reflects increased customer usage, partially offset by pricing changes. Pricing changes were driven largely by our continued efforts to reduce prices for our customers.

 

 

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Operating Income (Loss)

Operating income (loss) by segment is as follows (in millions):

 

 
               
  Year Ended December 31,
  2018   2019
Operating Income (Loss):      
North America $ 7,267     $ 7,033  
International (2,142 )   (1,693 )
AWS 7,296     9,201  
Consolidated $ 12,421     $ 14,541  

Operating income was $12.4 billion and $14.5 billion for 2018 and 2019. We believe that operating income (loss) is a more meaningful measure than gross profit and gross margin due to the diversity of our product categories and services.

The decrease in North America operating income in absolute dollars in 2019, compared to the prior year, is primarily due to increased shipping costs and marketing expense, partially offset by increased unit sales, including sales by third-party sellers, and advertising sales and slower growth in certain operating expenses. Changes in foreign exchange rates impacted operating income by $17 million and $23 million for 2018 and 2019.

The decrease in International operating loss in absolute dollars in 2019, compared to the prior year, is primarily due to increased unit sales, including sales by third-party sellers, and advertising sales, and slower growth in certain operating expenses, partially offset by increased marketing expense. Changes in foreign exchange rates impacted operating loss by $258 million and $(116) million for 2018 and 2019.

The increase in AWS operating income in absolute dollars in 2019, compared to the prior year, is primarily due to increased customer usage and cost structure productivity, partially offset by pricing changes and increased spending on technology infrastructure and payroll and related expenses, which was primarily driven by additional investments to support the business growth. Changes in foreign exchange rates impacted operating income by $(49) million and $273 million for 2018 and 2019.

 

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Operating Expenses

Information about operating expenses is as follows (in millions):

 

 

 
               
  Year Ended December 31,
  2018   2019
Operating expenses:      
Cost of sales $ 139,156     $ 165,536  
Fulfillment 34,027     40,232  
Technology and content 28,837     35,931  
Marketing 13,814     18,878  
General and administrative 4,336     5,203  
Other operating expense (income), net 296     201  
Total operating expenses $ 220,466     $ 265,981  
Year-over-year Percentage Growth:      
Cost of sales 24 %   19  %
Fulfillment 35     18  
Technology and content 27     25  
Marketing 37     37  
General and administrative 18     20  
Other operating expense (income), net 38     (32 )
Percent of Net Sales:      
Cost of sales 59.8 %   59.0  %
Fulfillment 14.6     14.3  
Technology and content 12.4     12.8  
Marketing 5.9     6.7  
General and administrative 1.9     1.9  
Other operating expense (income), net 0.1     0.1  

Cost of Sales

Cost of sales primarily consists of the purchase price of consumer products, inbound and outbound shipping costs, including costs related to sortation and delivery centers and where we are the transportation service provider, and digital media content costs where we record revenue gross, including video and music.

The increase in cost of sales in absolute dollars in 2019, compared to the prior year, is primarily due to increased product and shipping costs resulting from increased sales.

Shipping costs to receive products from our suppliers are included in our inventory and recognized as cost of sales upon sale of products to our customers. Shipping costs, which include sortation and delivery centers and transportation costs, were $27.7 billion and $37.9 billion in 2018 and 2019. We expect our cost of shipping to continue to increase to the extent our customers accept and use our shipping offers at an increasing rate, we reduce shipping rates, we use more expensive shipping methods, including faster delivery, and we offer additional services. We seek to mitigate costs of shipping over time in part through achieving higher sales volumes, optimizing our fulfillment network, negotiating better terms with our suppliers, and achieving better operating efficiencies. We believe that offering low prices to our customers is fundamental to our future success, and one way we offer lower prices is through shipping offers.

Costs to operate our AWS segment are primarily classified as “Technology and content” as we leverage a shared infrastructure that supports both our internal technology requirements and external sales to AWS customers.

 

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Fulfillment

Fulfillment costs primarily consist of those costs incurred in operating and staffing our North America and International fulfillment centers, physical stores, and customer service centers and payment processing costs. While AWS payment processing and related transaction costs are included in fulfillment, AWS costs are primarily classified as “Technology and content.” Fulfillment costs as a percentage of net sales may vary due to several factors, such as payment processing and related transaction costs, our level of productivity and accuracy, changes in volume, size, and weight of units received and fulfilled, the extent to which third party sellers utilize Fulfillment by Amazon services, timing of fulfillment network and physical store expansion, the extent we utilize fulfillment services provided by third parties, mix of products and services sold, and our ability to affect customer service contacts per unit by implementing improvements in our operations and enhancements to our customer self-service features. Additionally, because payment processing costs associated with seller transactions are based on the gross purchase price of underlying transactions, and payment processing and related transaction costs are higher as a percentage of sales versus our retail sales, sales by our sellers have higher payment processing costs as a percent of net sales.

The increase in fulfillment costs in absolute dollars in 2019, compared to the prior year, is primarily due to variable costs corresponding with increased product and service sales volume and inventory levels and costs from expanding our fulfillment network, which includes physical stores.

We seek to expand our fulfillment network to accommodate a greater selection and in-stock inventory levels and to meet anticipated shipment volumes from sales of our own products as well as sales by third parties for which we provide the fulfillment services. We regularly evaluate our facility requirements.

Technology and Content

Technology and content costs include payroll and related expenses for employees involved in the research and development of new and existing products and services, development, design, and maintenance of our stores, curation and display of products and services made available in our online stores, and infrastructure costs. Infrastructure costs include servers, networking equipment, and data center related depreciation and amortization, rent, utilities, and other expenses necessary to support AWS and other Amazon businesses. Collectively, these costs reflect the investments we make in order to offer a wide variety of products and services to our customers.

We seek to invest efficiently in numerous areas of technology and content so we may continue to enhance the customer experience and improve our process efficiency through rapid technology developments, while operating at an ever increasing scale. Our technology and content investment and capital spending projects often support a variety of product and service offerings due to geographic expansion and the cross-functionality of our systems and operations. We expect spending in technology and content to increase over time as we continue to add employees and technology infrastructure. These costs are allocated to segments based on usage. The increase in technology and content costs in absolute dollars in 2019, compared to the prior year, is primarily due to an increase in spending on technology infrastructure and increased payroll and related costs associated with technical teams responsible for expanding our existing products and services and initiatives to introduce new products and service offerings. We expect technology and content costs to grow at a slower rate in 2020 due to an increase in the estimated useful life of our servers, which will impact each of our segments. See Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 1 — Description of Business and Accounting Policies — Use of Estimates” for additional information on the change in estimated useful life of our servers.

Marketing

Marketing costs include advertising and payroll and related expenses for personnel engaged in marketing and selling activities, including sales commissions related to AWS. We direct customers to our stores primarily through a number of marketing channels, such as our sponsored search, third party customer referrals, social and online advertising, television advertising, and other initiatives. Our marketing costs are largely variable, based on growth in sales and changes in rates. To the extent there is increased or decreased competition for these traffic sources, or to the extent our mix of these channels shifts, we would expect to see a corresponding change in our marketing costs.

The increase in marketing costs in absolute dollars in 2019, compared to the prior year, is primarily due to increased spending on marketing channels, as well as payroll and related expenses for personnel engaged in marketing and selling activities.

While costs associated with Amazon Prime memberships and other shipping offers are not included in marketing expense, we view these offers as effective worldwide marketing tools, and intend to continue offering them indefinitely.

 

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General and Administrative

The increase in general and administrative costs in absolute dollars in 2019, compared to the prior year, is primarily due to increases in payroll and related expenses.

Other Operating Expense (Income), Net

Other operating expense (income), net was $296 million and $201 million during 2018 and 2019, and is primarily related to the amortization of intangible assets.

Interest Income and Expense

Our interest income was $440 million and $832 million during 2018 and 2019. We generally invest our excess cash in AAA-rated money market funds and investment grade short- to intermediate-term fixed income securities. Our interest income corresponds with the average balance of invested funds based on the prevailing rates, which vary depending on the geographies and currencies in which they are invested.

Interest expense was $1.4 billion and $1.6 billion in 2018 and 2019. The increase is primarily related to finance leases.

Our long-term lease liabilities were $9.7 billion and $39.8 billion as of December 31, 2018 and 2019. Our long-term debt was $23.5 billion and $23.4 billion as of December 31, 2018 and 2019. See Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 4 — Leases and Note 6 — Debt” for additional information.

Other Income (Expense), Net

Other income (expense), net was $(183) million and $203 million during 2018 and 2019. The primary components of other income (expense), net are related to equity securities and warrant valuations and foreign currency.

Income Taxes

Our effective tax rate is subject to significant variation due to several factors, including variability in our pre-tax and taxable income and loss and the mix of jurisdictions to which they relate, intercompany transactions, the applicability of special tax regimes, changes in how we do business, acquisitions, investments, audit-related developments, changes in our stock price, changes in our deferred tax assets and liabilities and their valuation, foreign currency gains (losses), changes in statutes, regulations, case law, and administrative practices, principles, and interpretations related to tax, including changes to the global tax framework, competition, and other laws and accounting rules in various jurisdictions, and relative changes of expenses or losses for which tax benefits are not recognized. Additionally, our effective tax rate can be more or less volatile based on the amount of pre-tax income or loss. For example, the impact of discrete items and non-deductible expenses on our effective tax rate is greater when our pre-tax income is lower.

We recorded a provision for income taxes of $1.2 billion and $2.4 billion in 2018 and 2019. Our provision for income taxes in 2019 was higher than in 2018 primarily due to an increase in U.S. pre-tax income, a decline in excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation, and the one-time provisional tax benefit of the U.S. Tax Act recognized in 2018.

Tax benefits relating to excess stock-based compensation deductions and accelerated depreciation deductions are reducing our U.S. taxable income. The U.S. Tax Act enhanced and extended accelerated depreciation deductions by allowing full expensing of qualified property, primarily equipment, through 2022. As of December 31, 2019, we had approximately $1.7 billion of federal tax credits potentially available to offset future tax liabilities. Our federal tax credits are primarily related to the U.S. federal research and development credit.

See Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 9 — Income Taxes” for additional information.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Regulation G, Conditions for Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures, and other SEC regulations define and prescribe the conditions for use of certain non-GAAP financial information. Our measures of free cash flows and the effect of foreign exchange rates on our consolidated statements of operations meet the definition of non-GAAP financial measures.

We provide multiple measures of free cash flows because we believe these measures provide additional perspective on the impact of acquiring property and equipment with cash and through finance leases and financing obligations. We adopted new lease accounting guidance on January 1, 2019 without retrospectively adjusting prior periods. As a result, the line items used in our calculation of measures of free cash flows have changed. See Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 1 — Description of Business and Accounting Policies.”

 

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Free Cash Flow

Free cash flow is cash flow from operations reduced by “Purchases of property and equipment, net of proceeds from sales and incentives.” The following is a reconciliation of free cash flow to the most comparable GAAP cash flow measure, “Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities,” for 2018 and 2019 (in millions):

 

 
               
  Year Ended December 31,
  2018   2019
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities $ 30,723     $ 38,514  
Purchases of property and equipment, net of proceeds from sales and incentives (11,323 )   (12,689 )
Free cash flow $ 19,400     $ 25,825  
       
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities $ (12,369 )   $ (24,281 )
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities $ (7,686 )   $ (10,066 )

Free Cash Flow Less Principal Repayments of Finance Leases and Financing Obligations

Free cash flow less principal repayments of finance leases and financing obligations is free cash flow reduced by “Principal repayments of finance leases” and “Principal repayments of financing obligations.” Principal repayments of finance leases and financing obligations approximates the actual payments of cash for our finance leases and financing obligations. The following is a reconciliation of free cash flow less principal repayments of finance leases and financing obligations to the most comparable GAAP cash flow measure, “Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities,” for 2018 and 2019 (in millions):

 

 
               
  Year Ended December 31,
  2018   2019
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities $ 30,723     $ 38,514  
Purchases of property and equipment, net of proceeds from sales and incentives (11,323 )   (12,689 )
Free cash flow 19,400     25,825  
Principal repayments of finance leases (1) (7,449 )   (9,628 )
Principal repayments of financing obligations (1) (337 )   (27 )
Free cash flow less principal repayments of finance leases and financing obligations $ 11,614     $ 16,170  
       
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities $ (12,369 )   $ (24,281 )
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities $ (7,686 )   $ (10,066 )

_______________

(1) Amounts for 2018 have not been retrospectively adjusted.

 

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Free Cash Flow Less Equipment Finance Leases and Principal Repayments of All Other Finance Leases and Financing Obligations

Free cash flow less equipment finance leases and principal repayments of all other finance leases and financing obligations is free cash flow reduced by equipment acquired under finance leases, which is included in “Property and equipment acquired under finance leases,” principal repayments of all other finance lease liabilities, which is included in “Principal repayments of finance leases,” and “Principal repayments of financing obligations.” All other finance lease liabilities and financing obligations consists of property. In this measure, equipment acquired under finance leases is reflected as if these assets had been purchased with cash, which is not the case as these assets have been leased. The following is a reconciliation of free cash flow less equipment finance leases and principal repayments of all other finance leases and financing obligations to the most comparable GAAP cash flow measure, “Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities,” for 2018 and 2019 (in millions):

 

 
               
  Year Ended December 31,
  2018   2019
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities $ 30,723     $ 38,514  
Purchases of property and equipment, net of proceeds from sales and incentives (11,323 )   (12,689 )
Free cash flow 19,400     25,825  
Equipment acquired under finance leases (1) (10,615 )   (12,916 )
Principal repayments of all other finance leases (2)     (392 )
Principal repayments of financing obligations (337 )   (27 )
Free cash flow less equipment finance leases and principal repayments of all other finance leases and financing obligations $ 8,448     $ 12,490  
       
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities $ (12,369 )   $ (24,281 )
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities $ (7,686 )   $ (10,066 )

___________________

   
(1) For the twelve months ended December 31, 2019, this amount relates to equipment included in “Property and equipment acquired under finance leases” of $13,723 million. Amounts for 2018 have not been retrospectively adjusted.
     
(2) For the twelve months ended December 31, 2019, this amount relates to property included in “Principal repayments of finance leases” of $9,628 million. Amounts for 2018 have not been retrospectively adjusted.  

 

All of these free cash flows measures have limitations as they omit certain components of the overall cash flow statement and do not represent the residual cash flow available for discretionary expenditures. For example, these measures of free cash flows do not incorporate the portion of payments representing principal reductions of debt or cash payments for business acquisitions. Additionally, our mix of property and equipment acquisitions with cash or other financing options may change over time. Therefore, we believe it is important to view free cash flows measures only as a complement to our entire consolidated statements of cash flows.

 

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Effect of Foreign Exchange Rates

Information regarding the effect of foreign exchange rates, versus the U.S. Dollar, on our net sales, operating expenses, and operating income is provided to show reported period operating results had the foreign exchange rates remained the same as those in effect in the comparable prior year periods. The effect on our net sales, operating expenses, and operating income from changes in our foreign exchange rates versus the U.S. Dollar is as follows (in millions):

 

 
                                               
  Year Ended December 31, 2018   Year Ended December 31, 2019
  As
Reported
  Exchange

Rate

Effect (1)

  At Prior
Year
Rates (2)
  As
Reported
  Exchange

Rate

Effect (1)

  At Prior
Year
Rates (2)
Net sales $ 232,887     $ (1,253 )   $ 231,634     $ 280,522     $ 2,560     $ 283,082  
Operating expenses 220,466     (1,027 )   219,439     265,981     2,740     268,721  
Operating income 12,421     (226 )   12,195     14,541     (180 )   14,361  

___________________

   
(1) Represents the change in reported amounts resulting from changes in foreign exchange rates from those in effect in the comparable prior year period for operating results.
   
(2) Represents the outcome that would have resulted had foreign exchange rates in the reported period been the same as those in effect in the comparable prior year period for operating results.

Guidance

We provided guidance on January 30, 2020, in our earnings release furnished on Form 8-K as set forth below. These forward-looking statements reflect Amazon.com’s expectations as of January 30, 2020, and are subject to substantial uncertainty. Our results are inherently unpredictable and may be materially affected by many factors, such as fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, changes in global economic conditions and customer spending, world events, the rate of growth of the Internet, online commerce, and cloud services, as well as those outlined in Item 1A of Part I, “Risk Factors.”

First Quarter 2020 Guidance

   
Net sales are expected to be between $69.0 billion and $73.0 billion, or to grow between 16% and 22% compared with first quarter 2019. This guidance anticipates a favorable impact of approximately 5 basis points from foreign exchange rates.
   
Operating income is expected to be between $3.0 billion and $4.2 billion, compared with $4.4 billion in first quarter 2019. This guidance includes approximately $800 million lower depreciation expense due to an increase in the estimated useful life of our servers beginning on January 1, 2020.
   
This guidance assumes, among other things, that no additional business acquisitions, investments, restructurings, or legal settlements are concluded.

 

 

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Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

We are exposed to market risk for the effect of interest rate changes, foreign currency fluctuations, and changes in the market values of our investments. Information relating to quantitative and qualitative disclosures about market risk is set forth below and in Item 7 of Part II, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

Interest Rate Risk

Our exposure to market risk for changes in interest rates relates primarily to our investment portfolio and our long-term debt. Our long-term debt is carried at amortized cost and fluctuations in interest rates do not impact our consolidated financial statements. However, the fair value of our debt, which pays interest at a fixed rate, will generally fluctuate with movements of interest rates, increasing in periods of declining rates of interest and declining in periods of increasing rates of interest. We generally invest our excess cash in AAA-rated money market funds and investment grade short- to intermediate-term fixed income securities. Fixed income securities may have their fair market value adversely affected due to a rise in interest rates, and we may suffer losses in principal if forced to sell securities that have declined in market value due to changes in interest rates.

The following table provides information about our cash equivalents and marketable fixed income securities, including principal cash flows by expected maturity and the related weighted-average interest rates as of December 31, 2019 (in millions, except percentages):

 

 

 
                                                                 
    2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   Thereafter   Total   Estimated Fair Value as of December 31, 2019
Money market funds   $ 18,850     $     $     $     $     $     $ 18,850     $ 18,850  
Weighted average interest rate   1.09 %   %   %   %   %   %   1.09 %    
Corporate debt securities   7,629     2,988     1,052     152     8         11,829     11,881  
Weighted average interest rate   2.29 %   2.63 %   2.57 %   2.38 %   2.90 %   %   2.41 %    
U.S. government and agency securities   4,893     1,634     486     43     16         7,072     7,080  
Weighted average interest rate   1.64 %   2.09 %   2.01 %   2.29 %   2.03 %   %   1.77 %    
Asset-backed securities   1,492     546     180     95     38         2,351     2,360  
Weighted average interest rate   2.57 %   2.52 %   2.53 %   2.29 %   2.52 %   %   2.54 %    
Foreign government and agency securities   4,630     168     4         2         4,804     4,794  
Weighted average interest rate   1.90 %   2.57 %   2.08 %   %   2.30 %   %   1.92 %    
Other fixed income securities   93     94     129     75             391     394  
Weighted average interest rate   2.39 %   2.32 %   2.10 %   1.92 %   %   %   2.19 %    
    $ 37,587     $ 5,430     $ 1,851     $ 365     $ 64     $     $ 45,297      
Cash equivalents and marketable fixed income securities                               $ 45,359  

 

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As of December 31, 2019, we had $24.8 billion of debt, including the current portion, primarily consisting of the following fixed rate unsecured debt (in millions):

 

 
       
1.900% Notes due on August 21, 2020 $ 1,000  
3.300% Notes due on December 5, 2021 $ 1,000  
2.500% Notes due on November 29, 2022 $ 1,250  
2.400% Notes due on February 22, 2023 $ 1,000  
2.800% Notes due on August 22, 2024 $ 2,000  
3.800% Notes due on December 5, 2024 $ 1,250  
5.200% Notes due on December 3, 2025 $ 1,000  
3.150% Notes due on August 22, 2027 $ 3,500  
4.800% Notes due on December 5, 2034 $ 1,250  
3.875% Notes due on August 22, 2037 $ 2,750  
4.950% Notes due on December 5, 2044 $ 1,500  
4.050% Notes due on August 22, 2047 $ 3,500  
4.250% Notes due on August 22, 2057 $ 2,250  

Based upon quoted market prices and Level 2 inputs, the fair value of our total debt was $27.8 billion as of December 31, 2019.

Foreign Exchange Risk

During 2019, net sales from our International segment accounted for 27% of our consolidated revenues. Net sales and related expenses generated from our internationally-focused stores, including within Canada and Mexico (which are included in our North America segment), are primarily denominated in the functional currencies of the corresponding stores and primarily include Euros, British Pounds, and Japanese Yen. The results of operations of, and certain of our intercompany balances associated with, our internationally-focused stores and AWS are exposed to foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Upon consolidation, as foreign exchange rates vary, net sales and other operating results may differ materially from expectations, and we may record significant gains or losses on the remeasurement of intercompany balances. For example, as a result of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates throughout the year compared to rates in effect the prior year, International segment net sales decreased by $2.4 billion in comparison with the prior year.

We have foreign exchange risk related to foreign-denominated cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities (“foreign funds”). Based on the balance of foreign funds as of December 31, 2019, of $15.3 billion, an assumed 5%, 10%, and 20% adverse change to foreign exchange would result in fair value declines of $765 million, $1.5 billion, and $3.1 billion. Fluctuations in fair value are recorded in “Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss),” a separate component of stockholders’ equity. Equity securities with readily determinable fair values are included in “Marketable securities” on our consolidated balance sheets and are measured at fair value with changes recognized in net income.

We have foreign exchange risk related to our intercompany balances denominated in various foreign currencies. Based on the intercompany balances as of December 31, 2019, an assumed 5%, 10%, and 20% adverse change to foreign exchange would result in losses of $195 million, $385 million, and $775 million, recorded to “Other income (expense), net.”

See Item 7 of Part II, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Results of Operations — Effect of Foreign Exchange Rates” for additional information on the effect on reported results of changes in foreign exchange rates.

Equity Investment Risk

As of December 31, 2019, our recorded value in equity and equity warrant investments in public and private companies was $3.3 billion. Our equity and equity warrant investments in publicly traded companies represent $679 million of our investments as of December 31, 2019, and are recorded at fair value, which is subject to market price volatility. We perform a qualitative assessment for our equity investments in private companies to identify impairment. If this assessment indicates that an impairment exists, we estimate the fair value of the investment and, if the fair value is less than carrying value, we write down the investment to fair value. Our assessment includes a review of recent operating results and trends, recent sales/acquisitions of the investee securities, and other publicly available data. The current global economic climate provides additional uncertainty. Valuations of private companies are inherently more complex due to the lack of readily available market data. As such, we believe that market sensitivities are not practicable.

 

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Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

 

 
   
  Page
Report of Ernst & Young LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm 35
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows 37
Consolidated Statements of Operations 38
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income 39
Consolidated Balance Sheets 40
Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity 41
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements 42

 

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

The Board of Directors and Shareholders

Amazon.com, Inc.

Opinion on the Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Amazon.com, Inc. (the Company) as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, and the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive income, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2019 and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company at December 31, 2019 and 2018, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2019, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2019, based on criteria established in Internal Control — Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) and our report dated January 30, 2020 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.

Adoption of New Accounting Standard

As discussed in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company has changed its method for accounting for leases in 2019 due to the adoption of ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842).

Basis for Opinion

These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s consolidated financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the consolidated financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the consolidated financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the consolidated financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the consolidated financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Critical Audit Matter

The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the consolidated financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the consolidated financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. The communication of the critical audit matter does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.

 

 
   
Uncertain Tax Positions
Description of the Matter The Company is subject to income taxes in the U.S. and numerous foreign jurisdictions and, as discussed in Note 9 of the consolidated financial statements, during the ordinary course of business, there are many tax positions for which the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. As a result, significant judgment is required in evaluating the Company’s tax positions and determining its provision for income taxes. The Company uses significant judgment in (1) determining whether a tax position’s technical merits are more likely than not to be sustained and (2) measuring the amount of tax benefit that qualifies for recognition. As of December 31, 2019, the Company accrued liabilities of $3.9 billion for various tax contingencies.

Auditing the measurement of the Company’s tax contingencies was challenging because the evaluation of whether a tax position is more likely than not to be sustained and the measurement of the benefit of various tax positions can be complex, involves significant judgment, and is based on interpretations of tax laws and legal rulings.

 

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How We Addressed the Matter in Our Audit We tested controls over the Company’s process to assess the technical merits of its tax contingencies, including controls over the assessment as to whether a tax position is more likely than not to be sustained, management’s process to measure the benefit of its tax positions, and the development of the related disclosures.

We involved our international tax, transfer pricing, and research and development tax professionals in assessing the technical merits of certain of the Company’s tax positions. Depending on the nature of the specific tax position and, as applicable, developments with the relevant tax authorities relating thereto, our procedures included obtaining and examining the Company’s analysis including the Company’s correspondence with such tax authorities and evaluating the underlying facts upon which the tax positions are based. We used our knowledge of, and experience with, international, transfer pricing, and other income tax laws by the relevant income tax authorities to evaluate the Company’s accounting for its tax contingencies. We evaluated developments in the applicable regulatory environments to assess potential effects on the Company’s positions. We analyzed the Company’s assumptions and data used to determine the amount of tax benefits to recognize and tested the accuracy of the Company’s calculations. We have also evaluated the Company’s income tax disclosures included in Note 9 in relation to these matters.

 

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP

 

We have served as the Company’s auditor since 1996.

Seattle, Washington

January 30, 2020

 

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AMAZON.COM, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

(in millions)

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
CASH, CASH EQUIVALENTS, AND RESTRICTED CASH, BEGINNING OF PERIOD $ 19,934     $ 21,856     $ 32,173  
OPERATING ACTIVITIES:          
Net income 3,033     10,073     11,588  
Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash from operating activities:          
Depreciation and amortization of property and equipment and capitalized content costs, operating lease assets, and other 11,478     15,341     21,789  
Stock-based compensation 4,215     5,418     6,864  
Other operating expense (income), net 202     274     164  
Other expense (income), net (292 )   219     (249 )
Deferred income taxes (29 )   441     796  
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:          
Inventories (3,583 )   (1,314 )   (3,278 )
Accounts receivable, net and other (4,780 )   (4,615 )   (7,681 )
Accounts payable 7,100     3,263     8,193  
Accrued expenses and other 283     472     (1,383 )
Unearned revenue 738     1,151     1,711  
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities 18,365     30,723     38,514  
INVESTING ACTIVITIES:          
Purchases of property and equipment (11,955 )   (13,427 )   (16,861 )
Proceeds from property and equipment sales and incentives 1,897     2,104     4,172  
Acquisitions, net of cash acquired, and other (13,972 )   (2,186 )   (2,461 )
Sales and maturities of marketable securities 9,677     8,240     22,681  
Purchases of marketable securities (12,731 )   (7,100 )   (31,812 )
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities (27,084 )   (12,369 )   (24,281 )
FINANCING ACTIVITIES:          
Proceeds from long-term debt and other 16,228     768     2,273  
Repayments of long-term debt and other (1,301 )   (668 )   (2,684 )
Principal repayments of finance leases (4,799 )   (7,449 )   (9,628 )
Principal repayments of financing obligations (200 )   (337 )   (27 )
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities 9,928     (7,686 )   (10,066 )
Foreign currency effect on cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash 713     (351 )   70  
Net increase (decrease) in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash 1,922     10,317     4,237  
CASH, CASH EQUIVALENTS, AND RESTRICTED CASH, END OF PERIOD $ 21,856     $ 32,173     $ 36,410  
SUPPLEMENTAL CASH FLOW INFORMATION:          
Cash paid for interest on long-term debt $ 328     $ 854     $ 875  
Cash paid for operating leases         3,361  
Cash paid for interest on finance leases 200     381     647  
Cash paid for interest on financing obligations 119     194     39  
Cash paid for income taxes, net of refunds 957     1,184     881  
Assets acquired under operating leases         7,870  
Property and equipment acquired under finance leases 9,637     10,615     13,723  
Property and equipment acquired under build-to-suit arrangements 3,541     3,641     1,362  

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

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AMAZON.COM, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS

(in millions, except per share data)

 

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
Net product sales $ 118,573     $ 141,915     $ 160,408  
Net service sales 59,293     90,972     120,114  
Total net sales 177,866     232,887     280,522  
Operating expenses:          
Cost of sales 111,934     139,156     165,536  
Fulfillment 25,249     34,027     40,232  
Technology and content 22,620     28,837     35,931  
Marketing 10,069     13,814     18,878  
General and administrative 3,674     4,336     5,203  
Other operating expense (income), net 214     296     201  
Total operating expenses 173,760     220,466     265,981  
Operating income 4,106     12,421     14,541  
Interest income 202     440     832  
Interest expense (848 )   (1,417 )   (1,600 )
Other income (expense), net 346     (183 )   203  
Total non-operating income (expense) (300 )   (1,160 )   (565 )
Income before income taxes 3,806     11,261     13,976  
Provision for income taxes (769 )   (1,197 )   (2,374 )
Equity-method investment activity, net of tax (4 )   9     (14 )
Net income $ 3,033     $ 10,073     $ 11,588  
Basic earnings per share $ 6.32     $ 20.68     $ 23.46  
Diluted earnings per share $ 6.15     $ 20.14     $ 23.01  
Weighted-average shares used in computation of earnings per share:          
Basic 480     487     494  
Diluted 493     500     504  

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

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AMAZON.COM, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

(in millions)

 

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
Net income $ 3,033     $ 10,073     $ 11,588  
Other comprehensive income (loss):          
Net change in foreign currency translation adjustments:          
Foreign currency translation adjustments, net of tax of $5, $6, and $(5) 533     (538 )   78  
Reclassification adjustment for foreign currency translation included in “Other operating expense (income), net,” net of tax of $0, $0, and $29         (108 )
Net foreign currency translation adjustments 533     (538 )   (30 )
Net change in unrealized gains (losses) on available-for-sale debt securities:          
Unrealized gains (losses), net of tax of $5, $0, and $(12) (39 )   (17 )   83  
Reclassification adjustment for losses (gains) included in “Other income (expense), net,” net of tax of $0, $0, and $0 7     8     (4 )
Net unrealized gains (losses) on available-for-sale debt securities (32 )   (9 )   79  
Total other comprehensive income (loss) 501     (547 )   49  
Comprehensive income $ 3,534     $ 9,526     $ 11,637  

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

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AMAZON.COM, INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

(in millions, except per share data)

 

 

 
               
  December 31,
  2018   2019
ASSETS      
Current assets:      
Cash and cash equivalents $ 31,750     $ 36,092  
Marketable securities 9,500     18,929  
Inventories 17,174     20,497  
Accounts receivable, net and other 16,677     20,816  
Total current assets 75,101     96,334  
Property and equipment, net 61,797     72,705  
Operating leases     25,141  
Goodwill 14,548     14,754  
Other assets 11,202     16,314  
Total assets $ 162,648     $ 225,248  
LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY      
Current liabilities:      
Accounts payable $ 38,192     $ 47,183  
Accrued expenses and other 23,663     32,439  
Unearned revenue 6,536     8,190  
Total current liabilities 68,391     87,812  
Long-term lease liabilities 9,650     39,791  
Long-term debt 23,495     23,414  
Other long-term liabilities 17,563     12,171  
Commitments and contingencies (Note 7)          
Stockholders’ equity:      
Preferred stock, $0.01 par value:      
Authorized shares — 500      
Issued and outstanding shares — none      
Common stock, $0.01 par value:      
Authorized shares — 5,000      
Issued shares — 514 and 521      
Outstanding shares — 491 and 498 5     5  
Treasury stock, at cost (1,837 )   (1,837 )
Additional paid-in capital 26,791     33,658  
Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) (1,035 )   (986 )
Retained earnings 19,625     31,220  
Total stockholders’ equity 43,549     62,060  
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity $ 162,648     $ 225,248  

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

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AMAZON.COM, INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

(in millions)

 

 

 

 
                                                     
  Common Stock                
  Shares   Amount   Treasury

Stock

  Additional

Paid-In

Capital

  Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss)   Retained

Earnings

  Total

Stockholders’

Equity

Balance as of January 1, 2017 477     $ 5     $ (1,837 )   $ 17,186     $ (985 )   $ 4,916     $ 19,285  
Cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle related to stock-based compensation                     687     687  
Net income                     3,033     3,033  
Other comprehensive income (loss)                 501         501  
Exercise of common stock options 7             1             1  
Stock-based compensation and issuance of employee benefit plan stock             4,202             4,202  
Balance as of December 31, 2017 484     5     (1,837 )   21,389     (484 )   8,636     27,709  
Cumulative effect of change in accounting principles related to revenue recognition, income taxes, and financial instruments                 (4 )   916     912  
Net income                     10,073     10,073  
Other comprehensive income (loss)                 (547 )       (547 )
Exercise of common stock options 7                          
Stock-based compensation and issuance of employee benefit plan stock             5,402             5,402  
Balance as of December 31, 2018 491     5     (1,837 )   26,791     (1,035 )   19,625     43,549  
Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle related to leases                     7     7  
Net income                     11,588     11,588  
Other comprehensive income (loss)                 49         49  
Exercise of common stock options 7                          
Stock-based compensation and issuance of employee benefit plan stock             6,867             6,867  
Balance as of December 31, 2019 498     $ 5     $ (1,837 )   $ 33,658     $ (986 )   $ 31,220     $ 62,060  

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 

 

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AMAZON.COM, INC.

NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

Note 1 — DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS AND ACCOUNTING POLICIES

Description of Business

We seek to be Earth’s most customer-centric company. In each of our segments, we serve our primary customer sets, consisting of consumers, sellers, developers, enterprises, and content creators. We serve consumers through our online and physical stores and focus on selection, price, and convenience. We offer programs that enable sellers to sell their products in our stores and fulfill orders through us, and programs that allow authors, musicians, filmmakers, skill and app developers, and others to publish and sell content. We serve developers and enterprises of all sizes through our AWS segment, which offers a broad set of global compute, storage, database, and other service offerings. We also manufacture and sell electronic devices. In addition, we provide services, such as advertising to sellers, vendors, publishers, and authors, through programs such as sponsored ads, display, and video advertising.

We have organized our operations into three segments: North America, International, and AWS. See “Note 10 — Segment Information.”

Prior Period Reclassifications

Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current period presentation, including the addition of restricted cash to cash and cash equivalents on our consolidated statements of cash flows and the reclassification of long-term capital lease obligations that existed at December 31, 2018 from “Other long-term liabilities” to “Long-term lease liabilities” within the consolidated balance sheets, as a result of the adoption of new accounting guidance. See “Accounting Pronouncements Recently Adopted.”

Principles of Consolidation

The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Amazon.com, Inc. and its consolidated entities (collectively, the “Company”), consisting of its wholly-owned subsidiaries and those entities in which we have a variable interest and of which we are the primary beneficiary, including certain entities in India and certain entities that support our seller lending financing activities. Intercompany balances and transactions between consolidated entities are eliminated. The financial results of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (“Whole Foods Market”) have been included in our consolidated financial statements from the date of acquisition on August 28, 2017.

Use of Estimates

The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosures of contingent liabilities in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Estimates are used for, but not limited to, income taxes, useful lives of equipment, commitments and contingencies, valuation of acquired intangibles and goodwill, stock-based compensation forfeiture rates, vendor funding, and inventory valuation. Actual results could differ materially from those estimates. For example, in Q4 2019 we completed a useful life study for our servers and are increasing the useful life from three years to four years for servers in January 2020, which, based on servers that are included in “Property and equipment, net” as of December 31, 2019, will have an anticipated impact to our 2020 operating income of $2.3 billion.

Earnings per Share

Basic earnings per share is calculated using our weighted-average outstanding common shares. Diluted earnings per share is calculated using our weighted-average outstanding common shares including the dilutive effect of stock awards as determined under the treasury stock method. In periods when we have a net loss, stock awards are excluded from our calculation of earnings per share as their inclusion would have an antidilutive effect.

 

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The following table shows the calculation of diluted shares (in millions):

 

 
                 
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
Shares used in computation of basic earnings per share 480     487     494  
Total dilutive effect of outstanding stock awards 13     13     10  
Shares used in computation of diluted earnings per share 493     500     504  

 

Revenue

Revenue is measured based on the amount of consideration that we expect to receive, reduced by estimates for return allowances, promotional discounts, and rebates. Revenue also excludes any amounts collected on behalf of third parties, including sales and indirect taxes. In arrangements where we have multiple performance obligations, the transaction price is allocated to each performance obligation using the relative stand-alone selling price. We generally determine stand-alone selling prices based on the prices charged to customers or using expected cost plus a margin.

A description of our principal revenue generating activities is as follows:

Retail sales – We offer consumer products through our online and physical stores. Revenue is recognized when control of the goods is transferred to the customer, which generally occurs upon our delivery to a third-party carrier or, in the case of an Amazon delivery, to the customer.

Third-party seller services – We offer programs that enable sellers to sell their products in our stores, and fulfill orders through us. We are not the seller of record in these transactions. The commissions and any related fulfillment and shipping fees we earn from these arrangements are recognized when the services are rendered, which generally occurs upon delivery of the related products to a third-party carrier or, in the case of an Amazon delivery, to the customer.

Subscription services – Our subscription sales include fees associated with Amazon Prime memberships and access to content including audiobooks, digital video, digital music, e-books, and other non-AWS subscription services. Prime memberships provide our customers with access to an evolving suite of benefits that represent a single stand-ready obligation. Subscriptions are paid for at the time of or in advance of delivering the services. Revenue from such arrangements is recognized over the subscription period.

AWS – Our AWS arrangements include global sales of compute, storage, database, and other services. Revenue is allocated to services using stand-alone selling prices and is primarily recognized when the customer uses these services, based on the quantity of services rendered, such as compute or storage capacity delivered on-demand. Certain services, including compute and database, are also offered as a fixed quantity over a specified term, for which revenue is recognized ratably. Sales commissions we pay in connection with contracts that exceed one year are capitalized and amortized over the contract term.

Other – Other revenue primarily includes sales of advertising services, which are recognized as ads are delivered based on the number of clicks or impressions.

Return Allowances

Return allowances, which reduce revenue and cost of sales, are estimated using historical experience. Liabilities for return allowances are included in “Accrued expenses and other” and were $468 million, $623 million, and $712 million as of December 31, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Additions to the allowance were $1.8 billion, $2.3 billion, and $2.5 billion and deductions from the allowance were $1.9 billion, $2.3 billion, and $2.5 billion in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Included in “Inventories” on our consolidated balance sheets are assets totaling $406 million, $519 million, and $629 million as of December 31, 2017, 2018, and 2019, for the rights to recover products from customers associated with our liabilities for return allowances.

Cost of Sales

Cost of sales primarily consists of the purchase price of consumer products, inbound and outbound shipping costs, including costs related to sortation and delivery centers and where we are the transportation service provider, and digital media content costs where we record revenue gross, including video and music. Shipping costs to receive products from our suppliers are included in our inventory, and recognized as cost of sales upon sale of products to our customers. Payment processing and related transaction costs, including those associated with seller transactions, are classified in “Fulfillment” on our consolidated statements of operations.

 

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Vendor Agreements

We have agreements with our vendors to receive funds primarily for cooperative marketing efforts, promotions, incentives, and volume rebates. We generally consider these amounts received from vendors to be a reduction of the prices we pay for their goods, including property and equipment, or services, and are recorded as a reduction of the cost of inventory, cost of services, or cost of property and equipment. Volume rebates typically depend on reaching minimum purchase thresholds. We evaluate the likelihood of reaching purchase thresholds using past experience and current year forecasts. When volume rebates can be reasonably estimated, we record a portion of the rebate as we make progress towards the purchase threshold.

Fulfillment

Fulfillment costs primarily consist of those costs incurred in operating and staffing our North America and International segments’ fulfillment centers, physical stores, and customer service centers, including costs attributable to buying, receiving, inspecting, and warehousing inventories; picking, packaging, and preparing customer orders for shipment; payment processing and related transaction costs, including costs associated with our guarantee for certain seller transactions; responding to inquiries from customers; and supply chain management for our manufactured electronic devices. Fulfillment costs also include amounts paid to third parties that assist us in fulfillment and customer service operations.

Technology and Content

Technology and content costs include payroll and related expenses for employees involved in the research and development of new and existing products and services, development, design, and maintenance of our stores, curation and display of products and services made available in our online stores, and infrastructure costs. Infrastructure costs include servers, networking equipment, and data center related depreciation and amortization, rent, utilities, and other expenses necessary to support AWS and other Amazon businesses. Collectively, these costs reflect the investments we make in order to offer a wide variety of products and services to our customers. Technology and content costs are generally expensed as incurred.

Marketing

Marketing costs primarily consist of advertising and payroll and related expenses for personnel engaged in marketing and selling activities, including sales commissions related to AWS. We pay commissions to third parties when their customer referrals result in sales. We also participate in cooperative advertising arrangements with certain of our vendors, and other third parties.

Advertising and other promotional costs to market our products and services are expensed as incurred and were $6.3 billion, $8.2 billion, and $11.0 billion in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

General and Administrative

General and administrative expenses primarily consist of costs for corporate functions, including payroll and related expenses; facilities and equipment expenses, such as depreciation and amortization expense and rent; and professional fees and litigation costs.

Stock-Based Compensation

Compensation cost for all stock awards expected to vest is measured at fair value on the date of grant and recognized over the service period. The fair value of restricted stock units is determined based on the number of shares granted and the quoted price of our common stock. Such value is recognized as expense over the service period, net of estimated forfeitures, using the accelerated method. The estimated number of stock awards that will ultimately vest requires judgment, and to the extent actual results or updated estimates differ from our current estimates, such amounts will be recorded as a cumulative adjustment in the period estimates are revised. We consider many factors when estimating expected forfeitures, including historical forfeiture experience and employee level.

Other Operating Expense (Income), Net

Other operating expense (income), net, consists primarily of marketing-related, contract-based, and customer-related intangible asset amortization expense, and expenses related to legal settlements.

 

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Other Income (Expense), Net

Other income (expense), net, consists primarily of adjustments to and gains on equity securities of $18 million, $145 million, and $231 million in 2017, 2018, and 2019, equity warrant valuation gains (losses) of $109 million, $(131) million, and $11 million in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and foreign currency gains (losses) of $247 million, $(206) million, and $(20) million in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Income Taxes

Income tax expense includes U.S. (federal and state) and foreign income taxes. Certain foreign subsidiary earnings are subject to U.S. taxation under the U.S. Tax Act, which also repeals U.S. taxation on the subsequent repatriation of those earnings. We intend to invest substantially all of our foreign subsidiary earnings, as well as our capital in our foreign subsidiaries, indefinitely outside of the U.S. in those jurisdictions in which we would incur significant, additional costs upon repatriation of such amounts.

Deferred income tax balances reflect the effects of temporary differences between the carrying amounts of assets and liabilities and their tax bases and are stated at enacted tax rates expected to be in effect when taxes are actually paid or recovered.

Deferred tax assets are evaluated for future realization and reduced by a valuation allowance to the extent we believe they will not be realized. We consider many factors when assessing the likelihood of future realization of our deferred tax assets, including our recent cumulative loss experience and expectations of future earnings, capital gains and investment in such jurisdiction, the carry-forward periods available to us for tax reporting purposes, and other relevant factors.

We utilize a two-step approach to recognizing and measuring uncertain income tax positions (tax contingencies). The first step is to evaluate the tax position for recognition by determining if the weight of available evidence indicates it is more likely than not the position will be sustained on audit, including resolution of related appeals or litigation processes. The second step is to measure the tax benefit as the largest amount which is more than 50% likely of being realized upon ultimate settlement. We consider many factors when evaluating our tax positions and estimating our tax benefits, which may require periodic adjustments and which may not accurately forecast actual outcomes. We include interest and penalties related to our tax contingencies in income tax expense.

Fair Value of Financial Instruments

Fair value is defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. To increase the comparability of fair value measures, the following hierarchy prioritizes the inputs to valuation methodologies used to measure fair value:

Level 1 — Valuations based on quoted prices for identical assets and liabilities in active markets.

Level 2 — Valuations based on observable inputs other than quoted prices included in Level 1, such as quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities in active markets, quoted prices for identical or similar assets and liabilities in markets that are not active, or other inputs that are observable or can be corroborated by observable market data.

Level 3 — Valuations based on unobservable inputs reflecting our own assumptions, consistent with reasonably available assumptions made by other market participants. These valuations require significant judgment.

For our cash, cash equivalents, or marketable securities, we measure the fair value of money market funds and certain marketable equity securities based on quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities. Other marketable securities were valued either based on recent trades of securities in inactive markets or based on quoted market prices of similar instruments and other significant inputs derived from or corroborated by observable market data. We did not hold significant amounts of cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, or marketable securities categorized as Level 3 assets as of December 31, 2018 and 2019.

We hold equity warrants giving us the right to acquire stock of other companies. As of December 31, 2018 and 2019, these warrants had a fair value of $440 million and $669 million, and are recorded within “Other assets” on our consolidated balance sheets. These assets are primarily classified as Level 2 assets.

Cash and Cash Equivalents

We classify all highly liquid instruments with an original maturity of three months or less as cash equivalents.

 

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Inventories

Inventories, consisting of products available for sale, are primarily accounted for using the first-in, first-out method, and are valued at the lower of cost and net realizable value. This valuation requires us to make judgments, based on currently available information, about the likely method of disposition, such as through sales to individual customers, returns to product vendors, or liquidations, and expected recoverable values of each disposition category.

We provide Fulfillment by Amazon services in connection with certain of our sellers’ programs. Third-party sellers maintain ownership of their inventory, regardless of whether fulfillment is provided by us or the third-party sellers, and therefore these products are not included in our inventories.

We also purchase electronic device components from a variety of suppliers and use several contract manufacturers to provide manufacturing services for our products. During the normal course of business, in order to manage manufacturing lead times and help ensure adequate supply, we enter into agreements with contract manufacturers and suppliers for certain electronic device components. A portion of our reported purchase commitments arising from these agreements consists of firm, non-cancellable commitments. These commitments are based on forecasted customer demand. If we reduce these commitments, we may incur additional costs. We also have firm, non-cancellable commitments for certain products offered in our Whole Foods Market stores.

Accounts Receivable, Net and Other

Included in “Accounts receivable, net and other” on our consolidated balance sheets are amounts primarily related to customers, vendors, and sellers. As of December 31, 2018 and 2019, customer receivables, net, were $9.4 billion and $12.6 billion, vendor receivables, net, were $3.2 billion and $4.2 billion, and seller receivables, net, were $710 million and $863 million. Seller receivables are amounts due from sellers related to our seller lending program, which provides funding to sellers primarily to procure inventory.

We estimate losses on receivables based on known troubled accounts and historical experience of losses incurred. Receivables are considered impaired and written-off when it is probable that all contractual payments due will not be collected in accordance with the terms of the agreement. The allowance for doubtful accounts was $348 million, $495 million, and $718 million as of December 31, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Additions to the allowance were $626 million, $878 million, and $1.0 billion, and deductions to the allowance were $515 million, $731 million, and $793 million in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Software Development Costs

We incur software development costs related to products to be sold, leased, or marketed to external users, internal-use software, and our websites. Software development costs capitalized were not significant for the years presented. All other costs, including those related to design or maintenance, are expensed as incurred.

Property and Equipment, Net

Property and equipment are stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and amortization. Incentives that we receive from property and equipment vendors are recorded as a reduction in our costs. Property includes buildings and land that we own, along with property we have acquired under build-to-suit lease arrangements when we have control over the building during the construction period and finance lease arrangements. Equipment includes assets such as servers and networking equipment, heavy equipment, and other fulfillment equipment. Depreciation and amortization is recorded on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets (generally the lesser of 40 years or the remaining life of the underlying building, three years for our servers, five years for networking equipment, ten years for heavy equipment, and three to seven years for other fulfillment equipment). Depreciation and amortization expense is classified within the corresponding operating expense categories on our consolidated statements of operations.

Leases

We categorize leases with contractual terms longer than twelve months as either operating or finance. Finance leases are generally those leases that allow us to substantially utilize or pay for the entire asset over its estimated life. Assets acquired under finance leases are recorded in property and equipment, net. All other leases are categorized as operating leases. Our leases generally have terms that range from one to ten years for equipment and one to twenty years for property.

Certain lease contracts include obligations to pay for other services, such as operations and maintenance. For leases of property, we account for these other services as a component of the lease. For substantially all other leases, the services are accounted for separately and we allocate payments to the lease and other services components based on estimated stand-alone prices.

 

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Lease liabilities are recognized at the present value of the fixed lease payments, reduced by landlord incentives using a discount rate based on similarly secured borrowings available to us. Lease assets are recognized based on the initial present value of the fixed lease payments, reduced by landlord incentives, plus any direct costs from executing the leases or lease prepayments reclassified from “Other assets” upon lease commencement. Leasehold improvements are capitalized at cost and amortized over the lesser of their expected useful life or the lease term.

When we have the option to extend the lease term, terminate the lease before the contractual expiration date, or purchase the leased asset, and it is reasonably certain that we will exercise the option, we consider these options in determining the classification and measurement of the lease. Our leases may include variable payments based on measures that include changes in price indices, market interest rates, or the level of sales at a physical store, which are expensed as incurred.

Costs associated with operating lease assets are recognized on a straight-line basis within operating expenses over the term of the lease. Finance lease assets are amortized within operating expenses on a straight-line basis over the shorter of the estimated useful lives of the assets or, in the instance where title does not transfer at the end of the lease term, the lease term. The interest component of a finance lease is included in interest expense and recognized using the effective interest method over the lease term.

We establish assets and liabilities for the present value of estimated future costs to retire long-lived assets at the termination or expiration of a lease. Such assets are depreciated over the lease period into operating expense, and the recorded liabilities are accreted to the future value of the estimated retirement costs.

Financing Obligations

We record assets and liabilities for estimated construction costs under build-to-suit lease arrangements when we have control over the building during the construction period. If we continue to control the building after the construction period, the arrangement is classified as a financing obligation instead of a lease. The building is depreciated over the shorter of its useful life or the term of the obligation.

If we do not control the building after the construction period ends, the assets and liabilities for construction costs are derecognized, and we classify the lease as either operating or finance.

Goodwill

We evaluate goodwill for impairment annually or more frequently when an event occurs or circumstances change that indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. In testing goodwill for impairment, we may elect to utilize a qualitative assessment to evaluate whether it is more likely than not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount. If our qualitative assessment indicates that goodwill impairment is more likely than not, we perform a two-step impairment test. We test goodwill for impairment under the two-step impairment test by first comparing the book value of net assets to the fair value of the reporting units. If the fair value is determined to be less than the book value or qualitative factors indicate that it is more likely than not that goodwill is impaired, a second step is performed to compute the amount of impairment as the difference between the estimated fair value of goodwill and the carrying value. We estimate the fair value of the reporting units using discounted cash flows. Forecasts of future cash flows are based on our best estimate of future net sales and operating expenses, based primarily on expected category expansion, pricing, market segment share, and general economic conditions.

We completed the required annual testing of goodwill for impairment for all reporting units as of April 1, 2019, and determined that goodwill is not impaired as the fair value of our reporting units substantially exceeded their book value. There were no events that caused us to update our annual impairment test. See “Note 5 — Acquisitions, Goodwill, and Acquired Intangible Assets.”

Other Assets

Included in “Other assets” on our consolidated balance sheets are amounts primarily related to acquired intangible assets, net of accumulated amortization; video and music content, net of accumulated amortization; long-term deferred tax assets; certain equity investments; marketable securities restricted for longer than one year, the majority of which are attributable to collateralization of bank guarantees and debt related to our international operations; lease prepayments made prior to lease commencement; and equity warrant assets.

Digital Video and Music Content

We obtain video content, inclusive of episodic television and movies, and music content for customers through licensing agreements that have a wide range of licensing provisions including both fixed and variable payment schedules. When the license fee for a specific video or music title is determinable or reasonably estimable and the content is available to us, we recognize an asset and a corresponding liability for the amounts owed. We reduce the liability as payments are made and we

 

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amortize the asset to “Cost of sales” on an accelerated basis, based on estimated usage or viewing patterns, or on a straight-line basis. If the licensing fee is not determinable or reasonably estimable, no asset or liability is recorded and licensing costs are expensed as incurred. We also develop original video content for which the production costs are capitalized and amortized to “Cost of sales” predominantly on an accelerated basis that follows the viewing patterns associated with the content. The weighted average remaining life of our capitalized video content is 2.7 years.

Our produced and licensed video content is primarily monetized together as a unit, referred to as a film group, in each major geography where we offer Amazon Prime memberships. These film groups are evaluated for impairment whenever an event occurs or circumstances change indicating the fair value is less than the carrying value. The total capitalized costs of video, which is primarily released content, and music as of December 31, 2018 and 2019 were $3.8 billion and $5.8 billion. Total video and music expense was $6.7 billion and $7.8 billion for the year ended December 31, 2018 and 2019. Total video and music expense includes licensing and production costs associated with content offered within Amazon Prime memberships, and costs associated with digital subscriptions and sold or rented content.

Investments

We generally invest our excess cash in AAA-rated money market funds and investment grade short- to intermediate-term fixed income securities. Such investments are included in “Cash and cash equivalents” or “Marketable securities” on the accompanying consolidated balance sheets. Marketable debt securities are classified as available-for-sale and reported at fair value with unrealized gains and losses included in “Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss).”

Equity investments are accounted for using the equity method of accounting if the investment gives us the ability to exercise significant influence, but not control, over an investee. Equity-method investments are included within “Other assets” on our consolidated balance sheets. Our share of the earnings or losses as reported by equity-method investees, amortization of basis differences, and related gains or losses, if any, are classified as “Equitymethod investment activity, net of tax” on our consolidated statements of operations.

Equity investments without readily determinable fair values and for which we do not have the ability to exercise significant influence are accounted for at cost with adjustments for observable changes in prices or impairments and are classified as “Other assets” on our consolidated balance sheets with adjustments recognized in “Other income (expense), net” on our consolidated statements of operations. As of December 31, 2018 and 2019, these investments had a carrying value of $282 million and $1.5 billion.

Equity investments that have readily determinable fair values are included in “Marketable securities” on our consolidated balance sheets and measured at fair value with changes recognized in “Other income (expense), net” on our consolidated statement of operations.

We periodically evaluate whether declines in fair values of our investments indicate impairment. For debt securities and equity-method investments, we also evaluate whether declines in fair value of our investments below their book value are other-than-temporary. This evaluation consists of several qualitative and quantitative factors regarding the severity and duration of the unrealized loss as well as our ability and intent to hold the investment until a forecasted recovery occurs. Additionally, we assess whether we have plans to sell the security or it is more likely than not we will be required to sell any investment before recovery of its amortized cost basis. Factors considered include: quoted market prices; recent financial results and operating trends; implied values from any recent transactions or offers of investee securities; credit quality of debt instrument issuers; other publicly available information that may affect the value of our investments; duration and severity of the decline in value; and our strategy and intentions for holding the investment.

Long-Lived Assets

Long-lived assets, other than goodwill, are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the assets might not be recoverable. Conditions that would necessitate an impairment assessment include a significant decline in the observable market value of an asset, a significant change in the extent or manner in which an asset is used, or any other significant adverse change that would indicate that the carrying amount of an asset or group of assets may not be recoverable.

For long-lived assets used in operations, including lease assets, impairment losses are only recorded if the asset’s carrying amount is not recoverable through its undiscounted, probability-weighted future cash flows. We measure the impairment loss based on the difference between the carrying amount and estimated fair value. Long-lived assets are considered held for sale when certain criteria are met, including when management has committed to a plan to sell the asset, the asset is available for sale in its immediate condition, and the sale is probable within one year of the reporting date. Assets held for sale are reported at the lower of cost or fair value less costs to sell. Assets held for sale were not significant as of December 31, 2018 and 2019.

 

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Accrued Expenses and Other

Included in “Accrued expenses and other” on our consolidated balance sheets are liabilities primarily related to leases and asset retirement obligations, payroll and related expenses, unredeemed gift cards, customer liabilities, current debt, acquired digital media content, and other operating expenses.

As of December 31, 2018 and 2019, our liabilities for payroll related expenses were $3.4 billion and $4.3 billion and our liabilities for unredeemed gift cards were $2.8 billion and $3.3 billion. We reduce the liability for a gift card when redeemed by a customer. The portion of gift cards that we do not expect to be redeemed is recognized based on customer usage patterns.

Unearned Revenue

Unearned revenue is recorded when payments are received or due in advance of performing our service obligations and is recognized over the service period. Unearned revenue primarily relates to prepayments of AWS services and Amazon Prime memberships. Our total unearned revenue as of December 31, 2018 was $7.9 billion, of which $6.3 billion was recognized as revenue during the year ended December 31, 2019 and our total unearned revenue as of December 31, 2019 was $10.2 billion. Included in “Other long-term liabilities” on our consolidated balance sheets was $1.4 billion and $2.0 billion of unearned revenue as of December 31, 2018 and 2019.

Additionally, we have performance obligations, primarily related to AWS, associated with commitments in customer contracts for future services that have not yet been recognized in our financial statements. For contracts with original terms that exceed one year, those commitments not yet recognized were $29.8 billion as of December 31, 2019. The weighted average remaining life of our long-term contracts is 3.3 years. However, the amount and timing of revenue recognition is largely driven by customer usage, which can extend beyond the original contractual term.

Other Long-Term Liabilities

Included in “Other long-term liabilities” on our consolidated balance sheets are liabilities primarily related to deferred tax liabilities, financing obligations, asset retirement obligations, tax contingencies, and digital video and music content.

Foreign Currency

We have internationally-focused stores for which the net sales generated, as well as most of the related expenses directly incurred from those operations, are denominated in local functional currencies. The functional currency of our subsidiaries that either operate or support these stores is generally the same as the local currency. Assets and liabilities of these subsidiaries are translated into U.S. Dollars at period-end foreign exchange rates, and revenues and expenses are translated at average rates prevailing throughout the period. Translation adjustments are included in “Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss),” a separate component of stockholders’ equity, and in the “Foreign currency effect on cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash,” on our consolidated statements of cash flows. Transaction gains and losses including intercompany transactions denominated in a currency other than the functional currency of the entity involved are included in “Other income (expense), net” on our consolidated statements of operations. In connection with the settlement and remeasurement of intercompany balances, we recorded gains (losses) of $202 million, $(186) million, and $95 million in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Accounting Pronouncements Recently Adopted

In May 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued an Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) amending revenue recognition guidance and requiring more detailed disclosures to enable users of financial statements to understand the nature, amount, timing, and uncertainty of revenue and cash flows arising from contracts with customers. We adopted this ASU on January 1, 2018 for all revenue contracts with our customers using the modified retrospective approach and increased retained earnings by approximately $650 million. The adjustment primarily relates to the unredeemed portion of our gift cards, which are now recognized over the expected customer usage period rather than waiting until gift cards expire or when the likelihood of redemption becomes remote. We changed the recognition and classification of Amazon Prime memberships, which are now accounted for as a single performance obligation and recognized ratably over the membership period as service sales. Previously, Prime memberships were considered to be arrangements with multiple deliverables and were allocated among product sales and service sales. Other changes relate primarily to the presentation of revenue. Certain advertising services are now classified as revenue rather than a reduction in cost of sales, and sales of apps, in-app content, and certain digital media content are presented on a net basis. Prior year amounts have not been adjusted and continue to be reported in accordance with our historic accounting policy.

The impact of applying this ASU for the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily resulted in a decrease in product sales and an increase in service sales driven by the reclassification of Prime membership fees of approximately $3.8 billion. Service sales also increased by approximately $3.0 billion for the year ended December 31, 2018 due to the reclassification of certain advertising services.

 

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In January 2016, the FASB issued an ASU that updates certain aspects of recognition, measurement, presentation, and disclosure of financial instruments. Under this ASU, certain equity investments are measured at fair value with changes recognized in net income. We adopted this ASU in Q1 2018 with no material impact to our consolidated financial statements.

In February 2016, the FASB issued an ASU amending the accounting for leases, primarily requiring the recognition of lease assets and liabilities for operating leases with terms of more than twelve months on our consolidated balance sheets. Under the new guidance, leases previously described as capital lease obligations and finance lease obligations are now referred to as finance leases and financing obligations, respectively. We adopted this ASU on January 1, 2019 by recording an immaterial cumulative adjustment to retained earnings rather than retrospectively adjusting prior periods. Prior period amounts were not adjusted and continue to be reported in accordance with our historic accounting policies resulting in a balance sheet presentation that is not comparable to the prior period in the first year of adoption. The adoption of this ASU resulted in the recognition of operating lease assets and liabilities of approximately $21 billion, which included the reclassification of finance lease obligations to operating leases of $1.2 billion. As of December 31, 2018, amounts related to finance lease obligations and construction liabilities totaled $9.6 billion, of which $1.5 billion was derecognized for buildings that we do not control during the construction period and $5.4 billion and $1.5 billion were reclassified to finance leases and operating leases, respectively.

In October 2016, the FASB issued an ASU amending the accounting for income taxes. The new guidance requires the recognition of the income tax consequences of an intercompany asset transfer, other than transfers of inventory, when the transfer occurs. For intercompany transfers of inventory, the income tax effects will continue to be deferred until the inventory has been sold to a third party. We adopted this ASU in Q1 2018 with an increase of approximately $250 million to retained earnings and deferred tax assets net of valuation allowances.

In November 2016, the FASB issued an ASU amending the presentation of restricted cash within the consolidated statements of cash flows. The new guidance requires that restricted cash be added to cash and cash equivalents on the consolidated statements of cash flows. We adopted this ASU in Q1 2018 on a retrospective basis with the following impacts to our consolidated statements of cash flows (in millions):

 

 
                       
Year Ended December 31, 2017 Previously Reported   Adjustments   As Revised
Operating activities $ 18,434     $ (69 )   $ 18,365  
Investing activities (27,819 )   735     (27,084 )
Financing activities 9,860     68     9,928  
Net change in cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash $ 475     $ 734     $ 1,209  

 

In March 2019, the FASB issued an ASU amending the accounting for film costs, inclusive of episodic television and movie costs. The new guidance aligns the accounting for production costs of episodic television with that of movies by requiring production costs to be capitalized. Previously, we only capitalized a portion of the production costs related to our produced episodic television content. We adopted this ASU as of January 1, 2019 and began capitalizing substantially all of our production costs. Adoption of this ASU resulted in approximately $1.0 billion of incremental capitalized film costs classified in “Other Assets” as of December 31, 2019.

 

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Note 2 — FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS

Cash, Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash, and Marketable Securities

As of December 31, 2018 and 2019, our cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities primarily consisted of cash, AAA-rated money market funds, U.S. and foreign government and agency securities, and other investment grade securities. Cash equivalents and marketable securities are recorded at fair value. The following table summarizes, by major security type, our cash, cash equivalents, restricted cash, and marketable securities that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis and are categorized using the fair value hierarchy (in millions):

 

 
                               
  December 31, 2018
  Cost or

Amortized

Cost

  Gross

Unrealized

Gains

  Gross

Unrealized

Losses

  Total

Estimated

Fair Value

Cash $ 10,406     $     $     $ 10,406  
Level 1 securities:              
Money market funds 12,515             12,515  
Equity securities             170  
Level 2 securities:              
Foreign government and agency securities 815             815  
U.S. government and agency securities 11,686     1     (20 )   11,667  
Corporate debt securities 5,008     1     (19 )   4,990  
Asset-backed securities 896         (4 )   892  
Other fixed income securities 190         (2 )   188  
Equity securities             33  
  $ 41,516     $ 2     $ (45 )   $ 41,676  
Less: Restricted cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities (2)             (426 )
Total cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities             $ 41,250  

 

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  December 31, 2019
  Cost or

Amortized

Cost

  Gross

Unrealized

Gains

  Gross

Unrealized

Losses

  Total

Estimated

Fair Value

Cash $ 9,776     $     $     $ 9,776  
Level 1 securities:              
Money market funds 18,850             18,850  
Equity securities (1)             202  
Level 2 securities:              
Foreign government and agency securities 4,794             4,794  
U.S. government and agency securities 7,070     11     (1 )   7,080  
Corporate debt securities 11,845     37     (1 )   11,881  
Asset-backed securities 2,355     6     (1 )   2,360  
Other fixed income securities 393     1         394  
Equity securities (1)             5  
  $ 55,083     $ 55     $ (3 )   $ 55,342  
Less: Restricted cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities (2)             (321 )
Total cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities             $ 55,021  

___________________

     
(1) The related unrealized gain (loss) recorded in “Other income (expense), net” was $4 million for the year ended December 31, 2019.  
   
(2) We are required to pledge or otherwise restrict a portion of our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities as collateral for real estate leases, amounts due to third-party sellers in certain jurisdictions, debt, and standby and trade letters of credit. We classify cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities with use restrictions of less than twelve months as “Accounts receivable, net and other” and of twelve months or longer as non-current “Other assets” on our consolidated balance sheets. See “Note 7 — Commitments and Contingencies.”

The following table summarizes gross gains and gross losses realized on sales of available-for-sale fixed income marketable securities (in millions):

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
Realized gains $ 5     $ 2     $ 11  
Realized losses 11     9     7  

 

The following table summarizes the remaining contractual maturities of our cash equivalents and marketable fixed income securities as of December 31, 2019 (in millions):

 

 
               
  Amortized

Cost

  Estimated

Fair Value

Due within one year $ 35,064     $ 35,071  
Due after one year through five years 9,262     9,304  
Due after five years through ten years 301     302  
Due after ten years 680     682  
Total $ 45,307     $ 45,359  

 

Actual maturities may differ from the contractual maturities because borrowers may have certain prepayment conditions.

 

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Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows Reconciliation

The following table provides a reconciliation of the amount of cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash reported within the consolidated balance sheets to the total of the same such amounts shown in the consolidated statements of cash flows (in millions):

 

 
               
  December 31, 2018   December 31, 2019
Cash and cash equivalents $ 31,750     $ 36,092  
Restricted cash included in accounts receivable, net and other 418     276  
Restricted cash included in other assets 5     42  
Total cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash shown in the consolidated statements of cash flows $ 32,173     $ 36,410  

 

Note 3 — PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT

Property and equipment, at cost, consisted of the following (in millions):

 

 

 
               
  December 31,
  2018   2019
Gross property and equipment (1):      
Land and buildings $ 31,741     $ 39,223  
Equipment 54,591     71,310  
Other assets 2,577     3,111  
Construction in progress 6,861     6,036  
Gross property and equipment 95,770     119,680  
Total accumulated depreciation and amortization (1) 33,973     46,975  
Total property and equipment, net $ 61,797     $ 72,705  

 

__________________

   
(1) Includes the original cost and accumulated depreciation of fully-depreciated assets.

Depreciation and amortization expense on property and equipment was $8.8 billion, $12.1 billion, and $15.1 billion which includes amortization of property and equipment acquired under finance leases of $5.4 billion, $7.3 billion, and $10.1 billion for 2017, 2018, and 2019.

 

Note 4 — LEASES

Gross assets acquired under finance leases, inclusive of those where title transfers at the end of the lease, are recorded in “Property and equipment, net” and were $36.1 billion and $57.4 billion as of December 31, 2018 and 2019. Accumulated amortization associated with finance leases was $19.8 billion and $30.0 billion as of December 31, 2018 and 2019.

Lease cost recognized in our consolidated statements of operations is summarized as follows (in millions):

 

 
       
  Year Ended

December 31, 2019

   
Operating lease cost (1) $ 3,669  
Finance lease cost:  
Amortization of lease assets 10,094  
Interest on lease liabilities 695  
Finance lease cost 10,789  
Variable lease cost 966  
Total lease cost $ 15,424  

__________________

   
(1) Rental expense under operating lease agreements was $2.2 billion and $3.4 billion for 2017 and 2018.

 

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Other information about lease amounts recognized in our consolidated financial statements is summarized as follows:

 

 
     
  December 31, 2019
   
Weighted-average remaining lease term – operating leases 11.5  
Weighted-average remaining lease term – finance leases 5.5  
Weighted-average discount rate – operating leases 3.1 %
Weighted-average discount rate – finance leases 2.7 %

 

As of December 31, 2019, our lease liabilities were as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  Operating Leases   Finance Leases   Total
           
Gross lease liabilities $ 31,963     $ 28,875     $ 60,838  
Less: imputed interest (6,128 )   (1,896 )   (8,024 )
Present value of lease liabilities 25,835     26,979     52,814  
Less: current portion of lease liabilities (3,139 )   (9,884 )   (13,023 )
Total long-term lease liabilities $ 22,696     $ 17,095     $ 39,791  

 

Note 5 — ACQUISITIONS, GOODWILL, AND ACQUIRED INTANGIBLE ASSETS

2017 Acquisition Activity

On May 12, 2017, we acquired Souq Group Ltd., an e-commerce company, for approximately $583 million, net of cash acquired, and on August 28, 2017, we acquired Whole Foods Market, a grocery store chain, for approximately $13.2 billion, net of cash acquired. Both acquisitions are intended to expand our retail presence. During 2017, we also acquired certain other companies for an aggregate purchase price of $204 million. The primary reason for our other 2017 acquisitions was to acquire technologies and know-how to enable Amazon to serve customers more effectively.

2018 Acquisition Activity

On April 12, 2018, we acquired Ring Inc. (“Ring”) for cash consideration of approximately $839 million, net of cash acquired, and on September 11, 2018, we acquired PillPack, Inc. (“PillPack”) for cash consideration of approximately $753 million, net of cash acquired, to expand our product and service offerings. During 2018, we also acquired certain other companies for an aggregate purchase price of $57 million. The primary reason for our other 2018 acquisitions was to acquire technologies and know-how to enable Amazon to serve customers more effectively.

2019 Acquisition Activity

During 2019, we acquired certain companies for an aggregate purchase price of $315 million. The primary reason for these acquisitions, none of which were individually material to our consolidated financial statements, was to acquire technologies and know-how to enable Amazon to serve customers more effectively.

Acquisition-related costs were expensed as incurred and were not significant.

Pro forma results of operations have not been presented because the effects of 2019 acquisitions, individually and in the aggregate, were not material to our consolidated results of operations.

 

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Purchase Price Allocation

The aggregate purchase price of these acquisitions was allocated as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
           
Purchase Price          
Cash paid, net of cash acquired $ 13,859     $ 1,618     $ 276  
Indemnification holdback 104     31     39  
  $ 13,963     $ 1,649     $ 315  
Allocation          
Goodwill $ 9,501     $ 1,228     $ 189  
Intangible assets (1):          
Marketing-related 1,987     186     8  
Contract-based 440     13      
Technology-based 166     285     139  
Customer-related 54     193     14  
  2,647     677     161  
Property and equipment 3,810     11     3  
Deferred tax assets 117     174     29  
Other assets acquired 1,858     282     41  
Long-term debt (1,165 )   (176 )   (31 )
Deferred tax liabilities (961 )   (159 )   (34 )
Other liabilities assumed (1,844 )   (388 )   (43 )
  $ 13,963     $ 1,649     $ 315  

___________________

   
(1) Intangible assets acquired in 2017, 2018, and 2019 have estimated useful lives of between one and twenty-five years, two and seven years, and two and seven years, with weighted-average amortization periods of twenty-one years, six years, and five years.

We determined the estimated fair value of identifiable intangible assets acquired primarily by using the income approach. These assets are included within “Other assets” on our consolidated balance sheets and are being amortized to operating expenses on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives.

Goodwill

The goodwill of the acquired companies is primarily related to expected improvements in technology performance and functionality, as well as sales growth from future product and service offerings and new customers, together with certain intangible assets that do not qualify for separate recognition. The goodwill of the acquired companies is generally not deductible for tax purposes. The following summarizes our goodwill activity in 2018 and 2019 by segment (in millions):

 

 
                               
  North

America

  International   AWS   Consolidated
Goodwill – January 1, 2018 $ 11,165     $ 1,108     $ 1,077     $ 13,350  
New acquisitions (1) 1,031     177     20     1,228  
Other adjustments (2) (5 )   (15 )   (10 )   (30 )
Goodwill – December 31, 2018 12,191     1,270     1,087     14,548  
New acquisitions 71     29     89     189  
Other adjustments (2) 2     1     14     17  
Goodwill – December 31, 2019 $ 12,264     $ 1,300     $ 1,190     $ 14,754  

___________________

   
(1) Primarily includes the acquisitions of Ring and PillPack in the North America segment.
     
(2) Primarily includes changes in foreign exchange rates.  

 

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Intangible Assets

Acquired intangible assets, included within “Other assets” on our consolidated balance sheets, consist of the following (in millions):

 

 

 
                                                   
  December 31,    
  2018   2019    
  Acquired

Intangibles,

Gross (1)

  Accumulated

Amortization (1)

  Acquired

Intangibles,

Net

  Acquired

Intangibles,

Gross (1)

  Accumulated

Amortization (1)

  Acquired

Intangibles,

Net

  Weighted

Average Life

Remaining

Marketing-related $ 2,542     $ (431 )   $ 2,111     $ 2,303     $ (340 )   $ 1,963     20.7
Contract-based 1,430     (224 )   1,206     1,702     (302 )   1,400     10.5
Technology- and content-based 941     (377 )   564     1,011     (477 )   534     3.6
Customer-related 437     (208 )   229     282     (130 )   152     4.3
Acquired intangibles (2) $ 5,350     $ (1,240 )   $ 4,110     $ 5,298     $ (1,249 )   $ 4,049     14.3

___________________

   
(1) Excludes the original cost and accumulated amortization of fully-amortized intangibles.
     
(2) Intangible assets have estimated useful lives of between one and twenty-five years.  

Amortization expense for acquired intangibles was $366 million, $475 million, and $565 million in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Expected future amortization expense of acquired intangible assets as of December 31, 2019 is as follows (in millions):

 

 

 
       
Year Ended December 31,
2020 $ 486  
2021 424  
2022 391  
2023 334  
2024 270  
Thereafter 2,116  
  $ 4,021  

 

 

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Note 6 — DEBT

As of December 31, 2019, we had $23.3 billion of unsecured senior notes outstanding (the “Notes”). As of December 31, 2018 and 2019, the net unamortized discount and debt issuance costs on the Notes was $101 million. We also have other long-term debt with a carrying amount, including the current portion and borrowings under our credit facility, of $715 million and $1.6 billion as of December 31, 2018 and 2019. The face value of our total long-term debt obligations is as follows (in millions):

 

 
               
  December 31,
  2018   2019
2.600% Notes due on December 5, 2019 1,000      
1.900% Notes due on August 21, 2020 (3) 1,000     1,000  
3.300% Notes due on December 5, 2021 (2) 1,000     1,000  
2.500% Notes due on November 29, 2022 (1) 1,250     1,250  
2.400% Notes due on February 22, 2023 (3) 1,000     1,000  
2.800% Notes due on August 22, 2024 (3) 2,000     2,000  
3.800% Notes due on December 5, 2024 (2) 1,250     1,250  
5.200% Notes due on December 3, 2025 (4) 1,000     1,000  
3.150% Notes due on August 22, 2027 (3) 3,500     3,500  
4.800% Notes due on December 5, 2034 (2) 1,250     1,250  
3.875% Notes due on August 22, 2037 (3) 2,750     2,750  
4.950% Notes due on December 5, 2044 (2) 1,500     1,500  
4.050% Notes due on August 22, 2047 (3) 3,500     3,500  
4.250% Notes due on August 22, 2057 (3) 2,250     2,250  
Credit Facility 594     740  
Other long-term debt 121     830  
Total debt 24,965     24,820  
Less current portion of long-term debt (1,371 )   (1,307 )
Face value of long-term debt $ 23,594     $ 23,513  

 

_____________________________

     
(1) Issued in November 2012, effective interest rate of the 2022 Notes was 2.66%.  
     
(2) Issued in December 2014, effective interest rates of the 2021, 2024, 2034, and 2044 Notes were 3.43%, 3.90%, 4.92%, and 5.11%.  
   
(3) Issued in August 2017, effective interest rates of the 2020, 2023, 2024, 2027, 2037, 2047, and 2057 Notes were 2.16%, 2.56%, 2.95%, 3.25%, 3.94%, 4.13%, and 4.33%.
   
(4) Consists of $872 million of 2025 Notes issued in December 2017 in exchange for notes assumed in connection with the acquisition of Whole Foods Market and $128 million of 2025 Notes issued by Whole Foods Market that did not participate in our December 2017 exchange offer. The effective interest rate of the 2025 Notes was 3.02%.

Interest on the Notes issued in 2012 is payable semi-annually in arrears in May and November. Interest on the Notes issued in 2014 is payable semi-annually in arrears in June and December. Interest on the Notes issued in 2017 is payable semi-annually in arrears in February and August. Interest on the 2025 Notes is payable semi-annually in arrears in June and December. We may redeem the Notes at any time in whole, or from time to time, in part at specified redemption prices. We are not subject to any financial covenants under the Notes. The proceeds from the November 2012 and the December 2014 Notes were used for general corporate purposes. The proceeds from the August 2017 Notes were used to fund the consideration for the acquisition of Whole Foods Market, to repay notes due in 2017, and for general corporate purposes. The estimated fair value of the Notes was approximately $24.3 billion and $26.2 billion as of December 31, 2018 and 2019, which is based on quoted prices for our debt as of those dates.

In October 2016, we entered into a $500 million secured revolving credit facility with a lender that is secured by certain seller receivables, which we subsequently increased to $740 million and may from time to time increase in the future subject to lender approval (the “Credit Facility”). The Credit Facility is available until October 2022, bears interest at the London interbank offered rate (“LIBOR”) plus 1.40%, and has a commitment fee of 0.50% on the undrawn portion. There were $594 million and $740 million of borrowings outstanding under the Credit Facility as of December 31, 2018 and 2019, which had a weighted-average interest rate of 3.2% and 3.4% as of December 31, 2018 and 2019. As of December 31, 2018 and 2019, we

 

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have pledged $686 million and $852 million of our cash and seller receivables as collateral for debt related to our Credit Facility. The estimated fair value of the Credit Facility, which is based on Level 2 inputs, approximated its carrying value as of December 31, 2018 and 2019.

The other debt, including the current portion, had a weighted-average interest rate of 6.0% and 4.1% as of December 31, 2018 and 2019. We used the net proceeds from the issuance of this debt primarily to fund certain business operations. The estimated fair value of the other long-term debt, which is based on Level 2 inputs, approximated its carrying value as of December 31, 2018 and 2019.

As of December 31, 2019, future principal payments for our total debt were as follows (in millions):

 

 
       
Year Ended December 31,
2020 $ 1,307  
2021 1,141  
2022 1,773  
2023 1,510  
2024 3,339  
Thereafter 15,750  
  $ 24,820  

 

In April 2018, we established a commercial paper program (the “Commercial Paper Program”) under which we may from time to time issue unsecured commercial paper up to a total of $7.0 billion at any time, with individual maturities that may vary but will not exceed 397 days from the date of issue. There were no borrowings outstanding under the Commercial Paper Program as of December 31, 2018 and 2019.

In April 2018, in connection with our Commercial Paper Program, we amended and restated our unsecured revolving credit facility (the “Credit Agreement”) with a syndicate of lenders to increase our borrowing capacity thereunder to $7.0 billion. As amended and restated, the Credit Agreement has a term of three years, but it may be extended for up to three additional one-year terms if approved by the lenders. The interest rate applicable to outstanding balances under the amended and restated Credit Agreement is LIBOR plus 0.50%, with a commitment fee of 0.04% on the undrawn portion of the credit facility. There were no borrowings outstanding under the Credit Agreement as of December 31, 2018 and 2019.

 

 

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Note 7 — COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES

Commitments

We have entered into non-cancellable operating and finance leases and financing obligations for equipment and office, fulfillment, sortation, delivery, data center, physical store, and renewable energy facilities.

The following summarizes our principal contractual commitments, excluding open orders for purchases that support normal operations and are generally cancellable, as of December 31, 2019 (in millions):

 

 
                                                       
  Year Ended December 31,        
  2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   Thereafter   Total
Debt principal and interest $ 2,202     $ 2,009     $ 2,603     $ 2,273     $ 4,084     $ 26,019     $ 39,190  
Operating lease liabilities 3,757     3,630     3,226     2,900     2,605     15,845     31,963  
Finance lease liabilities, including interest 9,878     7,655     4,060     1,332     989     4,961     28,875  
Financing obligations, including interest 142     146     148     150     152     2,452     3,190  
Unconditional purchase obligations (1) 4,593     3,641     3,293     3,103     3,000     2,358     19,988  
Other commitments (2)(3) 3,837     2,274     1,770     1,439     1,389     12,186     22,895  
Total commitments $ 24,409     $ 19,355     $ 15,100     $ 11,197     $ 12,219     $ 63,821     $ 146,101  

___________________

   
(1) Includes unconditional purchase obligations related to certain products offered in our Whole Foods Market stores and long-term agreements to acquire and license digital media content that are not reflected on the consolidated balance sheets. For those digital media content agreements with variable terms, we do not estimate the total obligation beyond any minimum quantities and/or pricing as of the reporting date. Purchase obligations associated with renewal provisions solely at the option of the content provider are included to the extent such commitments are fixed or a minimum amount is specified.
   
(2) Includes the estimated timing and amounts of payments for rent and tenant improvements associated with build-to-suit lease arrangements and lease arrangements prior to the lease commencement date and digital media content liabilities associated with long-term digital media content assets with initial terms greater than one year.
   
(3) Excludes approximately $3.9 billion of accrued tax contingencies for which we cannot make a reasonably reliable estimate of the amount and period of payment, if any.

Pledged Assets

As of December 31, 2018 and 2019, we have pledged or otherwise restricted $575 million and $994 million of our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities, and certain property and equipment as collateral for real estate leases, amounts due to third-party sellers in certain jurisdictions, debt, and standby and trade letters of credit. Additionally, we have pledged our cash and seller receivables for debt related to our Credit Facility. See “Note 6 — Debt.”

Suppliers

During 2019, no vendor accounted for 10% or more of our purchases. We generally do not have long-term contracts or arrangements with our vendors to guarantee the availability of merchandise, particular payment terms, or the extension of credit limits.

Other Contingencies

In 2016, we determined that we processed and delivered orders of consumer products for certain individuals and entities located outside Iran covered by the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act or other United States sanctions and export control laws. The consumer products included books, music, other media, apparel, home and kitchen, health and beauty, jewelry, office, consumer electronics, software, lawn and patio, grocery, and automotive products. Our review is ongoing and we have voluntarily reported these orders to the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security. We intend to cooperate fully with OFAC and BIS with respect to their review, which may result in the imposition of penalties. For additional information, see Item 9B of Part II, “Other Information — Disclosure Pursuant to Section 13(r) of the Exchange Act.”

We are subject to claims related to various indirect taxes (such as sales, value added, consumption, service, and similar taxes), including in jurisdictions in which we already collect and remit such taxes. If the relevant taxing authorities were successfully to pursue these claims, we could be subject to significant additional tax liabilities. For example, in June 2017, the State of South Carolina issued an assessment for uncollected sales and use taxes for the period from January 2016 to March 2016, including interest and penalties. South Carolina is alleging that we should have collected sales and use taxes on

 

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transactions by our third-party sellers. In September 2019, the South Carolina Administrative Law Court ruled in favor of the Department of Revenue and we have appealed the decision to the state Court of Appeals. We believe the assessment is without merit and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter. If other tax authorities were successfully to seek additional adjustments of a similar nature, we could be subject to significant additional tax liabilities.

Legal Proceedings

The Company is involved from time to time in claims, proceedings, and litigation, including the following:

Beginning in August 2013, a number of complaints were filed alleging, among other things, that Amazon.com, Inc. and several of its subsidiaries failed to compensate hourly workers for time spent waiting in security lines and otherwise violated federal and state wage and hour statutes and common law. In August 2013, Busk v. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. and Amazon.com, Inc. was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, and Vance v. Amazon.com, Inc., Zappos.com Inc., another affiliate of Amazon.com, Inc., and Kelly Services, Inc. was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. In September 2013, Allison v. Amazon.com, Inc. and Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, and Johnson v. Amazon.com, Inc. and an affiliate of Amazon.com, Inc. was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. In October 2013, Davis v. Amazon.com, Inc., an affiliate of Amazon.com, Inc., and Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. The plaintiffs variously purport to represent a nationwide class of certain current and former employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and/or state-law-based subclasses for certain current and former employees in states including Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Kentucky, Washington, and Nevada, and one complaint asserts nationwide breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims. The complaints seek an unspecified amount of damages, interest, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees. We have been named in several other similar cases. In December 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in Busk that time spent waiting for and undergoing security screening is not compensable working time under the federal wage and hour statute. In February 2015, the courts in those actions alleging only federal law claims entered stipulated orders dismissing those actions without prejudice. In March 2016, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky dismissed the Vance case with prejudice. In April 2016, the plaintiffs appealed the district court’s judgment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In March 2017, the court of appeals affirmed the district court’s decision. In June 2017, the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky dismissed the Busk and Saldana cases with prejudice. We dispute any remaining allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in these matters.

In March 2015, Zitovault, LLC filed a complaint against Amazon.com, Inc., Amazon.com, LLC, Amazon Web Services, Inc., and Amazon Web Services, LLC for patent infringement in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The complaint alleges that Elastic Compute Cloud, Virtual Private Cloud, Elastic Load Balancing, Auto-Scaling, and Elastic Beanstalk infringe U.S. Patent No. 6,484,257, entitled “System and Method for Maintaining N Number of Simultaneous Cryptographic Sessions Using a Distributed Computing Environment.” The complaint seeks injunctive relief, an unspecified amount of damages, enhanced damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and interest. In January 2016, the case was transferred to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. In June 2016, the case was stayed pending resolution of a review petition we filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In January 2019, the stay of the case was lifted following resolution of the review petition. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.

In November 2015, Eolas Technologies, Inc. filed a complaint against Amazon.com, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The complaint alleges, among other things, that the use of “interactive features” on www.amazon.com, including “search suggestions and search results,” infringes U.S. Patent No. 9,195,507, entitled “Distributed Hypermedia Method and System for Automatically Invoking External Application Providing Interaction and Display of Embedded Objects Within A Hypermedia Document.” The complaint sought a judgment of infringement together with costs and attorneys’ fees. In February 2016, Eolas filed an amended complaint seeking, among other things, an unspecified amount of damages. In February 2017, Eolas alleged in its damages report that in the event of a finding of liability Amazon could be subject to $130-$250 million in damages. In April 2017, the case was transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.

In October 2017, SRC Labs, LLC and Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe filed a complaint for patent infringement against Amazon Web Services, Inc., Amazon.com, Inc., and VADATA, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The complaint alleges, among other things, that certain AWS EC2 Instances infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 6,434,687, entitled “System and method for accelerating web site access and processing utilizing a computer system incorporating reconfigurable processors operating under a single operating system image”; 7,149,867, entitled “System and method of enhancing efficiency and utilization of memory bandwidth in reconfigurable hardware”; 7,225,324 and 7,620,800, both entitled “Multi-adaptive processing systems and techniques for enhancing parallelism and performance of computational functions”;

 

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and 9,153,311, entitled “System and method for retaining DRAM data when reprogramming reconfigurable devices with DRAM memory controllers.” The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages, enhanced damages, interest, and a compulsory on-going royalty. In February 2018, the Virginia district court transferred the case to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. In November 2018, the case was stayed pending resolution of eight review petitions filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office relating to the ‘324, ‘867, and ‘311 patents. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.

In May 2018, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and CF Dynamic Advances LLC filed a complaint against Amazon.com, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. The complaint alleges, among other things, that “Alexa Voice Software and Alexa enabled devices” infringe U.S. Patent No. 7,177,798, entitled “Natural Language Interface Using Constrained Intermediate Dictionary of Results.” The complaint seeks an injunction, an unspecified amount of damages, enhanced damages, an ongoing royalty, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorneys’ fees, and costs. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.

In June 2018, VoIP-Pal.com, Inc. filed a complaint against Amazon Technologies, Inc. and Amazon.com, Inc. in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada. The complaint alleges, among other things, that the Alexa calling and messaging system, the Alexa app, and Echo, Tap, and Fire devices with Alexa support infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 9,537,762; 9,813,330; 9,826,002; and 9,948,549, all entitled “Producing Routing Messages For Voice Over IP Communications.” The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages, enhanced damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and interest. In November 2018, the case was transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. In November 2019, the District Court entered judgment invalidating all asserted claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 9,537,762; 9,813,330; 9,826,002; and 9,948,549. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.

In December 2018, Kove IO, Inc. filed a complaint against Amazon Web Services, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The complaint alleges, among other things, that Amazon S3 and DynamoDB infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 7,814,170 and 7,103,640, both entitled “Network Distributed Tracking Wire Transfer Protocol,” and 7,233,978, entitled “Method And Apparatus For Managing Location Information In A Network Separate From The Data To Which The Location Information Pertains.” The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages, enhanced damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, interest, and injunctive relief. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.

In January 2019, Saint Lawrence Communications, LLC filed a complaint against Amazon.com, Inc. and Amazon.com LLC in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The complaint alleges, among other things, that voice encoding functionality in Amazon devices infringes U.S. Patent Nos. 6,795,805, entitled “Periodicity Enhancement In Decoding Wideband Signals”; 6,807,524, entitled “Perceptual Weighting Device And Method For Efficient Coding Of Wideband Signals”; 7,151,802, entitled “High Frequency Content Recovering Method And Device For Over-Sampled Synthesized Wideband Signal”; 7,191,123, entitled “Gain-Smoothing In Wideband Speech And Audio Signal Decoder”; and 7,260,521, entitled “Method And Device For Adaptive Bandwidth Pitch Search In Coding Wideband Signals.” The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages, enhanced damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and interest. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.

In April 2019, Vocalife LLC filed a complaint against Amazon.com, Inc. and Amazon.com LLC in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The complaint alleges, among other things, that Amazon Echo devices infringe U.S. Patent No. RE47,049, entitled “Microphone Array System.” The complaint seeks injunctive relief, an unspecified amount of damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and interest. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.

In May 2019, Neodron Ltd. filed a petition with the United States International Trade Commission requesting that the International Trade Commission commence an investigation into the sale of Amazon Fire HD 10 tablets and certain Dell, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, and Samsung devices (the “accused devices”). Neodron’s petition alleges that the accused devices infringe at least one of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,422,173, entitled “Capacitive Position Sensor”; 8,791,910, entitled “Capacitive Keyboard With Position-Dependent Reduced Keying Ambiguity”; 9,024,790, entitled “Capacitive Keyboard With Non-Locking Reduced Keying Ambiguity”; and 9,372,580, entitled “Enhanced Touch Detection Methods.” Neodron is seeking a limited exclusion order preventing the importation of the accused devices into the United States. In December 2019, Neodron withdrew its infringement allegations against Amazon with regard to U.S. Patent No. 9,372,580. In May 2019, Neodron also filed a complaint against Amazon.com, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. The complaint alleges, among other things, that Amazon’s Fire HD 10 tablet infringes U.S. Patent Nos. 8,422,173, entitled “Capacitive Position Sensor,” and 9,372,580, entitled “Enhanced Touch Detection Methods.” The May 2019 complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages and interest, a permanent injunction, and enhanced damages. In June 2019, Neodron filed a second complaint against Amazon.com, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas. The complaint alleges, among other things, that Amazon’s Fire HD 10 tablet infringes U.S. Patent Nos. 9,823,784, entitled “Capacitive Touch Screen With Noise Suppression”; 9,489,072, entitled “Noise Reduction In Capacitive Touch Sensors”; and

 

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8,502,547, entitled “Capacitive Sensor.” The June 2019 complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages and interest, a permanent injunction, and enhanced damages. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in these matters.

The outcomes of our legal proceedings and other contingencies are inherently unpredictable, subject to significant uncertainties, and could be material to our operating results and cash flows for a particular period. In addition, for the matters disclosed above that do not include an estimate of the amount of loss or range of losses, such an estimate is not possible or is immaterial, and we may be unable to estimate the possible loss or range of losses that could potentially result from the application of non-monetary remedies.

See also “Note 9 — Income Taxes.”

Note 8 — STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

Preferred Stock

We have authorized 500 million shares of $0.01 par value preferred stock. No preferred stock was outstanding for any year presented.

Common Stock

Common shares outstanding plus shares underlying outstanding stock awards totaled 504 million, 507 million, and 512 million, as of December 31, 2017, 2018, and 2019. These totals include all vested and unvested stock awards outstanding, including those awards we estimate will be forfeited.

Stock Repurchase Activity

In February 2016, the Board of Directors authorized a program to repurchase up to $5.0 billion of our common stock, with no fixed expiration. There were no repurchases of common stock in 2017, 2018, or 2019.

Stock Award Plans

Employees vest in restricted stock unit awards and stock options over the corresponding service term, generally between two and five years.

Stock Award Activity

Stock-based compensation expense is as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
Cost of sales $ 47     $ 73     $ 149  
Fulfillment 911     1,121     1,182  
Technology and content 2,305     2,888     3,725  
Marketing 511     769     1,135  
General and administrative 441     567     673  
Total stock-based compensation expense (1) $ 4,215     $ 5,418     $ 6,864  

 

___________________

   
(1) The related tax benefits were $860 million, $1.1 billion, and $1.4 billion for 2017, 2018, and 2019.

 

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The following table summarizes our restricted stock unit activity (in millions):

 

 
             
  Number of Units   Weighted Average

Grant-Date

Fair Value

Outstanding as of January 1, 2017 19.8     $ 506  
Units granted 8.9     946  
Units vested (6.8 )   400  
Units forfeited (1.8 )   649  
Outstanding as of December 31, 2017 20.1     725  
Units granted 5.0     1,522  
Units vested (7.1 )   578  
Units forfeited (2.1 )   862  
Outstanding as of December 31, 2018 15.9     1,024  
Units granted 6.7     1,808  
Units vested (6.6 )   827  
Units forfeited (1.7 )   1,223  
Outstanding as of December 31, 2019 14.3     1,458  

 

Scheduled vesting for outstanding restricted stock units as of December 31, 2019, is as follows (in millions):

 

 
                                         
  Year Ended          
  2020   2021   2022   2023   2024   Thereafter   Total
Scheduled vesting — restricted stock units 6.0     5.1     2.1     1.0         0.1     14.3  

 

As of December 31, 2019, there was $8.8 billion of net unrecognized compensation cost related to unvested stock-based compensation arrangements. This compensation is recognized on an accelerated basis with approximately half of the compensation expected to be expensed in the next twelve months, and has a weighted-average recognition period of 1.1 years. The estimated forfeiture rate as of December 31, 2017, 2018, and 2019 was 28%, 27%, and 27%. Changes in our estimates and assumptions relating to forfeitures may cause us to realize material changes in stock-based compensation expense in the future.

During 2017, 2018, and 2019, the fair value of restricted stock units that vested was $6.8 billion, $11.4 billion, and $11.7 billion.

Common Stock Available for Future Issuance

As of December 31, 2019, common stock available for future issuance to employees is 108 million shares.

Note 9 — INCOME TAXES

In 2017, 2018, and 2019, we recorded net tax provisions of $769 million, $1.2 billion, and $2.4 billion. Tax benefits relating to excess stock-based compensation deductions and accelerated depreciation deductions are reducing our U.S. taxable income. Cash taxes paid, net of refunds, were $957 million, $1.2 billion, and $881 million for 2017, 2018, and 2019.

The U.S. Tax Act was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The U.S. Tax Act significantly revised the U.S. corporate income tax by, among other things, lowering the statutory corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, eliminating certain deductions, imposing a mandatory one-time tax on accumulated earnings of foreign subsidiaries, introducing new tax regimes, and changing how foreign earnings are subject to U.S. tax. The U.S. Tax Act also enhanced and extended accelerated depreciation deductions by allowing full expensing of qualified property, primarily equipment, through 2022. We reasonably estimated the effects of the U.S. Tax Act and recorded provisional amounts in our financial statements as of December 31, 2017. We recorded a provisional tax benefit for the impact of the U.S. Tax Act of approximately $789 million. This amount was primarily comprised of the remeasurement of federal net deferred tax liabilities resulting from the permanent reduction in the U.S. statutory corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, after taking into account the mandatory one-time tax on the accumulated earnings of our foreign subsidiaries. The amount of this one-time tax was not material. In 2018, we completed our determination of the accounting implications of the U.S. Tax Act.

 

 

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The components of the provision for income taxes, net are as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
U.S. Federal:          
Current $ (137 )   $ (129 )   $ 162  
Deferred (202 )   565     914  
Total (339 )   436     1,076  
U.S. State:          
Current 211     322     276  
Deferred (26 )   5     8  
Total 185     327     284  
International:          
Current 724     563     1,140  
Deferred 199     (129 )   (126 )
Total 923     434     1,014  
Provision for income taxes, net $ 769     $ 1,197     $ 2,374  

 

U.S. and international components of income before income taxes are as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
U.S. $ 5,630     $ 11,157     $ 13,285  
International (1,824 )   104     691  
Income before income taxes $ 3,806     $ 11,261     $ 13,976  

 

The items accounting for differences between income taxes computed at the federal statutory rate and the provision recorded for income taxes are as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
Income taxes computed at the federal statutory rate (1) $ 1,332     $ 2,365     $ 2,935  
Effect of:          
Tax impact of foreign earnings 1,178     119     381  
State taxes, net of federal benefits 114     263     221  
Tax credits (220 )   (419 )   (466 )
Stock-based compensation (2) (917 )   (1,086 )   (850 )
2017 Impact of U.S. Tax Act (789 )   (157 )    
Other, net 71     112     153  
Total $ 769     $ 1,197     $ 2,374  

 

___________________

     
(1) The U.S. Tax Act reduced the U.S. federal statutory rate from 35% to 21% beginning in 2018.  
   
(2) Includes non-deductible stock-based compensation and excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation. Our tax provision includes $1.3 billion, $1.6 billion, and $1.4 billion of excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation for 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Our provision for income taxes in 2018 was higher than in 2017 primarily due to an increase in U.S. pre-tax income and the one-time provisional tax benefit of the U.S. Tax Act recognized in 2017. This was partially offset by the reduction to the U.S. federal statutory tax rate in 2018, a decline in the proportion of foreign losses for which we may not realize a tax benefit and an increase in excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation.

We regularly assess whether it is more likely than not that we will realize our deferred tax assets in each taxing jurisdiction in which we operate. In performing this assessment with respect to each jurisdiction, we review all available evidence, including recent cumulative loss experience and expectations of future earnings, capital gains, and investment in such jurisdiction, the carry-forward periods available to us for tax reporting purposes, and other relevant factors. In Q2 2017, we

 

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recognized an estimated charge to tax expense of $600 million to record a valuation allowance against the net deferred tax assets in Luxembourg.

Our provision for income taxes in 2019 was higher than in 2018 primarily due to an increase in U.S. pre-tax income, a decline in excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation, and the one-time provisional tax benefit of the U.S. Tax Act recognized in 2018.

Certain foreign subsidiary earnings are subject to U.S. taxation under the U.S. Tax Act, which also repeals U.S. taxation on the subsequent repatriation of those earnings. We intend to invest substantially all of our foreign subsidiary earnings, as well as our capital in our foreign subsidiaries, indefinitely outside of the U.S. in those jurisdictions in which we would incur significant, additional costs upon repatriation of such amounts.

Deferred income tax assets and liabilities are as follows (in millions):

 

 
               
  December 31,
  2018   2019
Deferred tax assets (1):      
Loss carryforwards U.S. – Federal/States 222     188  
Loss carryforwards – Foreign 2,551     3,232  
Accrued liabilities, reserves, and other expenses 1,064     1,373  
Stock-based compensation 1,293     1,585  
Depreciation and amortization 2,386     2,385  
Operating lease liabilities     6,648  
Other items 484     728  
Tax credits 734     772  
Total gross deferred tax assets 8,734     16,911  
Less valuation allowances (2) (4,950 )   (5,754 )
Deferred tax assets, net of valuation allowances 3,784     11,157  
Deferred tax liabilities:      
Depreciation and amortization (3,579 )   (5,507 )
Operating lease assets     (6,331 )
Other items (749 )   (640 )
Net deferred tax assets (liabilities), net of valuation allowances $ (544 )   $ (1,321 )

___________________

     
(1) Deferred tax assets are presented after tax effects and net of tax contingencies.  
   
(2) Relates primarily to deferred tax assets that would only be realizable upon the generation of net income in certain foreign taxing jurisdictions.

Our valuation allowances primarily relate to foreign deferred tax assets, including substantially all of our foreign net operating loss carryforwards as of December 31, 2019. Our foreign net operating loss carryforwards for income tax purposes as of December 31, 2019 were approximately $8.6 billion before tax effects and certain of these amounts are subject to annual limitations under applicable tax law. If not utilized, a portion of these losses will begin to expire in 2020. As of December 31, 2019, our federal tax credit carryforwards for income tax purposes were approximately $1.7 billion. If not utilized, a portion of the tax credit carryforwards will begin to expire in 2027.

Tax Contingencies

We are subject to income taxes in the U.S. (federal and state) and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in evaluating our tax positions and determining our provision for income taxes. During the ordinary course of business, there are many transactions and calculations for which the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. We establish reserves for tax-related uncertainties based on estimates of whether, and the extent to which, additional taxes will be due. These reserves are established when we believe that certain positions might be challenged despite our belief that our tax return positions are fully supportable. We adjust these reserves in light of changing facts and circumstances, such as the outcome of tax audits. The provision for income taxes includes the impact of reserve provisions and changes to reserves that are considered appropriate.

 

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The reconciliation of our tax contingencies is as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
Gross tax contingencies – January 1 $ 1,710     $ 2,309     $ 3,414  
Gross increases to tax positions in prior periods 223     164     216  
Gross decreases to tax positions in prior periods (139 )   (90 )   (181 )
Gross increases to current period tax positions 518     1,088     707  
Settlements with tax authorities     (36 )   (207 )
Lapse of statute of limitations (3 )   (21 )   (26 )
Gross tax contingencies – December 31 (1) $ 2,309     $ 3,414     $ 3,923  

___________________

   
(1) As of December 31, 2019, we had approximately $3.9 billion of accrued tax contingencies of which $2.1 billion, if fully recognized, would decrease our effective tax rate.

As of December 31, 2018 and 2019, we had accrued interest and penalties, net of federal income tax benefit, related to tax contingencies of $127 million and $131 million. Interest and penalties, net of federal income tax benefit, recognized for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2018, and 2019 was $40 million, $20 million, and $4 million.

We are under examination, or may be subject to examination, by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for the calendar year 2007 and thereafter. These examinations may lead to ordinary course adjustments or proposed adjustments to our taxes or our net operating losses with respect to years under examination as well as subsequent periods.

In October 2014, the European Commission opened a formal investigation to examine whether decisions by the tax authorities in Luxembourg with regard to the corporate income tax paid by certain of our subsidiaries comply with European Union rules on state aid. On October 4, 2017, the European Commission announced its decision that determinations by the tax authorities in Luxembourg did not comply with European Union rules on state aid. Based on that decision the European Commission announced an estimated recovery amount of approximately €250 million, plus interest, for the period May 2006 through June 2014, and ordered Luxembourg tax authorities to calculate the actual amount of additional taxes subject to recovery. Luxembourg computed an initial recovery amount, consistent with the European Commission’s decision, that we deposited into escrow in March 2018, subject to adjustment pending conclusion of all appeals. In December 2017, Luxembourg appealed the European Commission’s decision. In May 2018, we appealed. We believe the European Commission’s decision to be without merit and will continue to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter. We are also subject to taxation in various states and other foreign jurisdictions including China, Germany, India, Japan, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom. We are under, or may be subject to, audit or examination and additional assessments by the relevant authorities in respect of these particular jurisdictions primarily for 2009 and thereafter.

Changes in state, federal, and foreign tax laws may increase our tax contingencies. The timing of the resolution of income tax examinations is highly uncertain, and the amounts ultimately paid, if any, upon resolution of the issues raised by the taxing authorities may differ from the amounts accrued. It is reasonably possible that within the next twelve months we will receive additional assessments by various tax authorities or possibly reach resolution of income tax examinations in one or more jurisdictions. These assessments or settlements could result in changes to our contingencies related to positions on tax filings in years through 2019. The actual amount of any change could vary significantly depending on the ultimate timing and nature of any settlements. We cannot currently provide an estimate of the range of possible outcomes.

Note 10 — SEGMENT INFORMATION

We have organized our operations into three segments: North America, International, and AWS. We allocate to segment results the operating expenses “Fulfillment,” “Technology and content,” “Marketing,” and “General and administrative” based on usage, which is generally reflected in the segment in which the costs are incurred. The majority of technology infrastructure costs are allocated to the AWS segment based on usage. The majority of the remaining non-infrastructure technology costs are incurred in the U.S. and are allocated to our North America segment. There are no internal revenue transactions between our reportable segments. These segments reflect the way our chief operating decision maker evaluates the Company’s business performance and manages its operations.

 

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North America

The North America segment primarily consists of amounts earned from retail sales of consumer products (including from sellers) and subscriptions through North America-focused online and physical stores. This segment includes export sales from these online stores.

International

The International segment primarily consists of amounts earned from retail sales of consumer products (including from sellers) and subscriptions through internationally-focused online stores. This segment includes export sales from these internationally-focused online stores (including export sales from these online stores to customers in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada), but excludes export sales from our North America-focused online stores.

AWS

The AWS segment consists of amounts earned from global sales of compute, storage, database, and other service offerings for start-ups, enterprises, government agencies, and academic institutions.

Information on reportable segments and reconciliation to consolidated net income (loss) is as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
North America          
Net sales $ 106,110     $ 141,366     $ 170,773  
Operating expenses 103,273     134,099     163,740  
Operating income $ 2,837     $ 7,267     $ 7,033  
International          
Net sales $ 54,297     $ 65,866     $ 74,723  
Operating expenses 57,359     68,008     76,416  
Operating income (loss) $ (3,062 )   $ (2,142 )   $ (1,693 )
AWS          
Net sales $ 17,459     $ 25,655     $ 35,026  
Operating expenses 13,128     18,359     25,825  
Operating income $ 4,331     $ 7,296     $ 9,201  
Consolidated          
Net sales $ 177,866     $ 232,887     $ 280,522  
Operating expenses 173,760     220,466     265,981  
Operating income 4,106     12,421     14,541  
Total non-operating income (expense) (300 )   (1,160 )   (565 )
Provision for income taxes (769 )   (1,197 )   (2,374 )
Equity-method investment activity, net of tax (4 )   9     (14 )
Net income $ 3,033     $ 10,073     $ 11,588  

 

 

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Net sales by groups of similar products and services, which also have similar economic characteristics, is as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
Net Sales:          
Online stores (1) $ 108,354     $ 122,987     $ 141,247  
Physical stores (2) 5,798     17,224     17,192  
Third-party seller services (3) 31,881     42,745     53,762  
Subscription services (4) 9,721     14,168     19,210  
AWS 17,459     25,655     35,026  
Other (5) 4,653     10,108     14,085  
Consolidated $ 177,866     $ 232,887     $ 280,522  

___________________

   
(1) Includes product sales and digital media content where we record revenue gross. We leverage our retail infrastructure to offer a wide selection of consumable and durable goods that includes media products available in both a physical and digital format, such as books, music, videos, games, and software. These product sales include digital products sold on a transactional basis. Digital product subscriptions that provide unlimited viewing or usage rights are included in “Subscription services.”
   
(2) Includes product sales where our customers physically select items in a store. Sales from customers who order goods online for delivery or pickup at our physical stores are included in “Online stores.”
   
(3) Includes commissions and any related fulfillment and shipping fees, and other third-party seller services.
   
(4) Includes annual and monthly fees associated with Amazon Prime memberships, as well as audiobook, digital video, digital music, e-book, and other non-AWS subscription services.
   
(5) Primarily includes sales of advertising services, as well as sales related to our other service offerings.

Net sales generated from our internationally-focused online stores are denominated in local functional currencies. Revenues are translated at average rates prevailing throughout the period. Net sales attributed to countries that represent a significant portion of consolidated net sales are as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
United States $ 120,486     $ 160,146     $ 193,636  
Germany 16,951     19,881     22,232  
United Kingdom 11,372     14,524     17,527  
Japan 11,907     13,829     16,002  
Rest of world 17,150     24,507     31,125  
Consolidated $ 177,866     $ 232,887     $ 280,522  

 

Total segment assets exclude corporate assets, such as cash and cash equivalents, marketable securities, other long-term investments, corporate facilities, goodwill and other acquired intangible assets, and tax assets. Technology infrastructure assets are allocated among the segments based on usage, with the majority allocated to the AWS segment. Total segment assets reconciled to consolidated amounts are as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
North America (1) $ 35,844     $ 47,251     $ 72,277  
International (1) 18,014     19,923     30,709  
AWS (2) 18,660     26,340     36,500  
Corporate 58,792     69,134     85,762  
Consolidated $ 131,310     $ 162,648     $ 225,248  

___________________

   
(1) North America and International segment assets primarily consist of property and equipment, inventory, and accounts receivable.
     
(2) AWS segment assets primarily consist of property and equipment and accounts receivable.  

 

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Property and equipment, net by segment is as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
North America $ 20,401     $ 27,052     $ 31,719  
International 7,425     8,552     9,566  
AWS 14,885     18,851     23,481  
Corporate 6,155     7,342     7,939  
Consolidated $ 48,866     $ 61,797     $ 72,705  

 

Total net additions to property and equipment by segment are as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
North America (1) $ 13,200     $ 10,749     $ 11,752  
International (1) 5,196     2,476     3,298  
AWS (2) 9,190     9,783     13,058  
Corporate 2,197     2,060     1,910  
Consolidated $ 29,783     $ 25,068     $ 30,018  

___________________

   
(1) Includes property and equipment added under finance leases of $2.9 billion, $2.0 billion, and $3.8 billion in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and under financing obligations of $2.9 billion, $3.0 billion, and $1.3 billion in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
   
(2) Includes property and equipment added under finance leases of $7.3 billion, $8.4 billion, and $10.6 billion in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and under financing obligations of $134 million, $245 million, and $0 million in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

U.S. property and equipment, net was $35.5 billion, $45.1 billion, and $53.0 billion, in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and non-U.S. property and equipment, net was $13.4 billion, $16.7 billion, and $19.7 billion in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Except for the U.S., property and equipment, net, in any single country was less than 10% of consolidated property and equipment, net.

Depreciation and amortization expense, including other corporate property and equipment depreciation and amortization expense, are allocated to all segments based on usage. Total depreciation and amortization expense, by segment, is as follows (in millions):

 

 
                       
  Year Ended December 31,
  2017   2018   2019
North America $ 3,029     $ 4,415     $ 5,106  
International 1,278     1,628     1,886  
AWS 4,524     6,095     8,158  
Consolidated $ 8,831     $ 12,138     $ 15,150  

 

 

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Note 11 — QUARTERLY RESULTS (UNAUDITED)

The following tables contain selected unaudited statement of operations information for each quarter of 2018 and 2019. The following information reflects all normal recurring adjustments necessary for a fair presentation of the information for the periods presented. The operating results for any quarter are not necessarily indicative of results for any future period. Our business is affected by seasonality, which historically has resulted in higher sales volume during our fourth quarter. Unaudited quarterly results are as follows (in millions, except per share data):

 

 
                               
  Year Ended December 31, 2018 (1)
  First
Quarter
  Second
Quarter
  Third
Quarter
  Fourth
Quarter
Net sales $ 51,042     $ 52,886     $ 56,576     $ 72,383  
Operating income 1,927     2,983     3,724     3,786  
Income before income taxes 1,916     2,605     3,390     3,350  
Provision for income taxes (287 )   (74 )   (508 )   (327 )
Net income 1,629     2,534     2,883     3,027  
Basic earnings per share 3.36     5.21     5.91     6.18  
Diluted earnings per share 3.27     5.07     5.75     6.04  
Shares used in computation of earnings per share:              
Basic 484     486     488     490  
Diluted 498     500     501     501  

 

 
                               
  Year Ended December 31, 2019 (1)
  First
Quarter
  Second
Quarter
  Third
Quarter
  Fourth
Quarter
Net sales $ 59,700     $ 63,404     $ 69,981     $ 87,437  
Operating income 4,420     3,084     3,157     3,879  
Income before income taxes 4,401     2,889     2,632     4,053  
Provision for income taxes (836 )   (257 )   (494 )   (786 )
Net income 3,561     2,625     2,134     3,268  
Basic earnings per share 7.24     5.32     4.31     6.58  
Diluted earnings per share 7.09     5.22     4.23     6.47  
Shares used in computation of earnings per share:              
Basic 491     493     495     496  
Diluted 502     503     504     505  

___________________

   
(1) The sum of quarterly amounts, including per share amounts, may not equal amounts reported for year-to-date periods. This is due to the effects of rounding and changes in the number of weighted-average shares outstanding for each period.

 

 

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Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants On Accounting and Financial Disclosure

None.

 

 

 
   
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures

Evaluation of Disclosure Controls and Procedures

We carried out an evaluation required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “1934 Act”), under the supervision and with the participation of our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, of the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures, as defined in Rule 13a-15(e) of the 1934 Act, as of December 31, 2019. Based on this evaluation, our principal executive officer and principal financial officer concluded that, as of December 31, 2019, our disclosure controls and procedures were effective to provide reasonable assurance that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we file or submit under the 1934 Act is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms and to provide reasonable assurance that such information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.

Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting

Management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as defined in Rule 13a-15(f) of the 1934 Act. Management has assessed the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2019 based on criteria established in Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. As a result of this assessment, management concluded that, as of December 31, 2019, our internal control over financial reporting was effective in providing reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Ernst & Young has independently assessed the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting and its report is included below.

Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

There were no changes in our internal control over financial reporting during the quarter ended December 31, 2019 that materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.

Limitations on Controls

Our disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting are designed to provide reasonable assurance of achieving their objectives as specified above. Management does not expect, however, that our disclosure controls and procedures or our internal control over financial reporting will prevent or detect all error and fraud. Any control system, no matter how well designed and operated, is based upon certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that its objectives will be met. Further, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that misstatements due to error or fraud will not occur or that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, within the Company have been detected.

 

 

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Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

The Board of Directors and Shareholders

Amazon.com, Inc.

Opinion on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

We have audited Amazon.com, Inc.’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2019, based on criteria established in Internal Control — Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) (the COSO criteria). In our opinion, Amazon.com, Inc. (the Company) maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2019, based on the COSO criteria.

We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the consolidated balance sheets of the Company as of December 31, 2019 and 2018, and the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive income, stockholders’ equity, and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2019 and the related notes and our report dated January 30, 2020 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.

Basis for Opinion

The Company’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting included in the accompanying Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.

Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.

Definition and Limitations of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

 

 

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP

Seattle, Washington

January 30, 2020

 

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Item 9B. Other Information

Disclosure Pursuant to Section 13(r) of the Exchange Act

We determined that, between January 2012 and December 2019, we processed and delivered orders of consumer products for certain individuals and entities located outside Iran covered by the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (“ITRA”), in addition to those we have previously disclosed, as follows: consumer products valued at approximately $13,700 for individuals who may have been acting for 14 Iranian embassies and diplomatic organizations located in countries other than Iran; consumer products valued at approximately $90 for an individual designated under Executive Order 13224; consumer products valued at approximately $8,600 for individuals who may have been acting for seven entities owned or controlled by the Iranian government; and consumer products valued at approximately $1,800 for individuals who may have been acting for five entities designated under Executive Order 13224 or Executive Order 13382, three of which are owned or controlled by the Iranian Government. The consumer products included books, other media, apparel, home and kitchen, jewelry, health and beauty, office, toys, consumer electronics, lawn and patio, automotive, software, grocery, and pet products. In addition, the information provided pursuant to Section 13(r) of the Exchange Act in Item 5 of Part II of the Company’s Quarterly Reports on 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2019, June 30, 2019, and September 30, 2019 is hereby incorporated by reference to such reports. We are unable to accurately calculate the net profit attributable to these transactions. We do not plan to continue selling to these accounts in the future. Our review is ongoing and we are enhancing our processes designed to identify transactions associated with individuals and entities covered by the ITRA.

PART III

 

   
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers, and Corporate Governance

Information regarding our Executive Officers required by Item 10 of Part III is set forth in Item 1 of Part I “Business — Information About Our Executive Officers.” Information required by Item 10 of Part III regarding our Directors and any material changes to the process by which security holders may recommend nominees to the Board of Directors is included in our Proxy Statement relating to our 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, and is incorporated herein by reference. Information relating to our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and, to the extent applicable, compliance with Section 16(a) of the 1934 Act is set forth in our Proxy Statement relating to our 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and is incorporated herein by reference. To the extent permissible under Nasdaq rules, we intend to disclose amendments to our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, as well as waivers of the provisions thereof, on our investor relations website under the heading “Corporate Governance” at amazon.com/ir.

 

   
Item 11. Executive Compensation

Information required by Item 11 of Part III is included in our Proxy Statement relating to our 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

   
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Shareholder Matters

Information required by Item 12 of Part III is included in our Proxy Statement relating to our 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

   
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

Information required by Item 13 of Part III is included in our Proxy Statement relating to our 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

   
Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services

Information required by Item 14 of Part III is included in our Proxy Statement relating to our 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

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PART IV

 

   
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules

(a) List of Documents Filed as a Part of This Report:

(1) Index to Consolidated Financial Statements:

Report of Ernst & Young LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for each of the three years ended December 31, 2019

Consolidated Statements of Operations for each of the three years ended December 31, 2019

Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income for each of the three years ended December 31, 2019

Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2018 and 2019

Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity for each of the three years ended December 31, 2019

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements

Report of Ernst & Young LLP, Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

(2) Index to Financial Statement Schedules:

All schedules have been omitted because the required information is included in the consolidated financial statements or the notes thereto, or because it is not required.

(3) Index to Exhibits

See exhibits listed under Part (b) below.

(b) Exhibits:

 

 
     
Exhibit Number   Description
     
3.1   Restated Certificate of Incorporation of the Company (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 3.1 to the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the Quarter ended March 31, 2000).
     
3.2   Amended and Restated Bylaws of the Company (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K, filed February 25, 2016).
     
4.1   Indenture, dated as of November 29, 2012, between Amazon.com, Inc. and Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, as trustee, and Form of 0.650% Note due 2015, Form of 1.200% Note due 2017, and Form of 2.500% Note due 2022 (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K, filed November 29, 2012).
     
4.2   Officers’ Certificate of Amazon.com, Inc., dated as of December 5, 2014, containing Form of 2.600% Note due 2019, Form of 3.300% Note due 2021, Form of 3.800% Note due 2024, Form of 4.800% Note due 2034, and Form of 4.950% Note due 2044 (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K, filed December 5, 2014).
     
4.3   Officers’ Certificate of Amazon.com, Inc., dated as of August 22, 2017, containing Form of 1.900% Note due 2020, Form of 2.400% Note due 2023, Form of 2.800% Note due 2024, Form of 3.150% Note due 2027, Form of 3.875% Note due 2037, Form of 4.050% Note due 2047, and Form of 4.250% Note due 2057 (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K, filed August 22, 2017).
     
4.4   Registration Rights Agreement, dated as of August 22, 2017, among Amazon.com, Inc. and the representatives of the initial purchasers of Amazon.com, Inc.’s 1.900% Notes due 2020, 2.400% Notes due 2023, 2.800% Notes due 2024, 3.150% Notes due 2027, 3.875% Notes due 2037, 4.050% Notes due 2047, and 4.250% Notes due 2057 (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K, filed August 22, 2017).
     
4.5   Officers’ Certificate of Amazon.com, Inc., dated as of December 20, 2017, containing Form of 5.200% Note due 2025 (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K, filed December 20, 2017).
     
4.6   Description of Securities.
     
10.1†   1997 Stock Incentive Plan (amended and restated) (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the Quarter ended March 31, 2013).
     

 

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10.2†   1999 Nonofficer Employee Stock Option Plan (amended and restated) (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the Quarter ended March 31, 2013).
     
10.3†   Form of Indemnification Agreement between the Company and each of its Directors (incorporated by reference to Exhibit 10.1 to the Company’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 (Registration No. 333-23795) filed March 24, 1997, as amended on April 21, 1997).
     
10.4†   Form of Restricted Stock Unit Agreement for Officers and Employees (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year ended December 31, 2002).
     
10.5†   Form of Restricted Stock Unit Agreement for Directors (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year ended December 31, 2002).
     
10.6†   Form of Restricted Stock Agreement (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year ended December 31, 2001).
     
10.7†   Form of Global Restricted Stock Unit Award Agreement for Executive Officers (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the Year ended December 31, 2018).
     
10.8   Credit Agreement, dated as of May 20, 2016, among Amazon.com, Inc., Bank of America, N.A., as administrative agent, and the other lenders party thereto (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the Quarter ended June 30, 2016).
     
21.1   List of Significant Subsidiaries.
     
23.1   Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.
     
31.1   Certification of Jeffrey P. Bezos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Amazon.com, Inc., pursuant to Rule 13a-14(a) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
     
31.2   Certification of Brian T. Olsavsky, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Amazon.com, Inc., pursuant to Rule 13a-14(a) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
     
32.1   Certification of Jeffrey P. Bezos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Amazon.com, Inc., pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350.
     
32.2   Certification of Brian T. Olsavsky, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Amazon.com, Inc., pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350.
     
101   The following financial statements from the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, formatted in XBRL: (i) Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows, (ii) Consolidated Statements of Operations, (iii) Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income, (iv) Consolidated Balance Sheets, (v) Consolidated Statements of Stockholders’ Equity, and (vi) Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, tagged as blocks of text and including detailed tags.
     
    As permitted by Item 601(b)(4)(iii)(A) of Regulation S-K, the Company has not filed with this Annual Report on Form 10-K certain instruments defining the rights of holders of long-term debt of the Company and its subsidiaries because the total amount of securities authorized thereunder does not exceed 10 percent of the total assets of the Company and its subsidiaries on a consolidated basis. The Company agrees to furnish a copy of such agreements to the Commission upon request.
     
104   The cover page from the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, formatted in iXBRL (included as Exhibit 101).

__________________

†    Executive Compensation Plan or Agreement.

 

   
Item 16. Form 10-K Summary

None.

 

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SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this Report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized, as of January 30, 2020.

 

 

 
     
  AMAZON.COM, INC.
     
  By: /s/ Jeffrey P. Bezos
    Jeffrey P. Bezos
    President, Chief Executive Officer,

and Chairman of the Board

 

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, this Report has been signed below by the following persons on behalf of the registrant and in the capacities indicated as of January 30, 2020.

 

 
     
Signature   Title
     
/s/ Jeffrey P. Bezos    
Jeffrey P. Bezos   Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer (Principal Executive Officer)
     
/s/ Brian T. Olsavsky    
Brian T. Olsavsky   Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (Principal Financial Officer)
     
/s/ Shelley L. Reynolds    
Shelley L. Reynolds   Vice President, Worldwide Controller (Principal Accounting Officer)
     
/s/ Rosalind G. Brewer    
Rosalind G. Brewer   Director
     
/s/ Jamie S. Gorelick    
Jamie S. Gorelick   Director
     
/s/ Daniel P. Huttenlocher    
Daniel P. Huttenlocher   Director
     
/s/ Judith A. McGrath    
Judith A. McGrath   Director
     
/s/ Indra K. Nooyi    
Indra K. Nooyi   Director
     
/s/ Jonathan J. Rubinstein    
Jonathan J. Rubinstein   Director
     
/s/ Thomas O. Ryder    
Thomas O. Ryder   Director
     
/s/ Patricia Q. Stonesifer    
Patricia Q. Stonesifer   Director
     
/s/ Wendell P. Weeks    
Wendell P. Weeks   Director

 

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Exhibit 4.6

AMAZON.COM, INC.

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES

 

DESCRIPTION OF COMMON STOCK

The common stock of Amazon.com, Inc. is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “AMZN.” All outstanding shares of common stock are validly issued, fully paid, and nonassessable.

The following description of the terms of our common stock is not complete and is qualified in its entirety by reference to our Restated Certificate of Incorporation, as amended (the “Certificate of Incorporation”), and our Amended and Restated Bylaws (the “Bylaws”), both of which are exhibits to our Annual Reports on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q.

Voting Rights

The holders of our common stock are entitled to one vote per share on all matters submitted for action by our stockholders. There is no provision for cumulative voting with regard to the election of directors.

Dividend and Liquidation Rights

Subject to the preferences applicable to any shares of preferred stock outstanding at any time, holders of our common stock are entitled to receive dividends when, as, and if declared by our board of directors from funds legally available therefor and are entitled, in the event of a liquidation, to share ratably in all assets available for distribution after payment of all debts.

Other Rights

The holders of our common stock have no preemptive rights and no rights to convert their common stock into any other securities, and our common stock is not subject to any redemption or sinking fund provisions.

Anti-Takeover Provisions of our Certificate of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Delaware Law

Various provisions contained in our Certificate of Incorporation, our Bylaws, and Delaware law could delay or discourage some transactions involving an actual or potential change in control of Amazon or its management.

Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws

Provisions in our Certificate of Incorporation and our Bylaws:

   
authorize our board of directors to establish one or more series of any class or classes of our stock, the terms of which can be determined by the board of directors at the time of issuance;
     
do not authorize cumulative voting; and  
   
allow our directors to fill any vacancies on our board of directors, including vacancies resulting from a board of directors resolution to increase the number of directors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 21.1

AMAZON.COM, INC.

LIST OF SIGNIFICANT SUBSIDIARIES

 

 

 
           
Legal Name   Jurisdiction   Percent Owned
Amazon Services LLC   Nevada   100 %
Amazon Digital Services LLC   Delaware   100 %
Amazon.com Services, Inc.   Delaware   100 %
Amazon.com Sales, Inc.   Delaware   100 %
Amazon Technologies, Inc.   Nevada   100 %

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 23.1

 

Consent of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm

We consent to the incorporation by reference in the following Registration Statements:

   
(a) Registration Statement (Form S-4 No. 333-55943), as amended, pertaining to the acquisition shelf-registration of up to 30 million shares of common stock,
   
(b) Registration Statement (Form S-8 No. 333-28763), as amended, pertaining to the Amazon.com, Inc. 1997 Stock Incentive Plan (formerly the “1997 Stock Option Plan”) and the Amended and Restated 1994 Stock Option Plan of Amazon.com, Inc.,
   
(c) Registration Statement (Form S-8 No. 333-74419) pertaining to the Amazon.com, Inc. 1999 Nonofficer Employee Stock Option Plan,
   
(d) Registration Statement (Form S-8 POS No. 333-160831) pertaining to the Zappos.com, Inc. 2009 Stock Plan,
   
(e) Registration Statement (Form S-8 No. 333-169470) pertaining to 25,000,000 shares of Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share, to be issued pursuant to the Company’s 1997 Stock Incentive Plan,
   
(f) Registration Statement (Form S-8 No. 333-173054), pertaining to the Quidsi, Inc. (fka1800Diapers, Inc.) 2006 Stock Option/Stock Issuance Plan,
   
(g) Registration Statement (Form S-8 No. 333-181073) pertaining to the Kiva Systems, Inc. 2003 Stock Plan, as amended,
   
(h) Registration Statement (Form S-8 No. 333-199572) pertaining to the Twitch Interactive, Inc. Amended and Restated 2007 Stock Plan, and
   
(i) Registration Statement (Form S-8 No. 333-207591) pertaining to the Elemental Technologies, Inc. 2006 Stock Incentive Plan, as amended and restated.

of our reports dated January 30, 2020, with respect to the consolidated financial statements of Amazon.com, Inc. and the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting of Amazon.com, Inc. included in this Annual Report (Form 10-K) of Amazon.com, Inc. for the year ended December 31, 2019.

/s/ Ernst & Young LLP

Seattle, Washington

January 30, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 31.1

CERTIFICATIONS

I, Jeffrey P. Bezos, certify that:

  1. I have reviewed this Form 10-K of Amazon.com, Inc.;
  2. Based on my knowledge, this report does not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary to make the statements made, in light of the circumstances under which such statements were made, not misleading with respect to the period covered by this report;
  3. Based on my knowledge, the financial statements, and other financial information included in this report, fairly present in all material respects the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of the registrant as of, and for, the periods presented in this report;
  4. The registrant’s other certifying officer(s) and I are responsible for establishing and maintaining disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Exchange Act Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e)) and internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Exchange Act Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f)) for the registrant and have:

(a) Designed such disclosure controls and procedures, or caused such disclosure controls and procedures to be designed under our supervision, to ensure that material information relating to the registrant, including its consolidated subsidiaries, is made known to us by others within those entities, particularly during the period in which this report is being prepared;

(b) Designed such internal control over financial reporting, or caused such internal control over financial reporting to be designed under our supervision, to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;

(c) Evaluated the effectiveness of the registrant’s disclosure controls and procedures and presented in this report our conclusions about the effectiveness of the disclosure controls and procedures, as of the end of the period covered by this report based on such evaluation; and

(d) Disclosed in this report any change in the registrant’s internal control over financial reporting that occurred during the registrant’s most recent fiscal quarter (the registrant’s fourth fiscal quarter in the case of an annual report) that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, the registrant’s internal control over financial reporting; and

  1. The registrant’s other certifying officer(s) and I have disclosed, based on our most recent evaluation of internal control over financial reporting, to the registrant’s auditors and the audit committee of the registrant’s board of directors (or persons performing the equivalent functions):

(a) All significant deficiencies and material weaknesses in the design or operation of internal control over financial reporting which are reasonably likely to adversely affect the registrant’s ability to record, process, summarize and report financial information; and

(b) Any fraud, whether or not material, that involves management or other employees who have a significant role in the registrant’s internal control over financial reporting.

 

 

 
   
  /s/ Jeffrey P. Bezos
  Jeffrey P. Bezos
  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
  (Principal Executive Officer)

Date: January 30, 2020

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 31.2

CERTIFICATIONS

I, Brian T. Olsavsky, certify that:

  1. I have reviewed this Form 10-K of Amazon.com, Inc.;
  2. Based on my knowledge, this report does not contain any untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state a material fact necessary to make the statements made, in light of the circumstances under which such statements were made, not misleading with respect to the period covered by this report;
  3. Based on my knowledge, the financial statements, and other financial information included in this report, fairly present in all material respects the financial condition, results of operations and cash flows of the registrant as of, and for, the periods presented in this report;
  4. The registrant’s other certifying officer(s) and I are responsible for establishing and maintaining disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Exchange Act Rules 13a-15(e) and 15d-15(e)) and internal control over financial reporting (as defined in Exchange Act Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f)) for the registrant and have:

(a) Designed such disclosure controls and procedures, or caused such disclosure controls and procedures to be designed under our supervision, to ensure that material information relating to the registrant, including its consolidated subsidiaries, is made known to us by others within those entities, particularly during the period in which this report is being prepared;

(b) Designed such internal control over financial reporting, or caused such internal control over financial reporting to be designed under our supervision, to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles;

(c) Evaluated the effectiveness of the registrant’s disclosure controls and procedures and presented in this report our conclusions about the effectiveness of the disclosure controls and procedures, as of the end of the period covered by this report based on such evaluation; and

(d) Disclosed in this report any change in the registrant’s internal control over financial reporting that occurred during the registrant’s most recent fiscal quarter (the registrant’s fourth fiscal quarter in the case of an annual report) that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, the registrant’s internal control over financial reporting; and

  1. The registrant’s other certifying officer(s) and I have disclosed, based on our most recent evaluation of internal control over financial reporting, to the registrant’s auditors and the audit committee of the registrant’s board of directors (or persons performing the equivalent functions):

(a) All significant deficiencies and material weaknesses in the design or operation of internal control over financial reporting which are reasonably likely to adversely affect the registrant’s ability to record, process, summarize and report financial information; and

(b) Any fraud, whether or not material, that involves management or other employees who have a significant role in the registrant’s internal control over financial reporting.

 

 

 
   
  /s/ Brian T. Olsavsky
  Brian T. Olsavsky
  Senior Vice President and

Chief Financial Officer

  (Principal Financial Officer)

Date: January 30, 2020

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 32.1

Certification Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350

In connection with the Annual Report of Amazon.com, Inc. (the “Company”) on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on or about the date hereof (the “Report”), I, Jeffrey P. Bezos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, certify, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350, as adopted pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, that:

(1) The Report fully complies with the requirements of Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; and

(2) The information contained in the Report fairly presents, in all material respects, the financial condition and results of operations of the Company.

A signed original of this written statement has been provided to the Company and will be retained by the Company and furnished to the SEC or its staff upon request.

 

 

 
   
  /s/ Jeffrey P. Bezos
  Jeffrey P. Bezos
  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
  (Principal Executive Officer)

Date: January 30, 2020

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 32.2

Certification Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350

In connection with the Annual Report of Amazon.com, Inc. (the “Company”) on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on or about the date hereof (the “Report”), I, Brian T. Olsavsky, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Company, certify, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350, as adopted pursuant to Section 906 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, that:

(1) The Report fully complies with the requirements of Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; and

(2) The information contained in the Report fairly presents, in all material respects, the financial condition and results of operations of the Company.

A signed original of this written statement has been provided to the Company and will be retained by the Company and furnished to the SEC or its staff upon request.

 

 

 
   
  /s/ Brian T. Olsavsky
  Brian T. Olsavsky
  Senior Vice President and

Chief Financial Officer

  (Principal Financial Officer)

Date: January 30, 2020

 

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