AMZN - Amazon.com, Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
1,864.72
-13.22 (-0.70%)
At close: 4:00PM EST
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close1,877.94
Open1,885.89
Bid1,865.68 x 800
Ask1,867.05 x 800
Day's Range1,857.25 - 1,886.64
52 Week Range1,566.76 - 2,035.80
Volume3,997,340
Avg. Volume3,114,456
Market Cap924.523B
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.51
PE Ratio (TTM)82.63
EPS (TTM)22.57
Earnings DateJan 29, 2020
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target Est2,173.48
  • Amazon to open new distribution center in Newnan, Ga., create 500 jobs
    American City Business Journals

    Amazon to open new distribution center in Newnan, Ga., create 500 jobs

    Amazon will lease a more than 1-million-square-foot facility at The Cubes at Bridgeport in Coweta County.

  • The market says Alphabet is worth $1 trillion, but figuring out Google’s real value is tricky
    MarketWatch

    The market says Alphabet is worth $1 trillion, but figuring out Google’s real value is tricky

    The market says Google parent company Alphabet Inc. is worth $1 trillion, but investors who have tried know that putting a believable valuation on this company is extremely difficult.

  • For stocks and the economy, welcome to the Roaring Twenties
    MarketWatch

    For stocks and the economy, welcome to the Roaring Twenties

    After 20 years of slow growth — dictated by halting productivity advances and volatile labor force participation — artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G are about to unleash progress. The sustainable P/E on U.S. equities will likely continue to trend up, because America remains the best place to invest.

  • J.C. Penney, Macy’s and other department stores don’t have many more seasons left for a turnaround, analyst says
    MarketWatch

    J.C. Penney, Macy’s and other department stores don’t have many more seasons left for a turnaround, analyst says

    The clock is ticking for department stores like Macy’s Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. Inc., according to Sucharita Kodali, retail analyst at Forrester.

  • TheStreet.com

    What It Would Take for Amazon to Reach an All-Time High

    Compared to some of its big-tech peers, Amazon is looking like a laggard these days. As Apple , Facebook , Alphabet and Microsoft hover near or at all-time highs -- on Thursday, Alphabet became the fourth company to cross a trillion-dollar market cap -- Amazon shares haven't seen the same robust growth. Amazon crossed that trillion-dollar milestone in August 2018, but its market cap has fallen to $924 billion since.

  • Reuters

    Trump, EU chief to meet in Davos as U.S tariffs loom over digital tax -sources

    Donald Trump is expected to meet with EU leader Ursula von der Leyen in Davos, Switzerland, next week, three sources said on Friday, as tensions mount between the allies over tariff threats and the U.S. president faces an impeachment trial at home. Just days after Trump scored big victories by inking a partial trade deal with China and passing a revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement, he will travel to the World Economic Forum where he is expected to discuss deepening trade disputes with the European Commission president. The White House and the European Commission did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

  • Barrons.com

    Time to Short Apple, Says Rupal Bhansali. Yes, Short Apple.

    Short Apple stock because the company is “disadvantaged on many fronts and trying to play catch-up,” says Rupal Bhansali, chief investment officer, international & global equities at Ariel Investments.

  • Barrons.com

    Tesla and Spotify Stock Could Soar Tenfold, James Anderson Says

    Tesla has met certain targets that are “remarkable” while Spotify had more than 100 million premium subscribers last year, and is “outcompeting Apple,” says James Anderson, partner and portfolio manager at Baillie Gifford.

  • 5 Top Stock Trades for Tuesday: BA, PINS, AMZN
    InvestorPlace

    5 Top Stock Trades for Tuesday: BA, PINS, AMZN

    The stock market continues to grind out new record highs, as equities pushed higher on Friday. Remember, Monday is closed in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so let's look at a few top stock trades for Tuesday. Top Stock Trades for Tuesday No. 1: Boeing (BA)Source: Chart courtesy of StockCharts.comBoeing (NYSE:BA) stock is moving lower on Friday, and as it's doing so, it's approaching the lower end of its recent trading range.Range support has stood firm for well over a year. The only time it failed came in late-2018, when the entire market was being hammered. Should $320 give way, it technically puts the $300 level on the table -- with the fourth-quarter lows near $286 possible below that.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIf support holds, see if BA can take out its recent high at $344. If so, its 100-week moving average and downtrend resistance (blue line) are possible. Top Stock Trades for Tuesday No. 2: Pinterest (PINS)Source: Chart courtesy of StockCharts.comPinterest (NYSE:PINS) has suddenly found itself back in demand, with shares rallying from $20 to $24 in just a few trading sessions.Despite an upgrade propelling it higher on Friday, shares backed off after running into prior range support between $24 and $25, as well as the declining 100-day moving average.What now? Let's see if the stock can find its footing and continue to press higher. Otherwise, a correction down to $21 and/or the 20-day moving average may be in the cards. Top Stock Trades for Tuesday No. 3: Amazon (AMZN)Source: Chart courtesy of StockCharts.comA lot of investors are bemoaning the way Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is trading lately. While it lacks the firepower that other mega-cap tech stocks have shown, it is doing better.Shares broke down below a rising wedge formation (purple lines), but the stock is finding support from the backside of prior channel resistance (blue line), as well as the 20-day moving average.Below this zone would be discouraging. But as long as it stays above the 200-day moving average, bulls still have something to work with. Below the 200-day, and that changes.On the flip side, bulls need to see AMZN clear $1,900 to regain momentum. Above puts the recent high of $1,917 on the table, followed by a potential test up to its July gap near $1,940. Top Stock Trades for Tuesday No. 4: Schlumberger (SLB)Source: Chart courtesy of StockCharts.comSchlumberger (NYSE:SLB) initially rallied on Friday after reporting earnings, but has since turned lower. Now comes make-or-break time.Near $37.50, SLB stock has the rising 50-day moving average and uptrend support (blue line) in play. Below this zone, and longs may want to consider hitting the exits. Below the 200-day moving average, though, and that's most certainly the case for traders.On the upside, investors can see that SLB failed to reclaim $40, a key technical level over the past year. If SLB can reclaim this mark, it will show that bulls are back in control. For now, though, let's see if that trend support holds up. Top Stock Trades for Tuesday No. 5: Twilio (TWLO)Source: Chart courtesy of StockCharts.comTwilio (NYSE:TWLO) has been like a little rocket. Shares broke out over long-term downtrend resistance (blue line) in December, while most growth stocks were already well out of their respective downtrends.In any regard, TWLO has been playing catch-up. On the last trading day of 2019, TWLO closed at $98.28. However, the stock headed north of $120 in five trading days since, all of which were positive. Now, shares are chopping between $117.50 and $121 -- the latter of which comes into play with the 200-day moving average.Below $117.50, and TWLO may correct a bit further given its large run. However, a move over the 200-day moving average, and the $123 mark could fire up the rally once more -- potentially sending TWLO over $130.Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long PINS and TWLO. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * The Top 5 Dow Jones Stocks to Buy for 2020 * 7 Fintech ETFs to Buy Now for Fabulous Financial Exposure * 3 Tech Stocks to Play Ahead of Earnings The post 5 Top Stock Trades for Tuesday: BA, PINS, AMZN appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Google Joins The Trillion-Dollar Club: Who's Next?
    Zacks

    Google Joins The Trillion-Dollar Club: Who's Next?

    Google Joins The Trillion-Dollar Club: Who's Next?

  • This retailer’s IPO plan exposes a hard truth about privately owned companies
    MarketWatch

    This retailer’s IPO plan exposes a hard truth about privately owned companies

    Grocery chain Albertsons is reportedly planning to go public — and this will be more than just a test of the IPO market’s health. Albertsons possible IPO will also be a test of claims that privately held companies perform better than publicly traded ones. Initial indications are that Albertsons will fail this test.

  • Tech Daily: GOOGL, AMZN, AAPL, TSM, FB, MSFT
    Zacks

    Tech Daily: GOOGL, AMZN, AAPL, TSM, FB, MSFT

    Alphabet's trillion dollar valuation, Amazon's India troubles and TSM's upbeat earnings announcement are the top stories in this daily.

  • Which Stocks are in the $1 Trillion Club?
    Zacks

    Which Stocks are in the $1 Trillion Club?

    The $1 Trillion Valuation Club is one of the most exclusive groups on Wall Street, and it just added its newest member.

  • Bloomberg

    Sonos CEO Tells House Antitrust Panel Google Abused Power

    (Bloomberg) -- Sonos Inc. Chief Executive Officer Patrick Spence accused Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc. of using their market power to thwart competition a week after filing a lawsuit against the world’s largest search engine.“Today’s dominant companies have so much power across such a broad array of markets and continue to leverage that power to expand into new markets that we need to rethink existing laws and policies,” said Spence Friday at a congressional antitrust hearing in Boulder, Colorado, led by Representative David Cicilline, the Rhode Island Democrat who is investigating competition in the technology sector.Sonos, a 1,500-person company, sued Google Jan. 7 for allegedly infringing five patents covering multi-room audio technology. Spence said Google’s dominance enabled it to violate the speaker company’s intellectual property. He said that Google tries to prevent customers from using its voice assistants alongside another company’s on Sonos speakers. While Amazon doesn’t go that far, he said, it has used its power to “to subsidize the conquest” of the booming smart-speaker market, particularly by under-pricing its offerings.Sonos has worked with the committee since before it decided to file the lawsuit, according to a person familiar with the discussions. It has also responded to questions that the committee sent to customers of the large technology platforms.Google has disputed Sonos’ claims and said it will defend itself. The search giant, which faces antitrust probes by 48 state attorneys general as well as the U.S. Justice Department, says it faces robust competition. Cicilline is using the hearing to air grievances by smaller companies, following a series of Washington meetings that focused on the tech giants.“It is apparent that the dominant platforms are increasingly using their gatekeeper power in abusive and coercive ways,” Cicilline said in his opening statement.The panel also heard from David Barnett, the founder of Boulder-based PopSockets, which makes phone holders and stands. He alleged that Amazon frequently engaged in “bullying,” including deliberately selling counterfeits, threatening to go to unauthorized resellers and dropping prices without consulting. “We have $10 million less to innovate this year” because of PopSockets’s decision to end its relationship with Amazon even though it’s more difficult to sell elsewhere, Barnett said.“It seems like Amazon is so dominant that there is no alternative,” said Representative Ken Buck, a Colorado Republican on the committee.Amazon said in a statement that PopSockets is a “valued retail vendor” and added: “We’ve continued to work with PopSockets to address our shared concerns about counterfeit, and continue to have a relationship with PopSockets through Merch by Amazon, which enables other sellers to create customized PopSockets for sale.”The company said it refuses to work with some resellers to ensure low prices, and rejects the notion that it’s dominant, saying it represents just 4% of U.S. retail.The panel also heard from Kirsten Daru, general counsel of Tile Inc., which makes devices that pair with phones to help people locate lost items such as keys or purses.Apple Inc. is reportedly preparing to unveil a competing service, and Daru’s 100-employee company alleges the phone maker has started putting up roadblocks to Tile’s business, such as burying permissions that allow the phone and Tile devices to communicate and prompting users to disable permissions that have been set.“You’re playing up against a team that owns the field, the ball and can change the rules at any given time,” Daru said in an interview before the hearing, adding that a majority of the company’s customers are on Apple’s operating system.Apple said that its treatment of permissions, which focused on location, were designed to protect user privacy and that it’s working with developers whose customers may want particular apps to be able to track them at all times.Daru said Apple also removed Tile devices from its retail stores, and that it bid on search terms related to the would-be rival to drive up the cost of advertising 50% each week during the fall.Cicilline has said his goal is to develop a final report with recommendations for Congress this year. He told reporters on Tuesday that he wants to wrap up his probe by the end of March and said he’s hopeful the tech giants will cooperate with requests for chief executives to give information without subpoenas, preferably in public hearings.“It’s hard to imagine that we’d conclude the investigation without hearing from some of the large technology CEOs, particularly in companies whether there’s such really centralized decision making,” he said.(Updates with comments from PopSockets CEO from eighth paragraph)\--With assistance from Mark Gurman, Rebecca Kern and David McLaughlin.To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Paula DwyerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Buy Google parent Alphabet Stock at its New $1 Trillion Market Cap?
    Zacks

    Buy Google parent Alphabet Stock at its New $1 Trillion Market Cap?

    Shares of Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) have jumped 9% in 2020 to help it ascend into the $1 trillion market cap club. Is it time to buy?

  • 3 Large Caps to Short
    InvestorPlace

    3 Large Caps to Short

    Many bullish investors might be saying to themselves, "so far, so good" for the month of January. Still, to ensure this isn't as good as it gets for your portfolio, let's dive into three large caps worth betting against in 2020.It has been a great start to the year. And it goes without saying most of us hope the party will motor on. The broad-based, large cap S&P 500 index is up about 3% in January and continues to hit record highs with more than two trading weeks left in the month. Who wouldn't want that type of performance after 2019's amazing 29% gain and one layered on top of this past decade's record breaking bull market?Only a bear I suppose.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsIncreasingly though, it looks like Goldilocks is at the doorstep. Aside from the amazing price feats in large caps -- the latest being Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) admittance into the $1 trillion club -- there are problems. There's a complacent market resting on historically rich multiples to be worried about. Investors might also be concerned about an overly accommodating Federal Reserve or a seemingly endless string of strong economic data. And that's not all. * 7 Earnings Reports to Watch Next Week Now and with this week's euphoric pricing of negotiated trade deals, investors have every right to be even more fearful. And one way to make sure today's market isn't as good as it gets for you is to have these three large cap stocks positioned as bearish allies in your portfolio. Large Caps to Short: Tesla (TSLA) Source: Charts by TradingViewMany bears have been on the wrong side of the street in Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA). In fact, TSLA stock is officially the U.S. market's most heavily shorted equity with $14.5 billion in bets against shares. Right now, however, there is more to betting against TSLA stock without miserly joining the ranks of punished bears.Technically and as the weekly chart details, Tesla is in a strongly overbought position evidenced by its stochastics and price in relation to its upper Bollinger Band. Throw in a slightly extended 100% Fibonacci-based two-step pattern (AB = CD) completing in a large shooting star candlestick and TSLA looks ready for a bearish test drive.TSLA Stock Bear Strategy: I wouldn't recommend shorting Tesla. I'd advise gaining short delta exposure using a limited and reduced risk bear put spread. One on my radar is a well-positioned March $480 / $465 put spread. Apple (AAPL) Source: Charts by TradingViewAfter 2019's dazzling 89% gain in Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the AAPL stock chart indicates that it's well-positioned for a short.Technically, January's follow-through momentum has pushed Apple shares into a test of four well-extended layers of Fibonacci-based resistance. The tight completion area is comprised of three two-step patterns dating as far back as the 2009 financial crisis bottom and a 100% extension out of AAPL stock's 2018 - 2019 corrective base.AAPL Stock Bear Strategy: For this large cap stock I'd suggest waiting for a reversal candlestick to form on the weekly time frame before shorting shares. A stop-loss above the pattern high makes sense to minimize losses if shares buck the odds and continue to display over-the-top investor confidence. * The 10 Best Value Stocks to Own in 2020 On the downside, $250 - $265 is where taking initial profits looks promising. This area holds AAPL stock's 38% retracement level from last year's corrective low and prior trend-line resistance, which should act as support. Walmart (WMT) Source: Charts by TradingViewWalmart (NYSE:WMT) is the last of our large caps to short. The world's largest bricks and mortar retailer has shown itself to be an adaptive and resilient company in today's e-commerce market. But WMT stock's ability to rise to the occasion against the likes of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) appears to be priced in at this point in time.Technically, shares of Walmart have moved into layers of Fibonacci-based resistance. The price action isn't unlike that of TSLA stock or AAPL stock. And similar to the former, WMT stock even sports a monthly chart shooting star. But in this large-cap stock, the bearish November price pattern has been confirmed out-the-gate in 2020.WMT Stock Bear Strategy: With the topping pattern backed by an overbought and ill-positioned stochastics crossover, there's no time like the present to short WMT stock. Set a stop-loss above $125 to minimize potential damage off and on the WMT price chart. If shares begin to correct, taking initial profits near the pleasing to the eye $100 level and four-year uptrend support looks about right.Disclosure: Investment accounts under Christopher Tyler's management do not currently own positions in any of the securities mentioned in this article. The information offered is based upon Christopher Tyler's observations and strictly intended for educational purposes only; the use of which is the responsibility of the individual. For additional market insights and related musings, follow Chris on Twitter @Options_CAT and StockTwits. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * The Top 5 Dow Jones Stocks to Buy for 2020 * 7 Fintech ETFs to Buy Now for Fabulous Financial Exposure * 3 Tech Stocks to Play Ahead of Earnings The post 3 Large Caps to Short appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Amazon Is Left Out of Mega-Cap Tech Surge to Records
    Bloomberg

    Amazon Is Left Out of Mega-Cap Tech Surge to Records

    (Bloomberg) -- Major technology and internet companies have long fueled the U.S. stock market’s climb to record levels, but that trend has come with one notable exception: Amazon.com Inc., which has languished in a fairly narrow trading range for months.Amazon shares haven’t notched an all-time high since September 2018, in contrast to mega-cap peers like Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Facebook, which have been hitting records on a near-daily basis. Many of these names experienced pronounced draw-downs over the past year and a half, mostly due to disappointing earnings reports or outlooks. But they regained their momentum last year, as their growth assuaged investor caution. Amazon, however, remains about 8.5% below its own peak.Because of its long-term prospects, Amazon is about as close as a stock can be to a consensus choice among Wall Street firms. Over the near term, though, it is “the most hotly debated among investors” as “debates persist on both AWS and next day shipping efforts,” according to UBS analyst Eric Sheridan, referring to its Amazon Web Services cloud-computing business.Since the start of 2019, Amazon shares are up about 24%, below the 32% rise of the S&P 500, as well as the much larger gains seen in other bellwethers. Microsoft and Facebook are both up more than 60% since the start of last year, while Apple has doubled. The rally resulted in trillion-dollar valuations for Apple, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet, a milestone that Amazon briefly eclipsed in 2018.The underperformance reflects concerns over Amazon’s earnings trends, even as it has continued to grow revenue at a double-digit clip. Major investments into initiatives like one-day shipping are seen as headwinds, and shares “may be range bound ‘tactically’” given the impact of this spending, Morgan Stanley wrote on Thursday. The firm added that “near-term profitability is likely to still disappoint” because of these investments, even as it sees the effect as temporary and one-day shipping deepening Amazon’s competitive moat within e-commerce.Another key issue is the waning dominance of Amazon Web Services, which has long been a major driver for earnings and margins, but has faced growing competition from rivals like Alphabet and especially Microsoft. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, which cited IDC data, Amazon Web Services was 12 times larger than Microsoft’s cloud business in 2014. By 2018, the most recent year for which data is available, it was just four times larger.James Bach, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote that Amazon was particularly facing “stiffer competition” with government contracts. “Microsoft’s extensive sales experience, installed base within U.S. agencies and broad range of edge-computing products all make a compelling offering,” he wrote. Microsoft is “uniquely positioned to claim market share as federal agencies upgrade and secure IT systems.”In October, Microsoft beat out Amazon for a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract, a deal Amazon had been seen as the favorite to win. The company subsequently claimed it lost the contract because of political interference by President Donald Trump, and filed a lawsuit challenging its validity.Amazon earlier this week named a new sales chief for AWS. Deutsche Bank wrote that the “magnitude of personnel changes” at AWS, along with rising competition, underscored the “increased risk of further deceleration” at the business.Separately, Morgan Stanley this week wrote that a quarterly survey of chief investment officers suggested some cause for caution about AWS growth. “Quarterly survey results can be volatile, but AWS saw a notable [quarter-over-quarter] drop in net expected budget share gains” over the next three years, analyst Brian Nowak wrote. “It will be important to continue to monitor these metrics going forward as we think about AWS forward growth.”Amazon is expected to report fourth-quarter results later this month. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Wall Street is looking for revenue growth of nearly 19% and expecting net income to fall by nearly a third. AWS revenue is seen growing more than 30% on a year-over-year basis, according to a Bloomberg MODL estimate.Wall Street remains almost unanimously positive on the stock. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, 53 firms recommend buying the stock, compared with the four with a hold rating. None advocate selling the shares.To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Vlastelica in New York at rvlastelica1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Steven Fromm, Janet FreundFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Retail Sales Scorecard 2019: ETF & Stock Winners
    Zacks

    Retail Sales Scorecard 2019: ETF & Stock Winners

    These industries outperformed in retail sales scorecard 2019, putting the spotlight on these ETFs and stocks.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AMZN, WMT, EBAY and BABA
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AMZN, WMT, EBAY and BABA

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: AMZN, WMT, EBAY and BABA

  • Virgin Galactic Stock Takes Off Before SpaceX and Blue Origin
    Zacks

    Virgin Galactic Stock Takes Off Before SpaceX and Blue Origin

    Exciting milestones are being achieved in space travel rocket technology, attracting early investors and paying customers.

  • San Francisco 49ers hope to score big with digital dashboard of fan data
    MarketWatch

    San Francisco 49ers hope to score big with digital dashboard of fan data

    Built on top of data collected by SAP analytics cloud and resembling an air-traffic control room, the team’s Executive Huddle service is housed in a suite at Levi’s amid popcorn, drinks, and assorted snacks.

  • Amazon’s Snooping on Alexa Chats Spurs EU Privacy Response
    Bloomberg

    Amazon’s Snooping on Alexa Chats Spurs EU Privacy Response

    (Bloomberg) -- European Union privacy watchdogs are gearing up to police digital assistants after revelations that Amazon.com Inc. workers listened in on people’s conversations with their Alexa digital assistants.Bloomberg first reported in April that Amazon had a team of thousands of workers around the world listening to Alexa audio requests with the goal of improving the software.Similar issues have been raised over Google and Apple Inc.’s digital assistants, triggering privacy fears across the world, as intimate conversations in some users’ homes were laid bare to technicians fine-tuning the technology.EU regulators are now working on a common approach on how to police the technology, said Tine Larsen, head of the data protection authority in Luxembourg, where the U.S. retail giant has its European base and employs a staff of more than 2,000.“Because it’s a question of principle, the members of the EDPB should work out a common position in line with the consistency mechanism to apply data protection rules in a harmonized way for this type of treatment,” she said, referring to a panel of regulators from across the 28-nation EU.The revelations of the snooping into people’s homes came after regulators across Europe were handed beefed-up powers with its General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018, including the right to levy fines of as much as 4% of a company’s global annual sales for the most serious violations. But the move toward common guidelines for digital assistants means companies should avoid fines -- for now.Larsen’s comments echo those of Helen Dixon, head of the Irish watchdog, responsible for overseeing the likes of Apple and Google.She told Bloomberg in November that the regulator first has to “bottom out fully on whether it’s true” when companies say they need to do transcripts of people’s interactions with the assistants. That’s why a focus will be first on coming up with guidelines, instead of investigations or inquiries, she said.Amazon said in a statement that “to help improve Alexa, we manually review and annotate a small fraction of 1% of Alexa requests” and that “access to data annotation tools is only granted to a limited number of employees who require them to improve the service.”EU regulators are working on a common position on the privacy issues surrounding voice assistant systems, said Johannes Caspar, head of the watchdog in Hamburg, Germany. “We urgently need common and reliable industry standards on this to better regulate” privacy protections, he said in an email.Caspar’s office initiated a number of probes into the issue, including one into Facebook over audio transcriptions from its Messenger users, he said. The questions his office has asked of Facebook have been discussed within the EDPB, the EU body of national regulators. The plan is to use the results to have a more coordinated approach by all European regulators affected by the issue, he said.Europe Mulls New Tougher Rules for Artificial IntelligenceThe U.K., which is set to leave the EU at the end of the month, will soon publish the results of a consultation into security features for smart speakers and other connected devices, with proposals for mandatory industry requirements that could lead to potential new regulation, U.K. Digital Secretary Nicky Morgan told Bloomberg Wednesday.Siri ChangesApple, whose Siri virtual assistant is embedded in its operating phone and desktop computer operating systems, pointed to an August blog post about the issue.“We know that customers have been concerned by recent reports of people listening to audio Siri recordings as part of our Siri quality evaluation process — which we call grading,” it said. “We heard their concerns, immediately suspended human grading of Siri requests and began a thorough review of our practices and policies. We’ve decided to make some changes to Siri as a result.”Google, which offers similar technology, referred to its September announcement that it would add new security protections to the way its workers listen to audio snippets, meant to help improve the product’s quality.In a blog post in September, Google said it would tell users that their audio may be listened to if they opt in to a feature that also improves audio quality. “We believe in putting you in control of your data, and we always work to keep it safe. We’re committed to being transparent about how our settings work so you can decide what works best for you,” the company said.While Amazon is escaping penalties over Alexa, Luxembourg, which is the company’s main privacy watchdog in Europe, is probing the company for other potential breaches.This follows complaints from activists that the online retailer is illegally tracking and profiling internet users without their permission, as well as not providing full access to users’ data.Amazon ‘Cooperating’The company says it’s “cooperating” with the authority, “which is at an advanced stage of its fact finding,” according to an emailed statement. The data commission declined to comment on any probes, citing local rules.French privacy activists La Quadrature du Net, filed one of the complaints on behalf of more than 10,000 customers. They urge regulators to crack down on “behavioral analysis and targeted advertising” by Amazon and levy a fine that is “as high as possible” due to the “massive, lasting and manifestly deliberate nature” of the alleged violations without the consent of its users.None of Your Business (Noyb), a group created by Austrian activist Max Schrems, followed up with a separate complaint last January over data access concerns, accusing Amazon of violating EU law by not handing over all personal data requested by a user of its Amazon Prime service.Arthur Messaud, a lawyer with La Quadrature du Net, and Schrems said they’d had no updates from the Luxembourg regulator, which is bound by strict secrecy provisions under national law, meaning it can’t reveal details until after any fines have been levies and all avenues of appeal have been exhausted.(Updates with Google response from 15th paragraph)\--With assistance from Natalia Drozdiak.To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at sbodoni@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Peter Chapman, Giles TurnerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Benzinga

    Today's Pickup: Hyundai And Kia Invest $110 Million In Electric Van Startup

    Good day, Hyundai Motor Co and Kia Motors Corporation have invested  $110 million in a partnership with a U.K.-based electric vehicle startup, Arrival, to develop electric commercial vehicles for the European ...

  • Another snub for Amazon in India, despite Bezos jobs pledge
    Reuters Videos

    Another snub for Amazon in India, despite Bezos jobs pledge

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos rubbing shoulders with Bollywood's best and brightest stars on his tour of India, but his plans to expand influence in the country haven't been met with enthusiasm by all. Indian Trade Minister Piyush Goyal has been unimpressed with Amazon's announcement of a $1 billion dollar investment, saying the online delivery service hasn't done India any big favors. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDIAN TRADE MINISTER, PIYUSH GOYAL, SAYING: "They may have put in a billion dollars, but then if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year then they jolly well have to finance that billion dollars. So it's not as if they're doing a great favor to India when they invest a billion dollars." Bezos announced the investment on Wednesday (January 15) saying it would bring small businesses online in the country, and would be adding to the $5.5 billion the company had committed since 2014. That was followed on Friday by a proposal to create 1 million jobs in India by 2025. But despite repeatedly reaching out for a meeting, three Reuters sources suggest Bezos is unlikely to have talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit, as he looks to allay antitrust concerns. On Friday (January 17) Modi's ruling party took a swipe at the Bezos-owned Washington Post, saying there were problems with the paper's coverage of India. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment. Amazon and Walmart owned Flipkart are facing mounting criticism from India's brick-and-mortar retailers, which accuse the U.S. giants of violating Indian law by racking up billions of dollars of losses, to fund deep discounts and discriminating against small sellers. The companies deny the allegations.