Amazon Stays Busy

March 14, 2018

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TechTalk examines a few interesting things Amazon is up to on its march toward global e-tail domination, such as its choosing a city for its new headquarters, its foray into health care, Amazon Go and more.


Transcript

DAVE PLASKOW:Hello and welcome to EisnerAmper’s Technology Podcast Series. With more than 500 technology clients, we’re always interested in the latest industry trends and developments, as well as any related business and accounting opportunities and challenges. I’m your host Dave Plaskow, and with us today is Dave Katz, senior manager in EisnerAmper’s Technology and Life Sciences Practice. It’s another episode of TechTalk. Today’s episode focuses on a couple of interesting things that Amazon is up to. Dave, welcome.
Dave Katz: Nice to be here Dave.

DP: Yeah, it seems like we wound up talking about Amazon quite a bit here, but you know, quite frankly, they’re really doing a lot of interesting things. Where are we at with their plan for world domination now?
DK: I think every man, woman and child on earth will be working for them one day. They’re certainly, all over the news these days, so let’s get into it.
DP: I find it fascinating, especially being in marketing, how the company is getting so much mileage regarding the city in which it’s going to locate its new facility.
DK:It’s like a game show - certainly rewriting the book on how to announce a new location. What I find interesting is, whichever city it chooses, it may not necessarily be good for the residents. We don’t know yet.
DP: What do you mean?
DK:Well, there’s been some chatter about how it may adversely impact the workforce of other companies in that city. Also, if Amazon gets considerable tax breaks, which is likely, it may put a big strain on public services like schools, public safety – other areas. It kind of reminds me of how world cities often are worse for the wear after the Olympics leave town – Not comparing it, but just comes to mind.
DP: Right, that’s an interesting hypothesis. Which city do you think is going to win it all?
DK:Based on what Amazon is looking for – an educated, highly skilled workforce; government incentives; infrastructure; and so forth – I’d say all the finalists are good choices. Many say Austin is the favorite. Amazon-owned Whole Foods is there, it’s hot for tech giants – certainly has young talent to work with. Obviously New York City and Washington DC are up there. Jeff Bezos has homes in both of those cities, and that would put Amazon on both coasts with their headquarters in Seattle. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which is why a lot of people have D.C. as the favorite. Then you have a city like Newark: $7 billion in tax incentives, proximity to New York City, transportation. But my pick is Atlanta. I say that based on its cost of living and the combination of all those factors that I just mentioned.
DP: Wow. Okay, I’m going to hold you to that prediction. Switching gears for a minute – Amazon + health care = what’s going on here?
DK:So that’s all part of the master plan I suppose. Amazon has partnered with Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase to form a health care organization that will serve their employees. The motive they claim is skyrocketing health care costs. The details are not really there yet, but I’ll tell you this: The announcement certainly sent shockwaves through the health care sector. I certainly wouldn’t bet against those three companies, so we need to keep an eye on that one.
DP: Now, just to show you the rate at which Amazon moves, I just heard this yesterday, the company is buying that video doorbell service.
DK:Ring, yup.
DP: It’s practically breaking news. And finally Amazon Go is open for business.
DK:Yes. We talked about that one about a year ago. The first store just opened in Seattle despite relatively limited offerings. The technology seems to be working. It’s somewhat a novelty for the moment, but it’s one that could easily turn into a game changer for the supermarket industry as we discussed previously.
DP: Amazon, the greatest show on e-commerce. Well Dave, thanks for your expertise and this great insight.
DK:Thanks Dave.
DP: And thank you for listening to TechTalk as part of the EisnerAmper Podcast Series. Visit EisnerAmper.com for more information on this and a host of other topics. And join us for our next EisnerAmper podcast when we get down to business.

About John Pennett

John Pennett has public accounting experience with a strong emphasis on life sciences companies. Member New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants and New Jersey Technology Council and advisory board of eLabs.

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