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Yesterday, as it happens, we had a story about how former Walmart executive Bill Simon keeps going on TV to complain about the fact that Amazon is able to use other businesses, like Amazon Web Services, to help support its growing retail business.

Now, the Wall Street Journal has a story about Amazon’s cloud ventures:

“Amazon’s web-services business has been blazingly successful, and a look at how that came to be stands as a master class in how Amazon wins—and why now it has become a political target. The unit has become the Seattle company’s cash cow, providing 73% of its operating income, or $1.4 billion, on about 11% of its $51 billion in total revenue it reported in the most recent quarter.”

The story goes on: “A web-services platform such as Amazon’s lets businesses and other entities rent computing resources at giant server farms, allowing them to do computing tasks in the so-called cloud rather than buying their own servers and software. Amazon was early to build such a platform, and in doing so it upended the information-technology industry, pressuring incumbents that sold hardware and software.’

Amazon’s web services strategy “echoes one Amazon employed in retail. There, it built a dominant platform and became a powerful ally to brands and vendors of goods sold on its website. Then Amazon also began selling its own brands and goods that competed with some of its vendors.”

Totally worth reading, here.
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