Amazon becomes second US firm to hit trillion-dollar…

Amazon has become the second publicly traded company to be worth a trillion dollars (£780 billion), hot on the heels of Apple.

Amazon has revolutionised how people shop online and is the world’s dominant internet retailer.

In two decades the company expanded far beyond its bookseller beginnings, combining its world-spanning retail operation with less flashy but profitable advertising and cloud computing businesses.

The company’s success put its founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos top of the Forbes billionaires list this year.

The Seattle-based company has cemented customer loyalty through smart devices like Alexa and the Prime membership programme that offers fast, free shipping as well as music and video streaming perks.

Amazon’s stock rose 1.7% on Tuesday, putting its market value at just over a trillion dollars, although it dropped back slightly after that. Apple topped that mark in early August.

Amazon has also formed partnerships with many old-line retailers, selling the Kenmore washing machines traditionally found at Sears and opening stations inside Kohl’s stores where people can bring returns and look at Amazon devices.

Wall Street has become enthusiastic about Amazon’s other businesses. Amazon Web Services provides cloud computing services to companies and government, and Amazon’s advertising division makes billions by selling ads to companies that want their products to show up when shoppers search on the site.

Those very profitable businesses have helped offset the high costs associated with running its online store. Amazon saw its quarterly profit soar past 2 billion dollars for the first time earlier this year as the online shopping, cloud computing and advertising businesses kept growing.

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