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Learn more about corporations VOTING to rewrite our laws.

Amazon (, Inc.) is an online trading company that was founded in July 1995 by its CEO, Jeff Bezos.[1] The website started as an online bookstore but quickly became the world's largest online "anything store". Besides offering millions of books, music, and DVD's, it also sells electronics, clothing, prescription drugs, and auto parts.[2] The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. In May 1997 the company was floated on the stock exchange. (Its Nasdaq symbol is AMZN.)

CEO Jeff Bezos is listed in Forbes as having a personal fortune of US$5.1 billion. [3]

Top competitors are Barnes & Noble, Columbia House, and eBay. [2]

Support for the American Legislative Exchange Council

Amazon was a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. A spokesperson announced at a shareholder meeting on May 24, 2012 that it had decided not to renew its membership in ALEC in 2012.[4] Amazon had been a member of ALEC's Communications and Technology Task Force in 2011.[5] In August 2011, Amazon was a "Director" level sponsor of ALEC's 38th Annual Conference[6] ($10,000 in 2010).[7] Furthermore, Braden Cox, Amazon's Director of U.S. State Public Policy,[8] was a featured speaker at the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting at a Workshop titled, "Exploring ALEC Positions on E-Commerce and E-Taxes."[9]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's, and check out breaking news on our site.

Political contributions

Amazon gave $88,500 to federal candidates in the 2006 election through its political action committee - 54% to Democrats and 46% to Republicans. [10]


The company spent $735,000 for lobbying in the first half of 2007. Two lobbying firms were used - Bockorny Group and DLA Piper. [11]

People [12]

  • Jeffrey Bezos - Chairman of the Board, President, CEO & Founder
  • Jeffrey Blackburn - SVP, Business Development
  • Andrew Jassy - SVP Web Services
  • Steven Kessel - SVP Worldwide Digital Media
  • Marc Onetto - SVP, Worldwide Operations
  • Diego Piacentini - SVP, International Retail
  • Thomas Szkutak - SVP and CFO
  • H. Brian Valentine - SVP, Ecommerce Platform
  • Jeffrey Wilke - SVP, North America Retail
  • L. Michelle Wilson - SVP, General Counsel, Secretary
  • Tom Alberg - Managing Director, Madrona Ventures Group
  • [[John Seely Brown - Visiting Scholar and Advisor to the Provost at USC
  • William B. Gordon - Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Myrtle S. Potter - CEO Chapman Properties
  • Thomas O. Ryder - Former Chairman and CEO, Reader's Digest Association, Inc.
  • Patricia Q. Stonesifer - CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Former Members [13]

  • Richard Dalzell - Former SVP and CIO
  • Mark Peek - Former SVP and CAO
  • L. John Doerr - General Partner, Kleiner Perkins and Caufiled

Contact details

1200 12th Avenue South
Suite 1200
Seattle, WA 98144
Phone: 206-266-1000

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Amazon, "FAQs", accessed December 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Profile, Hoovers, accessed December 2007.
  3. Jeffrey Bezos, Forbes, accessed December 2007.
  4. Rebekah Wilce, 16th Corporation to Dump ALEC,, May 24, 2012
  5. American Legislative Exchange Council, Telecommunications & Information Technology Task Force Meeting, ALEC’s 2011 Spring Task Force Summit, April 30, 2011, Meeting DRAFT Minutes, organizational meeting minutes, July 18, 2011, documents obtained and released by Common Cause, April 2012
  6. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Sponsors, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 4, 2011
  7. American Legislative Exchange Council, Sponsorship Opportunities at ALEC's Annual Meeting, organizational website, 2010, accessed August 4, 2011
  8. [ Braden Cox." LinkedIn Profile. Accessed Aug. 12, 2011.
  9. [American Legislative Exchange Council, 2011 Conference Workshops, conference brochure on file with CMD, August 11, 2011]
  10. 2006 PAC Summary Data, Open Secrets, accessed December 2007.
  11. Amazon lobbying expenses, Open Secrets, accessed December 2007.
  12. Investor Relations: officers and directors, Accessed April 19th, 2012
  13. Amazon, Crunchbase, accessed December 9, 2007.