Big Tech Companies

The joke’s on us: Amazon still made out like a bandit

Even when Amazon loses, it still wins. 

The corporate behemoth announced Feb. 14 that it had abandoned its plan to open offices in Long Island City, Queens. In the face of local opposition to the proposed massive development and approximately $3 billion in government incentives, the company issued a statement bemoaning its newly found status as the unpopular kid in town — telling the world that it would take its ball and go home. 

But here’s the thing: Even without New York bending over backward to accommodate its every helipad-laden whim, the company still made out like a bandit following the so-called HQ2 search. Because when it comes to Amazon, it’s all about that data — which in this case happens to be something government officials handed over in droves.  Read more…

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Reddit users are valuable, even if it’s hard to milk them for dollars

Reddit, the social news site, is now valued at $3 billion after raising $300 million in a series D funding round led by China’s investment holding giant Tencent, Reuters reported Monday.  

It’s weird pairing. Reddit is banned in China, and some members of its community — which is traditionally hard to keep in check — are protesting the deal

CNBC reacted to the news by proclaiming Reddit users “the least valuable of any social network,” based on the average revenue per user (ARPU) figure, which you get by dividing a social media site’s revenue with the number of its monthly active users (MAU).  Read more…

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Paris is suing Airbnb for illegal listings

Paris is one of the most popular destinations for Airbnb, but the city’s authorities are at odds with the company.

The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, announced on Sunday the city would be suing Airbnb to the tune of $14 million, due to the alleged listing of 1,000 illegal rentals.

Hidalgo made the announcement in French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, and said she didn’t take issue with Parisians who rent their home “a few days a year,” but those who treat it like a business.

“The problem is the multi-owners who rent all year round apartments to tourists without declaring them, and the platforms, accomplices, who welcome them,” she said. Read more…

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Amazon’s QVC-style shopping channel is a monument to sadness

Even in these dark online times, there are places on the internet that manage to shine through and offer us some form of digital redemption; places where we yearn to stay and build new forms of community.

Amazon Live is not one of those places. 

The QVC-like streaming media service — soft-launched on Amazon’s mobile apps, in stealth mode on the web, and first discovered by TechCrunch — offers a carousel of teeth-whitened enthusiasts detailing all the ways a featured product will improve their lives. 

But wait, there’s more.  Read more…

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