17 Awful Investments by Amazon

Amazon is considered one of the best-run companies in the world with an all-encompassing business model, but it did not get there without a few missteps along the way. Originally the brainchild of Jeff Bezos, Amazon got its start in 1995 selling books online and later expanded into selling CDs and videos. With time, all of these mediums have found technologically superior substitutes, and Amazon has pivoted with the market as well.

If Amazon would have stuck with just selling books, CDs, and videos online, the company would now be defunct, or at least in a perilous circumstance. However, Bezos saw new products and trends in the market and incorporated them into Amazon’s business model. Perhaps one of the best pivots and investments Amazon has ever made was in 2006 with Amazon Web Services, which is now one of the largest cloud-computing services in the world. (These companies control over 50% of their industry.)

Of course, not every investment Amazon made panned out as well as AWS. There were in fact some big losers in the process. To find the biggest investments/acquisitions/business decisions blunders that Amazon made over the last decade, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed several media sources, including Business Insider, Failory, and GoBankingRates. This list, which is ordered by the date a service or company was shuttered, is far from comprehensive. 

One of the biggest industry disruptors over the last decade has come in the form of electric vehicles. Other industries that have been changing have been health care, gaming, and more. Amazon has reached into these markets to varying degrees, but the results have not always been as expected.

In fact, Amazon’s most recently reported annual loss of $2.7 billion – its first unprofitable year since 2014 and a record annual loss for the company – came after Amazon bought a sizable stake in Rivian. The past year, the EV maker has consistently struggled with production, parts, and supply chain problems, resulting in Rivian’s stock price plummeting. With Amazon owning about 17% of Rivian, the investment cost the company $2.3 billion in the most recent quarter. (These are 13 biggest electric vehicle business failures in American history.)

Click here to see the worst investments made by Amazon.

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