10-Q 1 amzn-20150331x10q.htm 10-Q AMZN-2015.03.31-10Q
 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 ____________________________________
Form 10-Q
____________________________________ 
(Mark One)
x
QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2015
or
 
¨
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from            to             .
Commission File No. 000-22513
____________________________________
Amazon.com, Inc.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
 ____________________________________
Delaware
 
91-1646860
(State or Other Jurisdiction of
Incorporation or Organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
410 Terry Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109-5210
(206) 266-1000
(Address and Telephone Number, Including Area Code, of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)
 ____________________________________
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
 
Large accelerated filer
 
x
Accelerated filer
 
¨
 
 
 
 
 
 
Non-accelerated filer
 
¨  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
Smaller reporting company
 
¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    Yes  ¨    No  x

465,680,957 shares of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding as of April 15, 2015
 



AMAZON.COM, INC.
FORM 10-Q
For the Quarterly Period Ended March 31, 2015
INDEX
 


2


PART I. FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Item 1.
Financial Statements

AMAZON.COM, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(in millions)
(unaudited)
  
Three Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
Twelve Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2015
 
2014
CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS, BEGINNING OF PERIOD
$
14,557

 
$
8,658

 
$
5,074

 
$
4,481

OPERATING ACTIVITIES:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income (loss)
(57
)
 
108

 
(405
)
 
299

Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to net cash from operating activities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Depreciation of property and equipment, including internal-use software and website development, and other amortization, including capitalized content costs
1,426

 
1,010

 
5,162

 
3,563

Stock-based compensation
407

 
321

 
1,582

 
1,226

Other operating expense (income), net
44

 
35

 
139

 
117

Losses (gains) on sales of marketable securities, net
1

 

 
(3
)
 
2

Other expense (income), net
91

 
(50
)
 
203

 
48

Deferred income taxes
(2
)
 
(185
)
 
(136
)
 
(261
)
Excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation
(22
)
 
(121
)
 
94

 
(199
)
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Inventories
721

 
699

 
(1,172
)
 
(1,245
)
Accounts receivable, net and other
441

 
727

 
(1,324
)
 
(849
)
Accounts payable
(4,249
)
 
(4,675
)
 
2,184

 
1,400

Accrued expenses and other
(940
)
 
(731
)
 
500

 
708

Additions to unearned revenue
1,803

 
1,092

 
5,144

 
3,100

Amortization of previously unearned revenue
(1,163
)
 
(732
)
 
(4,123
)
 
(2,564
)
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities
(1,499
)
 
(2,502
)
 
7,845

 
5,345

INVESTING ACTIVITIES:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Purchases of property and equipment, including internal-use software and website development
(871
)
 
(1,080
)
 
(4,684
)
 
(3,854
)
Acquisitions, net of cash acquired, and other
(365
)
 

 
(1,345
)
 
(208
)
Sales and maturities of marketable securities
375

 
593

 
3,131

 
2,299

Purchases of marketable securities
(986
)
 
(437
)
 
(3,091
)
 
(2,487
)
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities
(1,847
)
 
(924
)
 
(5,989
)
 
(4,250
)
FINANCING ACTIVITIES:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Excess tax benefits from stock-based compensation
22

 
121

 
(94
)
 
199

Proceeds from long-term debt
183

 
65

 
6,478

 
426

Repayments of long-term debt
(316
)
 
(70
)
 
(760
)
 
(272
)
Principal repayments of capital lease obligations
(502
)
 
(249
)
 
(1,537
)
 
(863
)
Principal repayments of finance lease obligations
(39
)
 
(42
)
 
(132
)
 
(47
)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities
(652
)
 
(175
)
 
3,955

 
(557
)
Foreign-currency effect on cash and cash equivalents
(322
)
 
17

 
(648
)
 
55

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents
(4,320
)
 
(3,584
)
 
5,163

 
593

CASH AND CASH EQUIVALENTS, END OF PERIOD
$
10,237

 
$
5,074

 
$
10,237

 
$
5,074

SUPPLEMENTAL CASH FLOW INFORMATION:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash paid for interest on long-term debt
$
17

 
$
18

 
$
90

 
$
102

Cash paid for income taxes (net of refunds)
55

 
38

 
194

 
121

Property and equipment acquired under capital leases
954

 
716

 
4,246

 
2,243

Property and equipment acquired under build-to-suit leases
103

 
126

 
897

 
852

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

3


AMAZON.COM, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(in millions, except per share data)
(unaudited)
 
  
Three Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Net product sales
$
17,084

 
$
15,705

Net service sales
5,633

 
4,036

Total net sales
22,717

 
19,741

Operating expenses (1):
 
 
 
Cost of sales
15,395

 
14,055

Fulfillment
2,759

 
2,317

Marketing
1,083

 
870

Technology and content
2,754

 
1,991

General and administrative
427

 
327

Other operating expense (income), net
44

 
35

Total operating expenses
22,462

 
19,595

Income (loss) from operations
255

 
146

Interest income
11

 
11

Interest expense
(115
)
 
(42
)
Other income (expense), net
(130
)
 
5

Total non-operating income (expense)
(234
)
 
(26
)
Income (loss) before income taxes
21

 
120

Provision for income taxes
(71
)
 
(73
)
Equity-method investment activity, net of tax
(7
)
 
61

Net income (loss)
$
(57
)
 
$
108

Basic earnings per share
$
(0.12
)
 
$
0.23

Diluted earnings per share
$
(0.12
)
 
$
0.23

Weighted average shares used in computation of earnings per share:
 
 
 
Basic
465

 
460

Diluted
465

 
468

_____________
 
 
 
(1)    Includes stock-based compensation as follows:
 
 
 
Fulfillment
$
90

 
$
81

Marketing
35

 
27

Technology and content
233

 
169

General and administrative
49

 
44

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.


4


AMAZON.COM, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)
(in millions)
(unaudited)
 
  
Three Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Net income (loss)
$
(57
)
 
$
108

Other comprehensive income (loss):
 
 
 
Foreign currency translation adjustments, net of tax of $(1) and $0
(243
)
 
27

Net change in unrealized gains on available-for-sale securities:
 
 
 
Unrealized gains, net of tax of $0 and $(1)
1

 
1

Reclassification adjustment for losses included in “Other income (expense), net,” net of tax of $0 and $0
1

 

Net unrealized gains on available-for-sale securities
2

 
1

Total other comprehensive income (loss)
(241
)
 
28

Comprehensive income (loss)
$
(298
)
 
$
136

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.


5


AMAZON.COM, INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in millions, except per share data)
 
 
March 31, 2015
 
December 31, 2014
 
(unaudited)
 
 
ASSETS
 
 
 
Current assets:
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
$
10,237

 
$
14,557

Marketable securities
3,544

 
2,859

Inventories
7,369

 
8,299

Accounts receivable, net and other
4,772

 
5,612

Total current assets
25,922

 
31,327

Property and equipment, net
17,736

 
16,967

Goodwill
3,491

 
3,319

Other assets
2,926

 
2,892

Total assets
$
50,075

 
$
54,505

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
 
 
 
Current liabilities:
 
 
 
Accounts payable
$
11,917

 
$
16,459

Accrued expenses and other
8,840

 
9,807

Unearned revenue
2,420

 
1,823

Total current liabilities
23,177

 
28,089

Long-term debt
8,257

 
8,265

Other long-term liabilities
7,768

 
7,410

Commitments and contingencies (Note 3)


 


Stockholders’ equity:
 
 
 
Preferred stock, $0.01 par value:
 
 
 
Authorized shares — 500
 
 
 
Issued and outstanding shares — none

 

Common stock, $0.01 par value:
 
 
 
Authorized shares — 5,000
 
 
 
Issued shares — 489 and 488
 
 
 
Outstanding shares — 466 and 465
5

 
5

Treasury stock, at cost
(1,837
)
 
(1,837
)
Additional paid-in capital
11,565

 
11,135

Accumulated other comprehensive loss
(752
)
 
(511
)
Retained earnings
1,892

 
1,949

Total stockholders’ equity
10,873

 
10,741

Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity
$
50,075

 
$
54,505

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.


6


AMAZON.COM, INC.
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(unaudited)

Note 1 — ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Unaudited Interim Financial Information
We have prepared the accompanying consolidated financial statements pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) for interim financial reporting. These consolidated financial statements are unaudited and, in our opinion, include all adjustments, consisting of normal recurring adjustments and accruals necessary for a fair presentation of our consolidated balance sheets, operating results, and cash flows for the periods presented. Operating results for the periods presented are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for 2015 due to seasonal and other factors. Certain information and footnote disclosures normally included in financial statements prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (“GAAP”) have been omitted in accordance with the rules and regulations of the SEC. These consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes in Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” of our 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Prior Period Reclassifications
Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current period presentation, including the expanded presentation of “Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities” on our consolidated statements of cash flows and recasting the segment financial information within “Note 4 — Acquisitions, Goodwill, and Acquired Intangible Assets” and “Note 8 — Segment Information” as a result of changing our reportable segments to include an Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) segment.
Principles of Consolidation
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of Amazon.com, Inc., its wholly-owned subsidiaries, and those entities in which we have a variable interest and of which we are the primary beneficiary (collectively, the “Company”). Intercompany balances and transactions between consolidated entities are eliminated.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosures of contingent liabilities in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. Estimates are used for, but not limited to, determining the selling price of products and services in multiple element revenue arrangements and determining the amortization period of these elements, incentive discount offers, sales returns, vendor funding, stock-based compensation forfeiture rates, income taxes, valuation and impairment of investments, inventory valuation and inventory purchase commitments, collectability of receivables, valuation of acquired intangibles and goodwill, depreciable lives of property and equipment, internal-use software and website development costs, acquisition purchase price allocations, investments in equity interests, and contingencies. Actual results could differ materially from those estimates.
Earnings per Share
Basic earnings per share is calculated using our weighted-average outstanding common shares. Diluted earnings per share is calculated using our weighted-average outstanding common shares including the dilutive effect of stock awards as determined under the treasury stock method. In periods when we have a net loss, stock awards are excluded from our calculation of earnings per share as their inclusion would have an antidilutive effect. In Q1 2015, we excluded stock awards of 17 million.
The following table shows the calculation of diluted shares (in millions):
  
Three Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Shares used in computation of basic earnings per share
465

 
460

Total dilutive effect of outstanding stock awards

 
8

Shares used in computation of diluted earnings per share
465

 
468


7


Note 2 — CASH, CASH EQUIVALENTS, AND MARKETABLE SECURITIES
As of March 31, 2015, and December 31, 2014, our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities primarily consisted of cash, U.S. and foreign government and agency securities, AAA-rated money market funds, and other investment grade securities. Cash equivalents and marketable securities are recorded at fair value. Fair value is defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. To increase the comparability of fair value measures, the following hierarchy prioritizes the inputs to valuation methodologies used to measure fair value:
Level 1—Valuations based on quoted prices for identical assets and liabilities in active markets.
Level 2—Valuations based on observable inputs other than quoted prices included in Level 1, such as quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities in active markets, quoted prices for identical or similar assets and liabilities in markets that are not active, or other inputs that are observable or can be corroborated by observable market data.
Level 3—Valuations based on unobservable inputs reflecting our own assumptions, consistent with reasonably available assumptions made by other market participants. These valuations require significant judgment.
We measure the fair value of money market funds and equity securities based on quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities. All other financial instruments were valued either based on recent trades of securities in inactive markets or based on quoted market prices of similar instruments and other significant inputs derived from or corroborated by observable market data. We did not hold any cash, cash equivalents, or marketable securities categorized as Level 3 assets as of March 31, 2015, or December 31, 2014.
The following table summarizes, by major security type, our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis and are categorized using the fair value hierarchy (in millions):
 
 
March 31, 2015
 
December 31, 2014
  
Cost or
Amortized
Cost
 
Gross
Unrealized
Gains
 
Gross
Unrealized
Losses
 
Total
Estimated
Fair Value
 
Total
Estimated
Fair Value
Cash
$
3,986

 
$

 
$

 
$
3,986

 
$
4,155

Level 1 securities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Money market funds
6,428

 

 

 
6,428

 
10,718

Equity securities
1

 
1

 

 
2

 
4

Level 2 securities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Foreign government and agency securities
68

 

 

 
68

 
80

U.S. government and agency securities
3,006

 
2

 
(2
)
 
3,006

 
2,406

Corporate debt securities
408

 
2

 

 
410

 
401

Asset-backed securities
72

 

 

 
72

 
69

Other fixed income securities
31

 

 

 
31

 
33

 
$
14,000

 
$
5

 
$
(2
)
 
$
14,003

 
$
17,866

Less restricted cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities (1)
 
 
 
 
 
 
(222
)
 
(450
)
Total cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities
 
 
 
 
 
 
$
13,781

 
$
17,416

___________________
(1)
We are required to pledge or otherwise restrict a portion of our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities as collateral for standby and trade letters of credit, guarantees, debt, real estate leases, and amounts due to third-party sellers in certain jurisdictions. We classify cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities with use restrictions of less than twelve months as “Accounts receivable, net and other” and of twelve months or longer as non-current “Other assets” on our consolidated balance sheets. See “Note 3 — Commitments and Contingencies.”


8


The following table summarizes the contractual maturities of our cash equivalents and marketable fixed-income securities as of March 31, 2015 (in millions):

 
Amortized
Cost
 
Estimated
Fair Value
Due within one year
$
8,552

 
$
8,552

Due after one year through five years
1,135

 
1,137

Due after five years through ten years
148

 
148

Due after ten years
178

 
178

Total
$
10,013

 
$
10,015

Actual maturities may differ from the contractual maturities because borrowers may have certain prepayment conditions.
Note 3 — COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
Commitments
We have entered into non-cancellable operating, capital, and finance leases for equipment and office, fulfillment, sortation, delivery, and data center facilities. Rental expense under operating lease agreements was $266 million and $219 million for Q1 2015 and Q1 2014.
The following summarizes our principal contractual commitments, excluding open orders for purchases that support normal operations, as of March 31, 2015 (in millions):
 
 
Nine Months Ended December 31,
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
2015
 
2016
 
2017
 
2018
 
2019
 
Thereafter
 
Total
Operating and capital commitments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Debt principal and interest
$
1,676

 
$
323

 
$
1,322

 
$
310

 
$
1,272

 
$
9,403

 
$
14,306

Capital lease obligations, including interest
1,752

 
1,991

 
1,348

 
271

 
128

 
100

 
5,590

Finance lease obligations, including interest
93

 
125

 
128

 
131

 
133

 
1,197

 
1,807

Operating leases
670

 
778

 
720

 
631

 
549

 
2,372

 
5,720

Unconditional purchase obligations (1)
418

 
568

 
500

 
249

 
38

 
3

 
1,776

Other commitments (2) (3)
755

 
335

 
154

 
121

 
96

 
1,089

 
2,550

Total commitments
$
5,364

 
$
4,120

 
$
4,172

 
$
1,713

 
$
2,216

 
$
14,164

 
$
31,749

___________________
(1)
Includes unconditional purchase obligations related to long-term agreements to acquire and license digital content that are not reflected on the consolidated balance sheets. For those agreements with variable terms, we do not estimate the total obligation beyond any minimum quantities and/or pricing as of the reporting date. Purchase obligations associated with renewal provisions solely at the option of the content provider are included to the extent such commitments are fixed or a minimum amount is specified.
(2)
Includes the estimated timing and amounts of payments for rent and tenant improvements associated with build-to-suit lease arrangements that have not been placed in service and media content liabilities associated with long-term media content assets with initial terms greater than one year.
(3)
Excludes $726 million of tax contingencies for which we cannot make a reasonably reliable estimate of the amount and period of payment, if any.
Pledged Assets
As of March 31, 2015, and December 31, 2014, we have pledged or otherwise restricted $369 million and $602 million of our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities, and certain property and equipment as collateral for standby and trade letters of credit, guarantees, debt relating to certain international operations, real estate leases, and amounts due to third-party sellers in certain jurisdictions.

9


Legal Proceedings
The Company is involved from time to time in claims, proceedings, and litigation, including the matters described in Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 8 — Commitments and Contingencies — Legal Proceedings” of our 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K, as supplemented by the following:
In November 2012, Lexington Luminance LLC filed a complaint against Amazon.com, Inc. and Amazon Digital Services, Inc. in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The complaint alleges, among other things, that certain light-emitting diodes in certain Kindle devices infringe U.S. Patent No. 6,936,851, entitled “Semiconductor Light-Emitting Device And Method For Manufacturing Same.” The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages and an injunction or, in the absence of an injunction, a compulsory ongoing royalty. In March 2014, the Court invalidated the plaintiff’s patent and dismissed the case with prejudice, and the plaintiff appealed the judgment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In February 2015, the Federal Circuit reversed the judgment of the district court. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.
Beginning in August 2013, a number of complaints were filed alleging, among other things, that Amazon.com, Inc. and several of its subsidiaries failed to compensate hourly workers for time spent waiting in security lines and otherwise violated federal and state wage and hour statutes and common law. In August 2013, Busk v. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. and Amazon.com, Inc. was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada, and Vance v. Amazon.com, Inc., Zappos.com Inc., another affiliate of Amazon.com, Inc., and Kelly Services, Inc. was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. In September 2013, Allison v. Amazon.com, Inc. and Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, and Johnson v. Amazon.com, Inc. and an affiliate of Amazon.com, Inc. was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. In October 2013, Davis v. Amazon.com, Inc., an affiliate of Amazon.com, Inc., and Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. was filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. The plaintiffs variously purport to represent a nationwide class of certain current and former employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and/or state-law-based subclasses for certain current and former employees in states including Arizona, California, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Kentucky, Washington, and Nevada, and one complaint asserts nationwide breach of contract and unjust enrichment claims. The complaints seek an unspecified amount of damages, interest, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees. We have been named in several other similar cases. In December 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in Busk that time spent waiting for and undergoing security screening is not compensable working time under the federal wage and hour statute. In February 2015, the courts in those actions alleging only federal law claims entered stipulated orders dismissing those actions without prejudice. We dispute any remaining allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in these matters.
In October 2013, Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC filed a complaint against Amazon.com, Inc. for patent infringement in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The complaint alleges, among other things, that our network operation centers and our mobile devices, such as Kindle Fire models based on the Android operating system that provide XMPP-compliant messaging services and applications, infringe U.S. Patent No. 5,809,428, entitled “Method And Device For Processing Undelivered Data Messages In A Two-Way Wireless Communications System.” The complaint also alleges that Amazon’s mobile devices infringe U.S. Patent No. 5,754,946, entitled “Nationwide Communication System,” and that Amazon.com, Inc. infringes U.S. Patent No. 5,786,748, entitled “Method And Apparatus For Giving Notification Of Express Mail Delivery,” by providing tracking and notification services to customers who purchase products directly from Amazon.com, Inc. The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages, enhanced damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, interest, and injunctive relief. In April 2015, plaintiff disclosed in a pretrial order that it seeks $184.3 million in money damages from Amazon. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.
In October 2013, Tuxis Technologies, LLC filed a complaint against Amazon.com, Inc. for patent infringement in the United States District Court for District of Delaware. The complaint alleges, among other things, that “the Amazon.com website” with “recommendation features” infringes U.S. Patent No. 6,055,513, entitled “Methods And Apparatus For Intelligent Selection Of Goods And Services In Telephonic And Electronic Commerce.” The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and interest. In March 2015, the court invalidated all of the claims asserted against us and dismissed the case with prejudice.
In December 2013, Appistry, Inc. filed a complaint against Amazon.com, Inc. and Amazon Web Services, Inc. for patent infringement in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. The complaint alleges, among other things, that Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud infringes U.S. Patent Nos. 8,200,746, entitled “System And Method For Territory-Based Processing Of Information,” and 8,341,209, entitled “System And Method For Processing Information Via Networked Computers Including Request Handlers, Process Handlers, And Task Handlers.” The complaint seeks injunctive relief, an unspecified amount of monetary damages, treble damages, costs, and interest. In March 2015, the case was transferred to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.


10


In January 2015, Azure Networks, LLC filed a complaint against Amazon.com, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The complaint alleges, among other things, that the use of Wi-Fi Direct wireless technology by Kindle Fire, Fire TV, and Fire TV Stick infringes nine United States patents: Nos. 7,756,129 and 8,675,590, entitled “Personal Area Network with Automatic Attachment and Detachment”; No. 8,582,571, entitled “Personal Area Network Apparatus”; and Nos. 8,582,570, 8,588,196, 8,588,231, 8,589,599, 8,683,092, and 8,732,347, entitled “Automatic Attachment and Detachment for Hub and Peripheral Devices.” The complaint seeks an unspecified amount of damages, enhanced damages, interest, and attorneys’ fees. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.
In March 2015, Zitovault, LLC filed a complaint against Amazon.com, Inc., Amazon.com, LLC, Amazon Web Services, Inc., and Amazon Web Services, LLC for patent infringement in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The complaint alleges that Elastic Compute Cloud, Virtual Private Cloud, Elastic Load Balancing, Auto-Scaling, and Elastic Beanstalk infringe U.S. Patent No. 6,484,257, entitled “System and Method for Maintaining N Number of Simultaneous Cryptographic Sessions Using a Distributed Computing Environment.” The complaint seeks injunctive relief, an unspecified amount of damages, enhanced damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and interest. We dispute the allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter.
The outcomes of our legal proceedings are inherently unpredictable, subject to significant uncertainties, and could be material to our operating results and cash flows for a particular period. In addition, for some matters for which a loss is probable or reasonably possible, an estimate of the amount of loss or range of losses is not possible and we may be unable to estimate the possible loss or range of losses that could potentially result from the application of non-monetary remedies.
See also “Note 7 — Income Taxes.”
Note 4 — ACQUISITIONS, GOODWILL, AND ACQUIRED INTANGIBLE ASSETS
During the three months ended March 31, 2015, we acquired certain companies for an aggregate purchase price of $341 million. The primary reasons for these acquisitions, none of which was individually material to our consolidated financial statements, were to acquire technologies and know-how to enable Amazon to serve customers more effectively. Acquisition activity for the three months ended March 31, 2014 was not material.
Acquisition-related costs were expensed as incurred and not significant. The aggregate purchase price of these acquisitions was allocated as follows (in millions):
 
Purchase Price
 
Cash paid, net of cash acquired
$
298

Indemnification holdback
43

 
$
341

Allocation
 
Goodwill
$
211

Intangible assets (1):
 
Contract-based
1

Technology-based
149

Customer-related
4

 
154

Property and equipment
1

Deferred tax assets
27

Other assets acquired
20

Deferred tax liabilities
(53
)
Other liabilities assumed
(19
)
 
$
341

 ___________________
(1)
Acquired intangible assets have estimated useful lives of between one and six years, with a weighted-average amortization period of five years.
We determined the estimated fair value of identifiable intangible assets acquired primarily by using the income approach. These assets are included within “Other assets” on our consolidated balance sheets and are being amortized to operating expenses on a straight-line over their estimated useful lives.

11


Pro Forma Financial Information (unaudited)
The acquired companies were consolidated into our financial statements starting on their respective acquisition dates. The aggregate net sales and operating loss of the companies acquired was $1 million and $(15) million for the three months ended March 31, 2015. The following pro forma financial information presents our results as if the current year acquisitions had occurred at the beginning of 2014 (in millions):
  
  
Three Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Net sales
$
22,721

 
$
19,742

Net income (loss)
$
(58
)
 
$
88

Goodwill
The goodwill of the acquired companies is generally not deductible for tax purposes and is primarily related to expected improvements in technology performance and functionality, as well as sales growth from future product and service offerings and new customers, together with certain intangible assets that do not qualify for separate recognition.
The following summarizes our goodwill activity in 2015 by segment (in millions):
 
 
North
America
 
International
 
AWS
 
Consolidated
Goodwill - January 1, 2015
$
1,978

 
$
735

 
$
606

 
$
3,319

New acquisitions
40

 
17

 
154

 
211

Other adjustments (1)
(3
)
 
(36
)
 

 
(39
)
Goodwill - March 31, 2015
$
2,015

 
$
716

 
$
760

 
$
3,491

 ___________________
(1)
Primarily includes changes in foreign exchange rates.
Note 5 — LONG-TERM DEBT
In December 2014 and November 2012, we issued $6.0 billion and $3.0 billion of unsecured senior notes as described in the table below (collectively, the “Notes”). As of March 31, 2015, and December 31, 2014, the unamortized discount on the Notes was $95 million and $96 million. We also have other long-term debt with a carrying amount, including the current portion, of $729 million and $881 million as of March 31, 2015, and December 31, 2014. The face value of our total long-term debt obligations is as follows (in millions):

 
March 31,
2015
 
December 31, 2014
0.65% Notes due on November 27, 2015 (1)
$
750

 
$
750

1.20% Notes due on November 29, 2017 (1)
1,000

 
1,000

2.50% Notes due on November 29, 2022 (1)
1,250

 
1,250

2.60% Notes due on December 5, 2019 (2)
1,000

 
1,000

3.30% Notes due on December 5, 2021 (2)
1,000

 
1,000

3.80% Notes due on December 5, 2024 (2)
1,250

 
1,250

4.80% Notes due on December 5, 2034 (2)
1,250

 
1,250

4.95% Notes due on December 5, 2044 (2)
1,500

 
1,500

Other long-term debt
729

 
881

Total debt
9,729

 
9,881

Less current portion of long-term debt
(1,377
)
 
(1,520
)
Face value of long-term debt
$
8,352

 
$
8,361

_____________________________
(1)
Issued in November 2012, effective interest rates of the 2015, 2017, and 2022 Notes were 0.84%, 1.38%, and 2.66%.
(2)
Issued in December 2014, effective interest rates of the 2019, 2021, 2024, 2034, and 2044 Notes were 2.73%, 3.43%, 3.90%, 4.92%, and 5.11%.

12


Interest on the Notes issued in 2014 is payable semi-annually in arrears in June and December. Interest on the Notes issued in 2012 is payable semi-annually in arrears in May and November. We may redeem the Notes at any time in whole, or from time to time, in part at specified redemption prices. We are not subject to any financial covenants under the Notes. The proceeds from the Notes are used for general corporate purposes. The estimated fair value of the Notes was approximately $9.4 billion and $9.1 billion as of March 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014, which is based on quoted prices for our publicly-traded debt as of those dates.
The other debt, including the current portion, had a weighted average interest rate of 4.9% and 5.5% as of March 31, 2015, and December 31, 2014. We used the net proceeds from the issuance of this debt primarily to fund certain international operations. The estimated fair value of the other long-term debt, which is based on Level 2 inputs, approximated its carrying value as of March 31, 2015, and December 31, 2014.
On September 5, 2014, we entered into an unsecured revolving credit facility (the “Credit Agreement”) with a syndicate of lenders that provides us with a borrowing capacity of up to $2.0 billion. The Credit Agreement has a term of two years, but it may be extended for up to three additional one-year terms if approved by the lenders. The initial interest rate applicable to outstanding balances under the Credit Agreement is the London interbank offered rate (“LIBOR”) plus 0.625%, under our current credit ratings. If our credit ratings are downgraded this rate could increase to as much as LIBOR plus 1.00%. There were no borrowings outstanding under the Credit Agreement as of March 31, 2015.
Note 6 — STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
Stock Award Activity
Common shares outstanding plus shares underlying outstanding stock awards totaled 483 million as of March 31, 2015, and December 31, 2014. These totals include all vested and unvested stock awards outstanding, including those awards we estimate will be forfeited. The compensation expense for stock options, the total intrinsic value for stock options outstanding, the amount of cash received from the exercise of stock options, and the related tax benefits were not material for the three months ended March 31, 2015.
The following table summarizes our restricted stock unit activity for the three months ended March 31, 2015 (in millions):
 
Number of Units
 
Weighted Average
Grant-Date
Fair Value
Outstanding as of December 31, 2014
17.4

 
$
285

Units granted
1.4

 
359

Units vested
(0.8
)
 
216

Units forfeited
(0.6
)
 
289

Outstanding as of March 31, 2015
17.4

 
$
294

Scheduled vesting for outstanding restricted stock units as of March 31, 2015, is as follows (in millions):
 
Nine Months Ended December 31,
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
 
 
 
 
2015
 
2016
 
2017
 
2018
 
2019
 
Thereafter
 
Total
Scheduled vesting—restricted stock units
4.9

 
6.0

 
3.7

 
2.1

 
0.5

 
0.2

 
17.4

As of March 31, 2015, there was $2.2 billion of net unrecognized compensation cost related to unvested stock-based compensation arrangements. This compensation is recognized on an accelerated basis with approximately half of the compensation expected to be expensed in the next twelve months, and has a weighted average recognition period of 1.1 years.
Note 7 — INCOME TAXES
Our tax provision or benefit from income taxes for interim periods is determined using an estimate of our annual effective tax rate, adjusted for discrete items, if any, that are taken into account in the relevant period. Each quarter we update our estimate of the annual effective tax rate, and if our estimated tax rate changes, we make a cumulative adjustment.

13


Our quarterly tax provision, and our quarterly estimate of our annual effective tax rate, is subject to significant variation due to several factors, including variability in accurately predicting our pre-tax and taxable income and loss and the mix of jurisdictions to which they relate, changes in how we do business, acquisitions (including integrations) and investments, audit-related developments, foreign currency gains (losses), changes in law, regulations, and administrative practices, and relative changes of expenses or losses for which tax benefits are not recognized. Additionally, our effective tax rate can be more or less volatile based on the amount of pre-tax income or loss. For example, the impact of discrete items and non-deductible expenses on our effective tax rate is greater when our pre-tax income is lower.
In 2015, our effective tax rate will be significantly affected by the favorable impact of earnings in lower tax rate jurisdictions and the adverse effect of losses incurred in certain foreign jurisdictions for which we may not realize a tax benefit. Income earned in lower tax jurisdictions is primarily related to our European operations, which are headquartered in Luxembourg. Losses for which we may not realize a related tax benefit, primarily due to losses of foreign subsidiaries, reduce our pre-tax income without a corresponding reduction in our tax expense, and therefore increase our effective tax rate. We record valuation allowances against the deferred tax assets associated with losses for which we may not realize a related tax benefit. Our effective tax rate may also be adversely impacted by the amount of our pretax income, or loss, relative to our income tax expense, nondeductible expenses, and changes in tax law such as the expiration of the U.S. federal research and development credit at the end of 2014.
Our income tax provision was $71 million and $73 million in Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. Cash paid for income taxes (net of refunds) was $55 million and $38 million in Q1 2015 and Q1 2014.
As of March 31, 2015, and December 31, 2014, tax contingencies were $726 million and $710 million. We expect the total amount of tax contingencies will grow in 2015. In addition, changes in state, federal, and foreign tax laws may increase our tax contingencies. The timing of the resolution of income tax examinations is highly uncertain, and the amounts ultimately paid, if any, upon resolution of the issues raised by the taxing authorities may differ from the amounts accrued. It is reasonably possible that within the next 12 months we will receive additional assessments by various tax authorities or possibly reach resolution of income tax examinations in one or more jurisdictions. These assessments or settlements may or may not result in changes to our contingencies related to positions on prior years’ tax filings.
We are under examination, or may be subject to examination, by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) for the calendar year 2005 and thereafter. These examinations may lead to ordinary course adjustments or proposed adjustments to our taxes or our net operating losses with respect to years under examination as well as subsequent periods. As previously disclosed, we have received Notices of Proposed Adjustment from the IRS for transactions undertaken in the 2005 and 2006 calendar years relating to transfer pricing with our foreign subsidiaries. The IRS is seeking to increase our U.S. taxable income by an amount that would result in additional federal tax of approximately $1.5 billion, subject to interest. To date, we have not resolved this matter administratively and are currently contesting it in U.S. Tax Court. We continue to disagree with these IRS positions and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in this matter. In addition to the risk of additional tax for 2005 and 2006 transactions, if this litigation is adversely determined or if the IRS were to seek transfer pricing adjustments of a similar nature for transactions in subsequent years, we could be subject to significant additional tax liabilities.
Certain of our subsidiaries are under examination or investigation or may be subject to examination or investigation by the French Tax Administration (“FTA”) for calendar year 2006 or thereafter. These examinations may lead to ordinary course adjustments or proposed adjustments to our taxes. While we have not yet received a final assessment from the FTA, in September 2012, we received proposed tax assessment notices for calendar years 2006 through 2010 relating to the allocation of income between foreign jurisdictions. The notices propose additional French tax of approximately $250 million, including interest and penalties through the date of the assessment. We disagree with the proposed assessment and intend to contest it vigorously. We plan to pursue all available administrative remedies at the FTA, and if we are not able to resolve this matter with the FTA, we plan to pursue judicial remedies. In addition to the risk of additional tax for years 2006 through 2010, if this litigation is adversely determined or if the FTA were to seek adjustments of a similar nature for subsequent years, we could be subject to significant additional tax liabilities. In addition, in October 2014, the European Commission opened a formal investigation to examine whether decisions by the tax authorities in Luxembourg with regard to the corporate income tax paid by certain of our subsidiaries comply with European Union rules on state aid. If this matter is adversely resolved, Luxembourg may be required to assess, and we may be required to pay, additional amounts with respect to current and prior periods and our taxes in the future could increase. We are also subject to taxation in various states and other foreign jurisdictions including Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom. We are under, or may be subject to, audit or examination and additional assessments in respect of these particular jurisdictions for 2003 and thereafter.

14


Note 8 — SEGMENT INFORMATION
Beginning in the first quarter of 2015, we changed our reportable segments to North America, International, and AWS. These segments reflect changes in the way the Company evaluates its business performance and manages its operations.

We allocate to segment results the operating expenses “Fulfillment,” “Marketing,” “Technology and content,” and “General and administrative” based on usage, which is generally reflected in the segment in which the costs are incurred. In conjunction with creating a separate reportable segment for AWS, we have made other allocation changes among the North America and International segments to reflect the relative contribution provided to both segments. The majority of technology infrastructure costs are allocated to the AWS segment based on usage. The majority of the remaining non-infrastructure technology costs are incurred in the U.S. and are allocated to our North America segment. We exclude from our allocations the portions of these operating expense lines attributable to stock-based compensation. We do not allocate the line item “Other operating expense (income), net” to our segment operating results. There are no internal revenue transactions between our reportable segments.
North America
The North America segment consists primarily of amounts earned from retail sales of consumer products (including from sellers) and subscriptions through North America-focused websites such as www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, and www.amazon.com.mx. This segment includes export sales from these websites.
International
The International segment consists primarily of amounts earned from retail sales of consumer products (including from sellers) and subscriptions through internationally-focused websites. This segment includes export sales from these internationally-focused websites (including export sales from these sites to customers in the U.S. and Canada), but excludes export sales from our North American websites.
AWS
The AWS segment consists of amounts earned from sales of compute, storage, database, and other AWS service offerings for start-ups, enterprises, government agencies, and academic institutions.

15



Information on reportable segments and reconciliation to consolidated net income (loss) is as follows (in millions):
  
Three Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
North America
 
 
 
Net sales
$
13,406

 
$
10,808

Segment operating expenses (1)
12,889

 
10,518

Segment operating income (loss)
$
517

 
$
290

International
 
 
 
Net sales
$
7,745

 
$
7,883

Segment operating expenses (1)
7,821

 
7,916

Segment operating income (loss)
$
(76
)
 
$
(33
)
AWS
 
 
 
Net sales
$
1,566

 
$
1,050

Segment operating expenses (1)
1,301

 
805

Segment operating income (loss)
$
265

 
$
245

Consolidated
 
 
 
Net sales
$
22,717

 
$
19,741

Segment operating expenses (1)
22,011

 
19,239

Segment operating income (loss)
706

 
502

Stock-based compensation
(407
)
 
(321
)
Other operating income (expense), net
(44
)
 
(35
)
Income (loss) from operations
255

 
146

Total non-operating income (expense)
(234
)
 
(26
)
Provision for income taxes
(71
)
 
(73
)
Equity-method investment activity, net of tax
(7
)
 
61

Net income (loss)
$
(57
)
 
$
108

___________________
(1)
Excludes stock-based compensation and “Other operating expense (income), net” which are not allocated to segments.

We have aggregated our products and services into groups of similar product and services and provided the supplemental disclosure of net sales (in millions) below. We evaluate whether additional disclosure is appropriate when a product or service category begins to approach a significant level of net sales. For the periods presented no individual product or service represented more than 10% of net sales.
  
Three Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Net Sales:
 
Media
$
5,289

 
$
5,467

Electronics and other general merchandise
15,628

 
13,017

AWS
1,566

 
1,050

Other (1)
234

 
207

Consolidated
$
22,717

 
$
19,741

___________________
(1)
Includes sales from non-retail activities, such as certain advertising services and our co-branded credit card agreements.


16


Item 2.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Forward-Looking Statements
This Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact, including statements regarding guidance, industry prospects, or future results of operations or financial position, made in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q are forward-looking. We use words such as anticipates, believes, expects, future, intends, and similar expressions to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. Actual results could differ materially for a variety of reasons, including, among others, fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, changes in global economic conditions and consumer spending, world events, the rate of growth of the Internet and online commerce, the amount that Amazon.com invests in new business opportunities and the timing of those investments, the mix of products sold to customers, the mix of net sales derived from products as compared with services, the extent to which we owe income taxes, competition, management of growth, potential fluctuations in operating results, international growth and expansion, the outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment, sortation, delivery, and data center optimization, risks of inventory management, seasonality, the degree to which the Company enters into, maintains, and develops commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, payments risks, and risks of fulfillment throughput and productivity. In addition, the current global economic climate amplifies many of these risks. These risks and uncertainties, as well as other risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ significantly from management’s expectations, are described in greater detail in Item 1A of Part II, “Risk Factors.”
For additional information, see Item 7 of Part II, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Overview” of our 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Critical Accounting Judgments
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. The SEC has defined a company’s critical accounting policies as the ones that are most important to the portrayal of the company’s financial condition and results of operations, and which require the company to make its most difficult and subjective judgments, often as a result of the need to make estimates of matters that are inherently uncertain. Based on this definition, we have identified the critical accounting policies and judgments addressed below. We also have other key accounting policies, which involve the use of estimates, judgments, and assumptions that are significant to understanding our results. For additional information, see Item 8 of Part II, “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data — Note 1 — Description of Business and Accounting Policies,” of our 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K and Item 1 of Part I, “Financial Statements — Note 1 — Accounting Policies,” of this Form 10-Q. Although we believe that our estimates, assumptions, and judgments are reasonable, they are based upon information presently available. Actual results may differ significantly from these estimates under different assumptions, judgments, or conditions.
Inventories
Inventories, consisting of products available for sale, are primarily accounted for using the first-in first-out method, and are valued at the lower of cost or market value. This valuation requires us to make judgments, based on currently-available information, about the likely method of disposition, such as through sales to individual customers, returns to product vendors, or liquidations, and expected recoverable values of each disposition category. These assumptions about future disposition of inventory are inherently uncertain and changes in our estimates and assumptions may cause us to realize material write-downs in the future. As a measure of sensitivity, for every 1% of additional inventory valuation allowance as of March 31, 2015, we would have recorded an additional cost of sales of approximately $85 million.
In addition, we enter into supplier commitments for certain electronic device components. These commitments are based on forecasted customer demand. If we reduce these commitments, we may incur additional costs.
Goodwill
We evaluate goodwill for impairment annually or more frequently when an event occurs or circumstances change that indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. Our annual testing date is October 1. We test goodwill for impairment by first comparing the book value of net assets to the fair value of the reporting units. If the fair value is determined to be less than the book value or qualitative factors indicate that it is more likely than not that goodwill is impaired, a second step is performed to compute the amount of impairment as the difference between the estimated fair value of goodwill and the carrying value. We estimate the fair value of the reporting units using discounted cash flows. Forecasts of future cash flows are based on our best estimate of future net sales and operating expenses, based primarily on expected category expansion, pricing, market segment

17


share, and general economic conditions. Certain estimates of discounted cash flows involve businesses and geographies with limited financial history and developing revenue models. Changes in these forecasts could significantly change the amount of impairment recorded, if any.
During the quarter, management monitored the actual performance of the business relative to the fair value assumptions used during our annual goodwill impairment test. For the periods presented, no triggering events were identified that required an interim impairment test. As a measure of sensitivity, a 10% decrease in the fair value of any of our reporting units as of December 31, 2014, would have had no impact on the carrying value of our goodwill.
Financial and credit market volatility directly impacts the fair value measurement through our weighted average cost of capital that we use to determine a discount rate and through our stock price that we use to determine our market capitalization. During times of volatility, significant judgment must be applied to determine whether credit or stock price changes are short-term in nature or a longer-term trend. We have not made any significant changes to the accounting methodology used to evaluate goodwill for impairment. Changes in our estimated future cash flows and asset fair values may cause us to realize material impairment charges in the future. As a measure of sensitivity, a prolonged 20% decrease from our March 31, 2015 closing stock price would not be an indicator of possible impairment.
Stock-Based Compensation
We measure compensation cost for stock awards at fair value and recognize it as compensation expense over the service period for awards expected to vest. The fair value of restricted stock units is determined based on the number of shares granted and the quoted price of our common stock and the fair value of stock options is estimated on the date of grant using a Black-Scholes model. The estimated number of stock awards that will ultimately vest requires judgment, and to the extent actual results or updated estimates differ from our current estimates, such amounts will be recorded as a cumulative adjustment in the period estimates are revised. We consider many factors when estimating expected forfeitures, including employee classification, economic environment, and historical experience. We update our estimated forfeiture rate quarterly. We have not made any significant changes to the accounting methodology used to evaluate stock-based compensation. Changes in our estimates and assumptions may cause us to realize material changes in stock-based compensation expense in the future. As a measure of sensitivity, a 1% change to our estimated forfeiture rate would have had an approximately $30 million impact on our Q1 2015 operating income. Our estimated forfeiture rate as of March 31, 2015, and December 31, 2014 was 27%.
We utilize the accelerated method, rather than the straight-line method, for recognizing compensation expense. For example, over 50% of the compensation cost related to an award vesting ratably over four years is expensed in the first year. If forfeited early in the life of an award, the compensation expense adjustment is much greater under an accelerated method than under a straight-line method.
Income Taxes
We are subject to income taxes in the U.S. (federal and state) and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Tax laws, regulations, and administrative practices in various jurisdictions may be subject to significant change due to economic, political, and other conditions, and significant judgment is required in evaluating and estimating our provision and accruals for these taxes. There are many transactions that occur during the ordinary course of business for which the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. Our effective tax rates could be adversely affected by earnings being lower than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have lower statutory rates and higher than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have higher statutory rates, losses incurred in jurisdictions for which we are not able to realize the related tax benefit, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, entry into new businesses and geographies and changes to our existing businesses, acquisitions (including integrations) and investments, changes in our deferred tax assets and liabilities and their valuation, and changes in the relevant tax, accounting, and other laws, regulations, administrative practices, principles, and interpretations, including fundamental changes to the tax laws applicable to corporate multinationals. The U.S., many countries in the European Union, and a number of other countries are actively considering changes in this regard.
Except as required under U.S. tax laws, we do not provide for U.S. taxes on our undistributed earnings of foreign subsidiaries that have not been previously taxed since we intend to invest such undistributed earnings indefinitely outside of the U.S. If our intent changes or if these funds are needed for our U.S. operations, we would be required to accrue or pay U.S. taxes on some or all of these undistributed earnings and our effective tax rate would be adversely affected. We are also subject to audit in various jurisdictions, and such jurisdictions may assess additional income tax liabilities against us. In addition, in October 2014, the European Commission opened a formal investigation to examine whether decisions by the tax authorities in Luxembourg with regard to the corporate income tax paid by certain of our subsidiaries comply with European Union rules on state aid. If this matter is adversely resolved, Luxembourg may be required to assess, and we may be required to pay, additional amounts with respect to current and prior periods and our taxes in the future could increase. Although we believe our tax

18


estimates are reasonable, the final outcome of tax audits, investigations, and any related litigation could be materially different from our historical income tax provisions and accruals. Developments in an audit, litigation, or the relevant laws, regulations, administrative practices, principles, and interpretations could have a material effect on our operating results or cash flows in the period or periods for which that development occurs, as well as for prior and subsequent periods. For instance, the IRS is seeking to increase our U.S. taxable income related to transfer pricing with our foreign subsidiaries for transactions undertaken in 2005 and 2006, and we are currently contesting the matter in U.S. Tax Court. In addition to the risk of additional tax for 2005 and 2006 transactions, if this litigation is adversely determined or if the IRS were to seek transfer pricing adjustments of a similar nature for transactions in subsequent years, Amazon could be subject to significant additional tax liabilities.


19


Liquidity and Capital Resources
Cash flow information is as follows (in millions):
  
Three Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
Twelve Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2015
 
2014
Operating activities
$
(1,499
)
 
$
(2,502
)
 
$
7,845

 
$
5,345

Investing activities
(1,847
)
 
(924
)
 
(5,989
)
 
(4,250
)
Financing activities
(652
)
 
(175
)
 
3,955

 
(557
)
Our financial focus is on long-term, sustainable growth in free cash flow1. Free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, was $3.2 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2015, compared to $1.5 billion for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2014. See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for a reconciliation of free cash flow to cash provided by operating activities. The increase in free cash flow for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period, was primarily due to higher operating cash flows. Operating cash flows and free cash flows can be volatile and are sensitive to many factors, including changes in working capital2, the timing and magnitude of capital expenditures, including our decision to finance property and equipment under capital leases and other finance lease arrangements, and our net income (loss). Working capital at any specific point in time is subject to many variables, including seasonality, inventory management and category expansion, the timing of cash receipts and payments, vendor payment terms, and fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.
Our principal sources of liquidity are cash flows generated from operations and our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances, which, at fair value, were $13.8 billion and $17.4 billion as of March 31, 2015, and December 31, 2014. Amounts held in foreign currencies were $3.9 billion and $5.4 billion as of March 31, 2015, and December 31, 2014, and were primarily British Pounds, Chinese Yuan, Euros, and Japanese Yen.
Cash provided by (used in) operating activities was $(1.5) billion and $(2.5) billion for Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. Our operating cash flows result primarily from cash received from our consumer, seller, and enterprise customers, advertising agreements, and our co-branded credit card agreements, offset by cash payments we make for products and services, employee compensation (less amounts capitalized related to internal use software that are reflected as cash used in investing activities), payment processing and related transaction costs, operating leases, and interest payments on our long-term obligations. Cash received from our consumer, seller, and enterprise customers, and other activities generally corresponds to our net sales. Because consumers primarily use credit cards to buy from us, our receivables from consumers settle quickly. The increase in operating cash flow for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period, was primarily due to the increase in non-cash charges to net income, including depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation, and an increase in working capital.
Cash provided by (used in) investing activities corresponds with cash capital expenditures, including leasehold improvements, internal-use software and website development costs, cash outlays for acquisitions, investments in other companies and intellectual property rights, and purchases, sales, and maturities of marketable securities. Cash provided by (used in) investing activities was $(1.8) billion and $(924) million for Q1 2015 and Q1 2014, with the variability caused primarily by changes in capital expenditures, purchases, maturities, and sales of marketable securities, and changes in cash paid for acquisitions. Cash capital expenditures were $871 million and $1.1 billion during Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. This primarily reflects additional investments in support of continued business growth due to investments in technology infrastructure, the majority of which is to support AWS, and additional capacity to support our fulfillment operations. We expect this trend to continue over time. Capital expenditures included $129 million and $128 million for internal-use software and website development during Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. Stock-based compensation capitalized for internal-use software and website development costs does not affect cash flows. We made cash payments, net of acquired cash, related to acquisition and other investment activity of $365 million and $0 during Q1 2015 and Q1 2014.

______________________
(1)
Free cash flow, a non-GAAP financial measure, is defined as net cash provided by operating activities less cash expenditures for purchases of property and equipment, including internal-use software and website development, both of which are presented on our consolidated statements of cash flows. See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below for additional information as well as alternative free cash flow measures.
(2)
Working capital consists of accounts receivable, inventory, and accounts payable.


20


Cash provided by (used in) financing activities was $(652) million and $(175) million for Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. Cash outflows from financing activities result from principal payments on obligations related to capital and finance leases and repayments of long-term debt. Principal payments on obligations related to capital leases, finance leases, and repayments of long-term debt were $857 million and $361 million in Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. Property and equipment acquired under capital leases were $954 million and $716 million during Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. This reflects additional investments in support of continued business growth primarily due to investments in technology infrastructure for AWS. We expect this trend to continue over time. Cash inflows from financing activities primarily result from proceeds from long-term debt and tax benefits relating to excess stock-based compensation deductions. Proceeds from long-term debt were $183 million and $65 million in Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. Tax benefits relating to excess stock-based compensation deductions are presented as financing cash flows. Cash inflows from tax benefits related to stock-based compensation deductions were $22 million and $121 million in Q1 2015 and Q1 2014.
We had no borrowings outstanding under our $2.0 billion Credit Agreement as of March 31, 2015. See Item 1 of Part I, “Financial Statements — Note 5 — Long-Term Debt” for additional information. 
We recorded tax provisions of $71 million and $73 million in Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. Except as required under U.S. tax laws, we do not provide for U.S. taxes on our undistributed earnings of foreign subsidiaries that have not been previously taxed since we intend to invest such undistributed earnings indefinitely outside of the U.S. If our intent changes or if these funds are needed for our U.S. operations, we would be required to accrue or pay U.S. taxes on some or all of these undistributed earnings, and our effective tax rate would be adversely affected. We have tax benefits relating to excess stock-based compensation deductions that are being utilized to reduce our U.S. taxable income. In 2014, we also had accelerated depreciation deductions on qualifying property that reduced our U.S. taxable income as a result of U.S. legislation that expired in December 2014. Cash paid for income taxes (net of refunds) was $55 million and $38 million for Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. As of December 31, 2014, our federal net operating loss carryforward was approximately $1.9 billion and we had approximately $443 million of federal tax credits potentially available to offset future tax liabilities. Our federal tax credits are primarily related to the U.S. federal research and development credit, which expired in December 2014. As we utilize our federal net operating losses and tax credits, we expect cash paid for taxes to significantly increase. We endeavor to manage our global taxes on a cash basis, rather than on a financial reporting basis.
Our liquidity is also affected by restricted cash balances that are pledged as collateral for standby and trade letters of credit, guarantees, debt, and real estate leases. To the extent we process payments for third-party sellers or offer certain types of stored value to our customers, some jurisdictions may restrict our use of those funds. These restrictions would result in the reclassification of a portion of our cash and cash equivalents from “Cash and cash equivalents” to “Accounts receivable, net and other” on our consolidated balance sheets. As of March 31, 2015, and December 31, 2014, restricted cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities were $222 million and $450 million. See Item 1 of Part I, “Financial Statements — Note 3 — Commitments and Contingencies” for additional discussion of our principal contractual commitments, as well as our pledged assets. Purchase obligations and open purchase orders, consisting of inventory and significant non-inventory commitments, were $5.1 billion as of March 31, 2015. Purchase obligations and open purchase orders are generally cancellable in full or in part through the contractual provisions.
Because of our model we are able to turn our inventory quickly and have a cash-generating operating cycle3. On average, our high inventory velocity means we generally collect from consumers before our payments to suppliers come due. Inventory turnover4 was 9 for Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. We expect variability in inventory turnover over time since it is affected by several factors, including our product mix, the mix of sales by us and by third-party sellers, our continuing focus on in-stock inventory availability and selection of product offerings, our investment in new geographies and product lines, and the extent to which we choose to utilize third-party fulfillment providers.
We believe that cash flows generated from operations, our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances, and borrowing available under our credit agreements will be sufficient to meet our anticipated operating cash needs for at least the next 12 months. However, any projections of future cash needs and cash flows are subject to substantial uncertainty. See Item 1A of Part II, “Risk Factors.” We continually evaluate opportunities to sell additional equity or debt securities, obtain credit facilities, obtain capital, finance, and operating lease arrangements, repurchase common stock, pay dividends, or repurchase, refinance, or otherwise restructure our debt for strategic reasons or to further strengthen our financial position.
_______________________
(3)
The operating cycle is number of days of sales in inventory plus number of days of sales in accounts receivable minus accounts payable days.
(4)
Inventory turnover is the quotient of trailing twelve month cost of sales to average inventory over five quarter ends.

21


The sale of additional equity or convertible debt securities would likely be dilutive to our shareholders. In addition, we will, from time to time, consider the acquisition of, or investment in, complementary businesses, products, services, and technologies, which might affect our liquidity requirements or cause us to issue additional equity or debt securities. There can be no assurance that additional lines-of-credit or financing instruments will be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all.

22


Results of Operations
Beginning in the first quarter of 2015, we changed our reportable segments to North America, International, and AWS. These segments reflect changes in the way the Company evaluates its business performance and manages its operations. See Item 1 of Part I, “Financial Statements — Note 8 — Segment Information.”
Net Sales
Net sales include product and service sales. Product sales represent revenue from the sale of products and related shipping fees and digital media content where we record revenue gross. Service sales represent third-party seller fees earned (including commissions) and related shipping fees, digital content subscriptions, AWS sales, advertising services, and our co-branded credit card agreements. Amazon Prime membership fees are allocated between product sales and service sales and amortized over the life of the membership according to the estimated delivery of services. Net sales information is as follows (in millions):
  
Three Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Net Sales:
 
 
 
North America
$
13,406

 
$
10,808

International
7,745

 
7,883

AWS
1,566

 
1,050

Total consolidated
$
22,717

 
$
19,741

Year-over-year Percentage Growth:
 
 
 
North America
24
 %
 
23
%
International
(2
)
 
18

AWS
49

 
69

Total consolidated
15

 
23

Year-over-year Percentage Growth, excluding effect of foreign exchange rates:
 
 
 
North America
24
 %
 
23
%
International
14

 
18

AWS
49

 
69

Total consolidated
22

 
23

Net Sales Mix:
 
 
 
North America
59
 %
 
55
%
International
34

 
40

AWS
7

 
5

Total consolidated
100
 %
 
100
%
Sales increased 15% in Q1 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates impacted net sales by $(1.3) billion and $10 million for Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. For a discussion of the effect on sales growth of foreign exchange rates, see “Effect of Foreign Exchange Rates” below.
North America sales increased 24% in Q1 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period. The sales growth primarily reflects increased unit sales, including sales by marketplace sellers. Increased unit sales were driven largely by our continued efforts to reduce prices for our customers, including from our shipping offers, from sales in faster growing categories such as electronics and other general merchandise, increased in-stock inventory availability, and increased selection of product offerings.
International sales decreased 2% in Q1 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period. The sales decrease primarily reflects the unfavorable effect of foreign exchange rates offset by increased unit sales, including sales by marketplace sellers. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates impacted International net sales by $(1.3) billion and $24 million for Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. Increased unit sales were driven largely by our continued efforts to reduce prices for our customers, including from our shipping offers, from sales in faster growing categories such as electronics and other general merchandise, increased in-stock inventory availability, and increased selection of product offerings.

23


AWS sales increased 49% in Q1 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period. The sales growth primarily reflects increased customer usage, partially offset by pricing changes. Pricing changes were driven largely by our continued efforts to reduce prices for our customers.

Segment Operating Income (Loss)
Segment operating income (loss) is as follows (in millions):
 
Three Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Segment Operating Income (Loss)
 
 
 
North America
$
517

 
$
290

International
(76
)
 
(33
)
AWS
265

 
245

The increase in North America segment operating income in absolute dollars in Q1 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period, is primarily due to increased unit sales, partially offset by increased levels of operating expenses to expand our fulfillment capacity and spending on technology infrastructure.
The increase in International segment operating loss in absolute dollars in Q1 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period, is primarily due to increased levels of operating expenses incurred, including costs to expand our fulfillment capacity and marketing efforts, partially offset by increased unit sales, including sales by marketplace sellers. Additionally, changes in foreign currency exchange rates had an unfavorable impact on International segment operating loss.
The increase in AWS segment operating income in absolute dollars in Q1 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period, is primarily due to increased customer usage, partially offset by pricing changes and increased spending on technology infrastructure, which was primarily driven by additional investments to support the business growth.

Supplemental Information
Supplemental information about outbound shipping results for our North America and International segments is as follows (in millions):
 
Three Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Outbound Shipping Activity:
 
 
 
Shipping revenue (1)(2)(3)
$
1,299

 
$
849

Shipping costs (4)
(2,309
)
 
(1,829
)
Net shipping cost
$
(1,010
)
 
$
(980
)
Year-over-year Percentage Growth:
 
 
 
Shipping revenue
53
 %
 
34
 %
Shipping costs
26

 
31

Net shipping cost
3

 
28

Percent of Net Sales: (5)
 
 
 
Shipping revenue
6.1
 %
 
4.6
 %
Shipping costs
(10.9
)
 
(9.8
)
Net shipping cost
(4.8
)%
 
(5.2
)%
___________________
(1)
Excludes amounts charged on shipping activities by third-party sellers where we do not provide the fulfillment service.
(2)
Includes a portion of amounts earned from Amazon Prime memberships.
(3)
Includes amounts earned from Fulfillment by Amazon programs related to shipping services.
(4)
Includes sortation and delivery center costs.
(5)
Includes North America and International segment net sales.

24


We expect our cost of shipping to continue to increase to the extent our customers accept and use our shipping offers at an increasing rate, our product mix shifts to the electronics and other general merchandise category, we reduce shipping rates, we use more expensive shipping methods, and we offer additional services. We seek to mitigate costs of shipping over time in part through achieving higher sales volumes, optimizing placement of fulfillment centers, negotiating better terms with our suppliers, and achieving better operating efficiencies. We believe that offering low prices to our customers is fundamental to our future success, and one way we offer lower prices is through shipping offers.
We have aggregated our North America and International segment products and services into groups of similar product and services and provided the supplemental disclosure of net sales (in millions) below. We evaluate whether additional disclosure is appropriate when a product or service category begins to approach a significant level of net sales. For the periods presented no individual product or service represented more than 10% of net sales.
  
Three Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Net Sales:
 
North America
 
 
 
Media
$
2,969

 
$
2,825

Electronics and other general merchandise
10,250

 
7,829

Other (1)
187

 
154

Total North America
$
13,406

 
$
10,808

International
 
 
 
Media
$
2,320

 
$
2,642

Electronics and other general merchandise
5,378

 
5,188

Other (1)
47

 
53

Total International
$
7,745

 
$
7,883

Year-over-year Percentage Growth:
 
 
 
North America
 
 
 
Media
5
 %
 
12
%
Electronics and other general merchandise
31

 
28

Other
22

 
18

Total North America
24

 
23

International
 
 
 
Media
(12
)%
 
4
%
Electronics and other general merchandise
4

 
27

Other
(12
)
 
13

Total International
(2
)
 
18

Year-over-year Percentage Growth, excluding the effect of foreign exchange rates:
 
 
 
North America
 
 
 
Media
5
 %
 
13
%
Electronics and other general merchandise
31

 
28

Other
22

 
19

Total North America
24

 
23

International
 
 
 
Media
2
 %
 
4
%
Electronics and other general merchandise
21

 
26

Other
2

 
11

Total International
14

 
18

_____________________________
(1)
Includes sales from non-retail activities, such as certain advertising services and our co-branded credit card agreements.



25


Operating Expenses
Information about operating expenses with and without stock-based compensation is as follows (in millions):
 
 
Three Months Ended March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
  
As
Reported
 
Stock-Based
Compensation
 
Net
 
As
Reported
 
Stock-Based
Compensation
 
Net
Operating Expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cost of sales
$
15,395

 
$

 
$
15,395

 
$
14,055

 
$

 
$
14,055

Fulfillment
2,759

 
(90
)
 
2,669

 
2,317

 
(81
)
 
2,236

Marketing
1,083

 
(35
)
 
1,048

 
870

 
(27
)
 
843

Technology and content
2,754

 
(233
)
 
2,521

 
1,991

 
(169
)
 
1,822

General and administrative
427

 
(49
)
 
378

 
327

 
(44
)
 
283

Other operating expense (income), net
44

 

 
44

 
35

 

 
35

Total operating expenses
$
22,462

 
$
(407
)
 
$
22,055

 
$
19,595

 
$
(321
)
 
$
19,274

Year-over-year Percentage Growth:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fulfillment
19
%
 
 
 
19
%
 
29
%
 
 
 
29
%
Marketing
25

 
 
 
24

 
38

 
 
 
37

Technology and content
38

 
 
 
38

 
44

 
 
 
44

General and administrative
31

 
 
 
34

 
33

 
 
 
32

Percent of Net Sales:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fulfillment
12.1
%
 
 
 
11.7
%
 
11.7
%
 
 
 
11.3
%
Marketing
4.8

 
 
 
4.6

 
4.4

 
 
 
4.3

Technology and content
12.1

 
 
 
11.1

 
10.1

 
 
 
9.2

General and administrative
1.9

 
 
 
1.7

 
1.7

 
 
 
1.4

Operating expenses without stock-based compensation are non-GAAP financial measures. See “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.
Cost of Sales
Cost of sales consists primarily of the purchase price of consumer products, digital media content where we record revenue gross, including Prime Instant Video, packaging supplies, inbound and outbound shipping costs, including sortation and delivery centers, and related equipment costs. Shipping costs to receive products from our suppliers are included in our inventory, and recognized as cost of sales upon sale of products to our customers.
The increase in cost of sales in absolute dollars in Q1 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period, is primarily due to increased product, digital media content, and shipping costs resulting from increased sales, as well as from the expansion of digital offerings.
Costs to operate our AWS segment are primarily classified as “Technology and content” as we leverage a shared infrastructure that supports both our internal technology requirements and external sales to AWS customers.

Fulfillment
Fulfillment costs primarily consist of those costs incurred in operating and staffing our North America and International fulfillment and customer service centers. While AWS payment processing and related transaction costs are included in fulfillment, AWS costs are primarily classified as “Technology and content.” Fulfillment costs as a percentage of net sales may vary due to several factors, such as payment processing and related transaction costs, our level of productivity and accuracy, changes in volume, size, and weight of units received and fulfilled, timing of fulfillment capacity expansion, the extent we utilize fulfillment services provided by third parties, mix of products and services sold, and our ability to affect customer service contacts per unit by implementing improvements in our operations and enhancements to our customer self-service features. Additionally, because payment processing and fulfillment costs associated with seller transactions are based on the gross purchase price of underlying transactions, and payment processing and related transaction and fulfillment costs are higher as a percentage of sales versus our retail sales, sales by our sellers have higher fulfillment costs as a percent of net sales.

26


The increase in fulfillment costs in absolute dollars in Q1 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period, is primarily due to variable costs corresponding with increased physical and digital product and service sales volume, inventory levels, and sales mix; costs from expanding fulfillment capacity; and payment processing and related transaction costs.
We seek to expand our fulfillment capacity to accommodate a greater selection and in-stock inventory levels and to meet anticipated shipment volumes from sales of our own products as well as sales by third parties for which we provide the fulfillment services. We evaluate our facility requirements as necessary.
Marketing
We direct customers to our websites primarily through a number of targeted online marketing channels, such as our Associates program, sponsored search, portal advertising, email marketing campaigns, direct sales, and other initiatives. Our marketing expenses are largely variable, based on growth in sales and changes in rates. To the extent there is increased or decreased competition for these traffic sources, or to the extent our mix of these channels shifts, we would expect to see a corresponding change in our marketing expense.
The increase in marketing costs in absolute dollars in Q1 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period, is primarily due to increased spending on online marketing channels, payroll and related expenses, including AWS direct sales related expenses, and television advertising.
While costs associated with Amazon Prime memberships and other shipping offers are not included in marketing expense, we view these offers as effective worldwide marketing tools, and intend to continue offering them indefinitely.
Technology and Content
Technology costs consist principally of research and development activities including payroll and related expenses for employees involved in application, production, maintenance, operation, and platform development for new and existing products and services, as well as AWS and other technology infrastructure costs. Content costs consist principally of payroll and related expenses for employees involved in category expansion, editorial content, buying, and merchandising selection. Digital media content where we record revenue gross, including Prime Instant Video, is included in cost of sales.
We seek to efficiently invest in several areas of technology and content so we may continue to enhance the customer experience and improve our process efficiency through rapid technology developments while operating at an ever increasing scale. Our technology and content investment and capital spending projects often support a variety of product and service offerings due to geographic expansion and the cross-functionality of our systems and operations. We expect spending in technology and content to increase over time as we continue to add employees and technology infrastructure. The increase in technology and content costs in absolute dollars in Q1 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period, is primarily due to increased spending on technology infrastructure allocated to our AWS segment, and an increase in payroll and related costs associated with expanding our products and services.
Technology infrastructure costs consist of servers, networking equipment, and data center related depreciation, rent, utilities, and payroll expenses. These costs are allocated to segments based on usage. During Q1 2015, we expanded our technology infrastructure principally by increasing our capacity for AWS service offerings globally, compared to the comparable prior year period. Additionally, the costs associated with operating and maintaining our expanded infrastructure have increased over time, corresponding with increased usage. We expect these trends to continue over time as we invest in technology infrastructure to support increased usage. See Item 7 of Part II, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Overview” of our 2014 Annual Report on Form 10-K for a discussion of how management views advances in technology and the importance of innovation.
The increase in payroll and related costs is primarily due to the expansion of new and existing product categories and offerings, including AWS, and initiatives to expand our ecosystem of products and services.
During Q1 2015 and Q1 2014, we capitalized $153 million (including $24 million of stock-based compensation) and $150 million (including $22 million of stock-based compensation) of costs associated with internal-use software and website development. Amortization of previously capitalized amounts was $152 million and $133 million for Q1 2015 and Q1 2014.
General and Administrative
The increase in general and administrative costs in absolute dollars in Q1 2015, compared to the comparable prior year period, is primarily due to increases in payroll and related expenses and professional service fees.


27


Stock-Based Compensation
Stock-based compensation was $407 million and $321 million during Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. The increase is primarily due to an increase in the number of stock-based compensation awards granted to existing and new employees.
Other Operating Expense (Income), Net
Other operating expense (income), net was $44 million and $35 million for Q1 2015 and Q1 2014, and was primarily related to the amortization of intangible assets.
Income (Loss) from Operations
For the reasons discussed above, income (loss) from operations increased to $255 million in Q1 2015, from $146 million in Q1 2014.
We believe that income from operations is a more meaningful measure than gross profit and gross margin due to the diversity of our product categories and services.
Interest Income and Expense
Our interest income was $11 million during Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. We generally invest our excess cash in investment grade short- to intermediate-term fixed income securities and AAA-rated money market funds. Our interest income corresponds with the average balance of invested funds based on the prevailing rates, which vary depending on the geographies and currencies in which they are invested.
Interest expense was $115 million and $42 million during Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. The increase is primarily due to increases in our long-term debt, and capital and finance lease arrangements.
Other Income (Expense), Net
Other income (expense), net was $(130) million and $5 million during Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. The primary component of other income (expense), net is related to foreign-currency gains (losses).
Income Taxes
Our tax provision or benefit from income taxes for interim periods is determined using an estimate of our annual effective tax rate, adjusted for discrete items, if any, that are taken into account in the relevant period. Each quarter we update our estimate of the annual effective tax rate, and if our estimated tax rate changes, we make a cumulative adjustment.
Our quarterly tax provision, and our quarterly estimate of our annual effective tax rate, is subject to significant variation due to several factors, including variability in our pre-tax and taxable income and loss and the mix of jurisdictions to which they relate, changes in how we do business, acquisitions (including integrations) and investments, audit-related developments, foreign currency gains (losses), changes in law, regulations, and administrative practices, and relative changes of expenses or losses for which tax benefits are not recognized. Additionally, our effective tax rate can be more or less volatile based on the amount of pre-tax income or loss. For example, the impact of discrete items and non-deductible expenses on our effective tax rate is greater when our pre-tax income is lower.
In 2015, our effective tax rate will be significantly affected by the favorable impact of earnings in lower tax rate jurisdictions and the adverse effect of losses incurred in certain foreign jurisdictions for which we may not realize a tax benefit. Income earned in lower tax jurisdictions is primarily related to our European operations, which are headquartered in Luxembourg. Losses for which we may not realize a related tax benefit, primarily due to losses of foreign subsidiaries, reduce our pre-tax income without a corresponding reduction in our tax expense, and therefore increase our effective tax rate. We record valuation allowances against the deferred tax assets associated with losses for which we may not realize a related tax benefit. Our effective tax rate may also be adversely impacted by the amount of our pretax income, or loss, relative to our income tax expense, nondeductible expenses, and changes in tax law such as the expiration of the U.S. federal credit for research and development expenditures at the end of 2014.
Our income tax provision was $71 million and $73 million in Q1 2015 and Q1 2014.

28



Equity-Method Investment Activity, Net of Tax
Equity-method investment activity, net of tax, was $(7) million and $61 million during Q1 2015 and Q1 2014. The primary component of this activity during Q1 2014 was our share of a gain recorded by LivingSocial related to the sale of its Korean operations. This gain was partially offset by operating losses incurred by LivingSocial during the period.
 
Effect of Foreign Exchange Rates
The effect on income (loss) from operations from changes in foreign exchange rates versus the U.S. Dollar is as follows (in millions):
 
 
Three Months Ended March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
  
At Prior
Year
Rates (1)
 
Exchange
Rate
Effect (2)
 
As
Reported
 
At Prior
Year
Rates (1)
 
Exchange
Rate
Effect (2)
 
As
Reported
Net sales
$
24,005

 
$
(1,288
)
 
$
22,717

 
$
19,731

 
$
10

 
$
19,741

Operating expenses
23,727

 
(1,265
)
 
22,462

 
19,603

 
(8
)
 
19,595

Income (loss) from operations
278

 
(23
)
 
255

 
128

 
18

 
146

___________________
(1)
Represents the outcome that would have resulted had foreign exchange rates in the reported period been the same as those in effect in the comparable prior year period for operating results.
(2)
Represents the increase or decrease in reported amounts resulting from changes in foreign exchange rates from those in effect in the comparable prior year period for operating results.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Regulation G, Conditions for Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures, and other SEC regulations define and prescribe the conditions for use of certain non-GAAP financial information. Our measures of “Free cash flow,” operating expenses with and without stock-based compensation, and the effect of foreign exchange rates on our consolidated statements of operations, meet the definition of non-GAAP financial measures.
We provide multiple measures of free cash flow, and ratios based on them, because we believe these measures provide additional perspective on the impact of acquiring property and equipment with cash and through capital and finance leases.
Free Cash Flow
Free cash flow is cash flow from operations reduced by “Purchases of property and equipment, including internal-use software and website development,” which are included in cash flow from investing activities. The following is a reconciliation of free cash flow to the most comparable GAAP cash flow measure, “Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities,” for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2015 and 2014 (in millions):
 
 
Twelve Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities
$
7,845

 
$
5,345

Purchases of property and equipment, including internal-use software and website development
(4,684
)
 
(3,854
)
Free cash flow
$
3,161

 
$
1,491

 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities
$
(5,989
)
 
$
(4,250
)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities
$
3,955

 
$
(557
)

29


Free Cash Flow Less Lease Principal Repayments
Free cash flow less lease principal repayments is free cash flow reduced by “Principal repayments of capital lease obligations,” and “Principal repayments of finance lease obligations,” which are included in cash flow from financing activities. Free cash flow less lease principal repayments approximates the actual payments of cash for our capital and finance leases. The following is a reconciliation of free cash flow less lease principal repayments to the most comparable GAAP cash flow measure, “Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities,” for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2015 and 2014 (in millions):
 
Twelve Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities
$
7,845

 
$
5,345

Purchases of property and equipment, including internal-use software and website development
(4,684
)
 
(3,854
)
Principal repayments of capital lease obligations
(1,537
)
 
(863
)
Principal repayments of finance lease obligations
(132
)
 
(47
)
Free cash flow less lease principal repayments
$
1,492

 
$
581

 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities
$
(5,989
)
 
$
(4,250
)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities
$
3,955

 
$
(557
)
Free Cash Flow Less Finance Principal Lease Repayments and Capital Acquired Under Capital Leases
Free cash flow less finance principal lease repayments and capital acquired under capital leases is free cash flow reduced by “Principal repayments of finance lease obligations,” which are included in cash flow from financing activities, and property and equipment acquired under capital leases. In this measure, property and equipment acquired under capital leases is reflected as if these assets had been purchased for cash, which is not the case as these assets have been leased. The following is a reconciliation of free cash flow less finance principal lease repayments and capital acquired under capital leases to the most comparable GAAP cash flow measure, “Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities,” for the trailing twelve months ended March 31, 2015 and 2014 (in millions):
 
Twelve Months Ended 
 March 31,
 
2015
 
2014
Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities
$
7,845

 
$
5,345

Purchases of property and equipment, including internal-use software and website development
(4,684
)
 
(3,854
)
Property and equipment acquired under capital leases
(4,246
)
 
(2,243
)
Principal repayments of finance lease obligations
(132
)
 
(47
)
Free cash flow less finance principal lease repayments and capital acquired under capital leases
$
(1,217
)
 
$
(799
)
 
 
 
 
Net cash provided by (used in) investing activities
$
(5,989
)
 
$
(4,250
)
Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities
$
3,955

 
$
(557
)
All of these free cash flow measures have limitations as they omit certain components of the overall cash flow statement and do not represent the residual cash flow available for discretionary expenditures. For example, these measures of free cash flow do not incorporate the portion of payments representing principal reductions of debt or cash payments for business acquisitions. Additionally, our mix of property and equipment acquisitions with cash or other financing options may change over time. Therefore, we believe it is important to view free cash flow measures only as a complement to our entire consolidated statements of cash flows.
Operating expenses with and without stock-based compensation is provided to show the impact of stock-based compensation, which is non-cash and excluded from our internal operating plans and measurement of financial performance (although we consider the dilutive impact to our shareholders when awarding stock-based compensation and value such awards

30


accordingly). In addition, unlike other centrally-incurred operating costs, stock-based compensation is not allocated to segment results and therefore excluding it from operating expenses is consistent with our segment presentation in our footnotes to the consolidated financial statements.
Operating expenses without stock-based compensation has limitations since it does not include all expenses primarily related to our workforce. More specifically, if we did not pay out a portion of our compensation in the form of stock-based compensation, our cash salary expense included in the “Fulfillment,” “Marketing,” “Technology and content,” and “General and administrative” line items would be higher.
Information regarding the effect of foreign exchange rates, versus the U.S. Dollar, on our income (loss) from operations is provided to show reported period operating results had the foreign exchange rates remained the same as those in effect in the comparable prior year period.
Guidance
We provided guidance on April 23, 2015, in our earnings release furnished on Form 8-K as set forth below. These forward-looking statements reflect Amazon.com’s expectations as of April 23, 2015, and are subject to substantial uncertainty. Our results are inherently unpredictable and may be materially affected by many factors, such as fluctuations in foreign exchange rates, changes in global economic conditions and consumer spending, world events, the rate of growth of the Internet and online commerce, as well as those outlined in Item 1A of Part II, “Risk Factors.”
Second Quarter 2015 Guidance
Net sales are expected to be between $20.6 billion and $22.8 billion, or to grow between 7% and 18% compared with second quarter 2014.
Operating income (loss) is expected to be between $(500) million and $50 million, compared to $(15) million in second quarter 2014.
This guidance includes approximately $600 million for stock-based compensation and amortization of intangible assets, and it assumes, among other things, that no additional business acquisitions, investments, restructurings, or legal settlements are concluded and that there are no further revisions to stock-based compensation estimates.


31


Item 3.
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
We are exposed to market risk for the effect of interest rate changes, foreign currency fluctuations, and changes in the market values of our investments. Information relating to quantitative and qualitative disclosures about market risk is set forth below and in Item 2 of Part I, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Liquidity and Capital Resources.”
Interest Rate Risk
Our exposure to market risk for changes in interest rates relates primarily to our investment portfolio and our long-term debt. Our long-term debt is carried at amortized cost and fluctuations in interest rates do not impact our consolidated financial statements. However, the fair value of our debt, which pays interest at a fixed rate, will generally fluctuate with movements of interest rates, increasing in periods of declining rates of interest and declining in periods of increasing rates of interest. All of our cash equivalent and marketable fixed income securities are designated as available-for-sale and, accordingly, are presented at fair value on our consolidated balance sheets. We generally invest our excess cash in investment grade short- to intermediate-term fixed income securities and AAA-rated money market funds. Fixed income securities may have their fair market value adversely affected due to a rise in interest rates, and we may suffer losses in principal if forced to sell securities that have declined in market value due to changes in interest rates.
Foreign Exchange Risk
During Q1 2015, net sales from our International segment accounted for 34% of our consolidated revenues. Net sales and related expenses generated from our internationally focused websites, as well as those relating to www.amazon.ca and www.amazon.com.mx (which are included in our North America segment), are denominated in the functional currencies of the corresponding websites and primarily include British Pounds, Chinese Yuan, Euros, and Japanese Yen. The results of operations of, and certain of our intercompany balances associated with, our internationally-focused websites are exposed to foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Upon consolidation, as foreign exchange rates vary, net sales and other operating results may differ materially from expectations, and we may record significant gains or losses on the remeasurement of intercompany balances. For example, as a result of fluctuations in foreign exchange rates throughout the period compared to rates in effect the prior year, International segment revenues in Q1 2015 decreased by $1.3 billion in comparison with Q1 2014.
We have foreign exchange risk related to foreign-denominated cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities (“foreign funds”). Based on the balance of foreign funds as of March 31, 2015, of $3.9 billion, an assumed 5%, 10%, and 20% adverse change to foreign exchange would result in fair value declines of $195 million, $390 million, and $780 million. All investments are classified as “available-for-sale.” Fluctuations in fair value are recorded in “Accumulated other comprehensive loss,” a separate component of stockholders’ equity.
We have foreign exchange risk related to our intercompany balances denominated in various foreign currencies. Based on the intercompany balances as of March 31, 2015, an assumed 5%, 10%, and 20% adverse change to foreign exchange would result in losses of $160 million, $340 million, and $770 million, recorded to “Other income (expense), net.”
See Item 2 of Part I, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Results of Operations — Effect of Foreign Exchange Rates” for additional information on the effect on reported results of changes in foreign exchange rates.
Investment Risk
As of March 31, 2015, our recorded basis in equity investments was $208 million. These investments primarily relate to equity-method and cost-method investments in private companies. We review our investments for impairment when events and circumstances indicate that the decline in fair value of such assets below the carrying value is other-than-temporary. Our analysis includes review of recent operating results and trends, recent sales/acquisitions of the investee securities, and other publicly available data. The current global economic climate provides additional uncertainty. Valuations of private companies are inherently more complex due to the lack of readily available market data. As such, we believe that market sensitivities are not practicable.

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Item 4.
Controls and Procedures
We carried out an evaluation required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “1934 Act”), under the supervision and with the participation of our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, of the effectiveness of the design and operation of our disclosure controls and procedures, as defined in Rule 13a-15(e) of the 1934 Act, as of the end of the period covered by this report. Based on this evaluation, our principal executive officer and principal financial officer concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures were effective to provide reasonable assurance that information required to be disclosed by us in the reports that we file or submit under the 1934 Act is recorded, processed, summarized, and reported within the time periods specified in the SEC’s rules and forms and to provide reasonable assurance that such information is accumulated and communicated to our management, including our principal executive officer and principal financial officer, as appropriate to allow timely decisions regarding required disclosure.
During the most recent fiscal quarter, there has not occurred any change in our internal control over financial reporting that has materially affected, or is reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.
Our disclosure controls and procedures are designed to provide reasonable assurance of achieving their objectives as specified above. Management does not expect, however, that our disclosure controls and procedures will prevent or detect all error and fraud. Any control system, no matter how well designed and operated, is based upon certain assumptions and can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that its objectives will be met. Further, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that misstatements due to error or fraud will not occur or that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, within the Company have been detected.


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PART II. OTHER INFORMATION
 
Item 1.
Legal Proceedings
See Item 1 of Part I, “Financial Statements — Note 3 — Commitments and Contingencies — Legal Proceedings.”

Item 1A.
Risk Factors
Please carefully consider the following risk factors. If any of the following risks occur, our business, financial condition, operating results, and cash flows could be materially adversely affected. In addition, the current global economic climate amplifies many of these risks.
We Face Intense Competition
Our businesses are rapidly evolving and intensely competitive, and we have many competitors in different industries, including retail, e-commerce services, digital content and electronic devices, and web and infrastructure computing services. Some of our current and potential competitors have greater resources, longer histories, more customers, and/or greater brand recognition. They may secure better terms from vendors, adopt more aggressive pricing, and devote more resources to technology, infrastructure, fulfillment, and marketing.
Competition may intensify as our competitors enter into business combinations or alliances and established companies in other market segments expand to become competitive with our business. In addition, new and enhanced technologies, including search, web and infrastructure computing services, digital content, and electronic devices, may increase our competition. The Internet facilitates competitive entry and comparison shopping, and increased competition may reduce our sales and profits.
Our Expansion Places a Significant Strain on our Management, Operational, Financial, and Other Resources
We are rapidly and significantly expanding our global operations, including increasing our product and service offerings and scaling our infrastructure to support our retail and services businesses. This expansion increases the complexity of our business and places significant strain on our management, personnel, operations, systems, technical performance, financial resources, and internal financial control and reporting functions. We may not be able to manage growth effectively, which could damage our reputation, limit our growth, and negatively affect our operating results.
Our Expansion into New Products, Services, Technologies, and Geographic Regions Subjects Us to Additional Business, Legal, Financial, and Competitive Risks
We may have limited or no experience in our newer market segments, and our customers may not adopt our new offerings. These offerings may present new and difficult technology challenges, and we may be subject to claims if customers of these offerings experience service disruptions or failures or other quality issues. In addition, profitability, if any, in our newer activities may be lower than in our older activities, and we may not be successful enough in these newer activities to recoup our investments in them. If any of this were to occur, it could damage our reputation, limit our growth, and negatively affect our operating results.
We May Experience Significant Fluctuations in Our Operating Results and Growth Rate
We may not be able to accurately forecast our growth rate. We base our expense levels and investment plans on sales estimates. A significant portion of our expenses and investments is fixed, and we may not be able to adjust our spending quickly enough if our sales are less than expected.
Our revenue growth may not be sustainable, and our percentage growth rates may decrease. Our revenue and operating profit growth depends on the continued growth of demand for the products and services offered by us or our sellers, and our business is affected by general economic and business conditions worldwide. A softening of demand, whether caused by changes in customer preferences or a weakening of the U.S. or global economies, may result in decreased revenue or growth.
Our sales and operating results will also fluctuate for many other reasons, including due to risks described elsewhere in this section and the following:
our ability to retain and increase sales to existing customers, attract new customers, and satisfy our customers’ demands;

34


our ability to retain and expand our network of sellers;
our ability to offer products on favorable terms, manage inventory, and fulfill orders;
the introduction of competitive websites, products, services, price decreases, or improvements;
changes in usage or adoption rates of the Internet, e-commerce, electronic devices, and web services, including outside the U.S.;
timing, effectiveness, and costs of expansion and upgrades of our systems and infrastructure;
the success of our geographic, service, and product line expansions;
the extent to which we finance, and the terms of any such financing for, our current operations and future growth;
the outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, which may include significant monetary damages or injunctive relief and could have a material adverse impact on our operating results;
variations in the mix of products and services we sell;
variations in our level of merchandise and vendor returns;
the extent to which we offer free shipping, continue to reduce prices worldwide, and provide additional benefits to our customers;
the extent to which we invest in technology and content, fulfillment, and other expense categories;
increases in the prices of fuel and gasoline, as well as increases in the prices of other energy products and commodities like paper and packing supplies;
the extent to which our equity-method investees record significant operating and non-operating items;
the extent to which operators of the networks between our customers and our websites successfully charge fees to grant our customers unimpaired and unconstrained access to our online services;
our ability to collect amounts owed to us when they become due;
the extent to which use of our services is affected by spyware, viruses, phishing and other spam emails, denial of service attacks, data theft, computer intrusions, outages, and similar events; and
terrorist attacks and armed hostilities.
Our International Operations Expose Us to a Number of Risks
Our international activities are significant to our revenues and profits, and we plan to further expand internationally. In certain international market segments, we have relatively little operating experience and may not benefit from any first-to-market advantages or otherwise succeed. It is costly to establish, develop, and maintain international operations and websites, and promote our brand internationally. Our international operations may not be profitable on a sustained basis.
In addition to risks described elsewhere in this section, our international sales and operations are subject to a number of risks, including:
local economic and political conditions;
government regulation of e-commerce and other services, electronic devices, and competition, and restrictive governmental actions (such as trade protection measures, including export duties and quotas and custom duties and tariffs), nationalization, and restrictions on foreign ownership;
restrictions on sales or distribution of certain products or services and uncertainty regarding liability for products, services, and content, including uncertainty as a result of less Internet-friendly legal systems, local laws, lack of legal precedent, and varying rules, regulations, and practices regarding the physical and digital distribution of media products and enforcement of intellectual property rights;
business licensing or certification requirements, such as for imports, exports, web services, and electronic devices;
limitations on the repatriation and investment of funds and foreign currency exchange restrictions;
limited fulfillment and technology infrastructure;
shorter payable and longer receivable cycles and the resultant negative impact on cash flow;

35


laws and regulations regarding consumer and data protection, privacy, network security, encryption, payments, and restrictions on pricing or discounts;
lower levels of use of the Internet;
lower levels of consumer spending and fewer opportunities for growth compared to the U.S.;
lower levels of credit card usage and increased payment risk;
difficulty in staffing, developing, and managing foreign operations as a result of distance, language, and cultural differences;
different employee/employer relationships and the existence of works councils and labor unions;
compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other applicable U.S. and foreign laws prohibiting corrupt payments to government officials and other third parties;
laws and policies of the U.S. and other jurisdictions affecting trade, foreign investment, loans, and taxes; and
geopolitical events, including war and terrorism.
As international e-commerce and other online and web services grow, competition will intensify. Local companies may have a substantial competitive advantage because of their greater understanding of, and focus on, the local customer, as well as their more established local brand names. We may not be able to hire, train, retain, and manage required personnel, which may limit our international growth.
The People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) and India regulate Amazon’s and its affiliates’ businesses and operations in country through regulations and license requirements that may restrict (i) foreign investment in and operation of the Internet, IT infrastructure, data centers, retail, delivery, and other sectors, (ii) Internet content, and (iii) the sale of media and other products and services. For example, in order to meet local ownership and regulatory licensing requirements, www.amazon.cn is operated by PRC companies that are indirectly owned, either wholly or partially, by PRC nationals. In addition, we provide certain technology services in conjunction with third parties that hold PRC licenses to provide services. In India, the government restricts the ownership or control of Indian companies by foreign entities involved in online multi-brand retail trading activities. For www.amazon.in, we provide certain marketing tools and logistics services to third party sellers to enable them to sell online and deliver to customers. Although we believe these structures and activities comply with existing laws, they involve unique risks, and the PRC is actively considering changes in its foreign investment rules that could impact these structures and activities. There are substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation of PRC and Indian laws and regulations, and it is possible that the government will ultimately take a view contrary to ours. In addition, our Chinese and Indian businesses and operations may be unable to continue to operate if we or our affiliates are unable to access sufficient funding or in China enforce contractual relationships with respect to management and control of such businesses. If our international activities were found to be in violation of any existing or future PRC, Indian or other laws or regulations or if interpretations of those laws and regulations were to change, our businesses in those countries could be subject to fines and other financial penalties, have licenses revoked, or be forced to shut down entirely.
If We Do Not Successfully Optimize and Operate Our Fulfillment and Data Centers, Our Business Could Be Harmed
If we do not adequately predict customer demand or otherwise optimize and operate our fulfillment and data centers successfully, it could result in excess or insufficient fulfillment or data center capacity, or result in increased costs, impairment charges, or both, or harm our business in other ways. As we continue to add fulfillment, warehouse, and data center capability or add new businesses with different requirements, our fulfillment and data center networks become increasingly complex and operating them becomes more challenging. There can be no assurance that we will be able to operate our networks effectively.
In addition, a failure to optimize inventory in our fulfillment centers will increase our net shipping cost by requiring long-zone or partial shipments. Orders from several of our websites are fulfilled primarily from a single location, and we have only a limited ability to reroute orders to third parties for drop-shipping. We and our co-sourcers may be unable to adequately staff our fulfillment and customer service centers. If the other businesses on whose behalf we perform inventory fulfillment services deliver product to our fulfillment centers in excess of forecasts, we may be unable to secure sufficient storage space and may be unable to optimize our fulfillment centers.
We rely on a limited number of shipping companies to deliver inventory to us and completed orders to our customers. If we are not able to negotiate acceptable terms with these companies or they experience performance problems or other difficulties, it could negatively impact our operating results and customer experience. In addition, our ability to receive inbound inventory efficiently and ship completed orders to customers also may be negatively affected by inclement weather, fire, flood, power loss, earthquakes, labor disputes, acts of war or terrorism, acts of God, and similar factors.

36


Third parties either drop-ship or otherwise fulfill an increasing portion of our customers’ orders, and we are increasingly reliant on the reliability, quality, and future procurement of their services. Under some of our commercial agreements, we maintain the inventory of other companies, thereby increasing the complexity of tracking inventory and operating our fulfillment centers. Our failure to properly handle such inventory or the inability of these other companies to accurately forecast product demand would result in unexpected costs and other harm to our business and reputation.
The Seasonality of Our Business Places Increased Strain on Our Operations
We expect a disproportionate amount of our net sales to occur during our fourth quarter. If we do not stock or restock popular products in sufficient amounts such that we fail to meet customer demand, it could significantly affect our revenue and our future growth. If we overstock products, we may be required to take significant inventory markdowns or write-offs and incur commitment costs, which could reduce profitability. We may experience an increase in our net shipping cost due to complimentary upgrades, split-shipments, and additional long-zone shipments necessary to ensure timely delivery for the holiday season. If too many customers access our websites within a short period of time due to increased holiday demand, we may experience system interruptions that make our websites unavailable or prevent us from efficiently fulfilling orders, which may reduce the volume of goods we sell and the attractiveness of our products and services. In addition, we may be unable to adequately staff our fulfillment and customer service centers during these peak periods and delivery and other fulfillment companies and customer service co-sourcers may be unable to meet the seasonal demand. We also face risks described elsewhere in this Item 1A relating to fulfillment center optimization and inventory.
We generally have payment terms with our retail vendors that extend beyond the amount of time necessary to collect proceeds from our consumer customers. As a result of holiday sales, as of December 31 of each year, our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances typically reach their highest level (other than as a result of cash flows provided by or used in investing and financing activities). This operating cycle results in a corresponding increase in accounts payable as of December 31. Our accounts payable balance generally declines during the first three months of the year, resulting in a corresponding decline in our cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances.
Our Business Could Suffer if We Are Unsuccessful in Making, Integrating, and Maintaining Commercial Agreements, Strategic Alliances, and Other Business Relationships
We provide e-commerce and other services to businesses through commercial agreements, strategic alliances, and business relationships. Under these agreements, we provide web services, technology, fulfillment, computing, digital storage, and other services, as well as enable sellers to offer products or services through our websites. These arrangements are complex and require substantial infrastructure capacity, personnel, and other resource commitments, which may limit the amount of business we can service. We may not be able to implement, maintain, and develop the components of these commercial relationships, which may include web services, fulfillment, customer service, inventory management, tax collection, payment processing, hardware, content, and third-party software, and engaging third parties to perform services. The amount of compensation we receive under certain of our commercial agreements is partially dependent on the volume of the other company’s sales. Therefore, if the other company’s offering is not successful, the compensation we receive may be lower than expected or the agreement may be terminated. Moreover, we may not be able to enter into additional commercial relationships and strategic alliances on favorable terms. We also may be subject to claims from businesses to which we provide these services if we are unsuccessful in implementing, maintaining, or developing these services.
As our agreements terminate, we may be unable to renew or replace these agreements on comparable terms, or at all. We may in the future enter into amendments on less favorable terms or encounter parties that have difficulty meeting their contractual obligations to us, which could adversely affect our operating results.
Our present and future e-commerce services agreements, other commercial agreements, and strategic alliances create additional risks such as:
disruption of our ongoing business, including loss of management focus on existing businesses;
impairment of other relationships;
variability in revenue and income from entering into, amending, or terminating such agreements or relationships; and
difficulty integrating under the commercial agreements.

37


Our Business Could Suffer if We Are Unsuccessful in Making, Integrating, and Maintaining Acquisitions and Investments
We have acquired and invested in a number of companies, and we may acquire or invest in or enter into joint ventures with additional companies. These transactions create risks such as:
disruption of our ongoing business, including loss of management focus on existing businesses;
problems retaining key personnel;
additional operating losses and expenses of the businesses we acquired or in which we invested;
the potential impairment of tangible and intangible assets and goodwill, including as a result of acquisitions;
the potential impairment of customer and other relationships of the company we acquired or in which we invested or our own customers as a result of any integration of operations;
the difficulty of incorporating acquired technology and rights into our offerings and unanticipated expenses related to such integration;
the difficulty of integrating a new company’s accounting, financial reporting, management, information and information security, human resource, and other administrative systems to permit effective management, and the lack of control if such integration is delayed or not implemented;
for investments in which an investee’s financial performance is incorporated into our financial results, either in full or in part, the dependence on the investee’s accounting, financial reporting, and similar systems, controls, and processes;
the difficulty of implementing at companies we acquire the controls, procedures, and policies appropriate for a larger public company;
potential unknown liabilities associated with a company we acquire or in which we invest; and
for foreign transactions, additional risks related to the integration of operations across different cultures and languages, and the economic, political, and regulatory risks associated with specific countries.
As a result of future acquisitions or mergers, we might need to issue additional equity securities, spend our cash, or incur debt, contingent liabilities, or amortization expenses related to intangible assets, any of which could reduce our profitability and harm our business. In addition, valuations supporting our acquisitions and strategic investments could change rapidly given the current global economic climate. We could determine that such valuations have experienced impairments or other-than-temporary declines in fair value which could adversely impact our financial results.
We Have Foreign Exchange Risk
The results of operations of, and certain of our intercompany balances associated with, our international websites and product and service offerings are exposed to foreign exchange rate fluctuations. Upon translation, operating results may differ materially from expectations, and we may record significant gains or losses on the remeasurement of intercompany balances. As we have expanded our international operations, our exposure to exchange rate fluctuations has increased. We also hold cash equivalents and/or marketable securities in foreign currencies including British Pounds, Chinese Yuan, Euros, and Japanese Yen. If the U.S. Dollar strengthens compared to these currencies, cash equivalents, and marketable securities balances, when translated, may be materially less than expected and vice versa.
The Loss of Key Senior Management Personnel Could Negatively Affect Our Business
We depend on our senior management and other key personnel, particularly Jeffrey P. Bezos, our President, CEO, and Chairman. We do not have “key person” life insurance policies. The loss of any of our executive officers or other key employees could harm our business.

38


We Could Be Harmed by Data Loss or Other Security Breaches
As a result of our services being web-based and the fact that we process, store, and transmit large amounts of data, including personal information, for our customers, failure to prevent or mitigate data loss or other security breaches, including breaches of our vendors’ technology and systems, could expose us or our customers to a risk of loss or misuse of such information, adversely affect our operating results, result in litigation or potential liability for us, and otherwise harm our business. We use third party technology and systems for a variety of reasons, including, without limitation, encryption and authentication technology, employee email, content delivery to customers, back-office support, and other functions. Some subsidiaries had past security breaches, and, although they did not have a material adverse effect on our operating results, there can be no assurance of a similar result in the future. Although we have developed systems and processes that are designed to protect customer information and prevent data loss and other security breaches, including systems and processes designed to reduce the impact of a security breach at a third party vendor, such measures cannot provide absolute security.
We Face Risks Related to System Interruption and Lack of Redundancy
We experience occasional system interruptions and delays that make our websites and services unavailable or slow to respond and prevent us from efficiently fulfilling orders or providing services to third parties, which may reduce our net sales and the attractiveness of our products and services. If we are unable to continually add software and hardware, effectively upgrade our systems and network infrastructure, and take other steps to improve the efficiency of our systems, it could cause system interruptions or delays and adversely affect our operating results.
Our computer and communications systems and operations could be damaged or interrupted by fire, flood, power loss, telecommunications failure, earthquakes, acts of war or terrorism, acts of God, computer viruses, physical or electronic break-ins, and similar events or disruptions. Any of these events could cause system interruption, delays, and loss of critical data, and could prevent us from accepting and fulfilling customer orders and providing services, which could make our product and service offerings less attractive and subject us to liability. Our systems are not fully redundant and our disaster recovery planning may not be sufficient. In addition, we may have inadequate insurance coverage to compensate for any related losses. Any of these events could damage our reputation and be expensive to remedy.
We Face Significant Inventory Risk
In addition to risks described elsewhere in this Item 1A relating to fulfillment center and inventory optimization by us and third parties, we are exposed to significant inventory risks that may adversely affect our operating results as a result of seasonality, new product launches, rapid changes in product cycles and pricing, defective merchandise, changes in consumer demand and consumer spending patterns, changes in consumer tastes with respect to our products, and other factors. We endeavor to accurately predict these trends and avoid overstocking or understocking products we manufacture and/or sell. Demand for products, however, can change significantly between the time inventory or components are ordered and the date of sale. In addition, when we begin selling or manufacturing a new product, it may be difficult to establish vendor relationships, determine appropriate product or component selection, and accurately forecast demand. The acquisition of certain types of inventory or components may require significant lead-time and prepayment and they may not be returnable. We carry a broad selection and significant inventory levels of certain products, such as consumer electronics, and we may be unable to sell products in sufficient quantities or during the relevant selling seasons. Any one of the inventory risk factors set forth above may adversely affect our operating results.
We May Not Be Able to Adequately Protect Our Intellectual Property Rights or May Be Accused of Infringing Intellectual Property Rights of Third Parties
We regard our trademarks, service marks, copyrights, patents, trade dress, trade secrets, proprietary technology, and similar intellectual property as critical to our success, and we rely on trademark, copyright, and patent law, trade secret protection, and confidentiality and/or license agreements with our employees, customers, and others to protect our proprietary rights. Effective intellectual property protection may not be available in every country in which our products and services are made available. We also may not be able to acquire or maintain appropriate domain names in all countries in which we do business. Furthermore, regulations governing domain names may not protect our trademarks and similar proprietary rights. We may be unable to prevent third parties from acquiring domain names that are similar to, infringe upon, or diminish the value of our trademarks and other proprietary rights.
We may not be able to discover or determine the extent of any unauthorized use of our proprietary rights. Third parties that license our proprietary rights also may take actions that diminish the value of our proprietary rights or reputation. The protection of our intellectual property may require the expenditure of significant financial and managerial resources. Moreover, the steps we take to protect our intellectual property may not adequately protect our rights or prevent third parties from

39


infringing or misappropriating our proprietary rights. We also cannot be certain that others will not independently develop or otherwise acquire equivalent or superior technology or other intellectual property rights.
Other parties also may claim that we infringe their proprietary rights. We have been subject to, and expect to continue to be subject to, claims and legal proceedings regarding alleged infringement by us of the intellectual property rights of third parties. Such claims, whether or not meritorious, may result in the expenditure of significant financial and managerial resources, injunctions against us, or the payment of damages, including to satisfy indemnification obligations. We may need to obtain licenses from third parties who allege that we have infringed their rights, but such licenses may not be available on terms acceptable to us or at all. In addition, we may not be able to obtain or utilize on terms that are favorable to us, or at all, licenses or other rights with respect to intellectual property we do not own. These risks have been amplified by the increase in third parties whose sole or primary business is to assert such claims.
Our digital content offerings depend in part on effective digital rights management technology to control access to digital content. If the digital rights management technology that we use is compromised or otherwise malfunctions, we could be subject to claims, and content providers may be unwilling to include their content in our service.
We Have a Rapidly Evolving Business Model and Our Stock Price Is Highly Volatile
We have a rapidly evolving business model. The trading price of our common stock fluctuates significantly in response to, among other risks, the risks described elsewhere in this Item 1A, as well as:
changes in interest rates;
conditions or trends in the Internet and the industry segments we operate in;
quarterly variations in operating results;
fluctuations in the stock market in general and market prices for Internet-related companies in particular;
changes in financial estimates by us or securities analysts and recommendations by securities analysts;
changes in our capital structure, including issuance of additional debt or equity to the public;
changes in the valuation methodology of, or performance by, other e-commerce or technology companies; and
transactions in our common stock by major investors and certain analyst reports, news, and speculation.
Volatility in our stock price could adversely affect our business and financing opportunities and force us to increase our cash compensation to employees or grant larger stock awards than we have historically, which could hurt our operating results or reduce the percentage ownership of our existing stockholders, or both.
Government Regulation Is Evolving and Unfavorable Changes Could Harm Our Business
We are subject to general business regulations and laws, as well as regulations and laws specifically governing the Internet, e-commerce, electronic devices, and other services. Existing and future laws and regulations may impede our growth. These regulations and laws may cover taxation, privacy, data protection, pricing, content, copyrights, distribution, mobile communications, electronic device certification, electronic waste, energy consumption, environmental regulation, electronic contracts and other communications, competition, consumer protection, web services, the provision of online payment services, information reporting requirements, unencumbered Internet access to our services, the design and operation of websites, the characteristics and quality of products and services, and the commercial operation of unmanned aircraft systems. It is not clear how existing laws governing issues such as property ownership, libel, and personal privacy apply to the Internet, e-commerce, digital content, and web services. Jurisdictions may regulate consumer-to-consumer online businesses, including certain aspects of our seller programs. Unfavorable regulations and laws could diminish the demand for our products and services and increase our cost of doing business.
We Could Be Subject to Additional Sales Tax or Other Indirect Tax Liabilities
U.S. Supreme Court decisions restrict the imposition of obligations to collect state and local sales taxes with respect to remote sales. However, an increasing number of states have considered or adopted laws or administrative practices that attempt to impose obligations on out-of-state retailers to collect taxes on their behalf. We support a Federal law that would allow states to require sales tax collection under a nationwide system. More than half of our revenue is already earned in jurisdictions where we collect sales tax or its equivalent. A successful assertion by one or more states or foreign countries requiring us to collect taxes where we do not do so could result in substantial tax liabilities, including for past sales, as well as penalties and interest. In addition, if the tax authorities in jurisdictions where we already collect sales tax or other indirect taxes were successfully to challenge our positions, our tax liability could increase substantially.

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We Could be Subject to Additional Income Tax Liabilities
We are subject to income taxes in the U.S. (federal and state) and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Tax laws, regulations, and administrative practices in various jurisdictions may be subject to significant change due to economic, political, and other conditions, and significant judgment is required in evaluating and estimating our provision and accruals for these taxes. There are many transactions that occur during the ordinary course of business for which the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. Our effective tax rates could be adversely affected by earnings being lower than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have lower statutory rates and higher than anticipated in jurisdictions where we have higher statutory rates, losses incurred in jurisdictions for which we are not able to realize the related tax benefit, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, entry into new businesses and geographies and changes to our existing businesses, acquisitions (including integrations) and investments, changes in our deferred tax assets and liabilities and their valuation, and changes in the relevant tax, accounting, and other laws, regulations, administrative practices, principles, and interpretations, including fundamental changes to the tax laws applicable to corporate multinationals. The U.S., many countries in the European Union, and a number of other countries are actively considering changes in this regard.
Except as required under U.S. tax laws, we do not provide for U.S. taxes on our undistributed earnings of foreign subsidiaries that have not been previously taxed since we intend to invest such undistributed earnings indefinitely outside of the U.S. If our intent changes or if these funds are needed for our U.S. operations, we would be required to accrue or pay U.S. taxes on some or all of these undistributed earnings and our effective tax rate would be adversely affected. We are also subject to audit in various jurisdictions, and such jurisdictions may assess additional income tax liabilities against us. In addition, in October 2014, the European Commission opened a formal investigation to examine whether decisions by the tax authorities in Luxembourg with regard to the corporate income tax paid by certain of our subsidiaries comply with European Union rules on state aid. If this matter is adversely resolved, Luxembourg may be required to assess, and we may be required to pay, additional amounts with respect to current and prior periods and our taxes in the future could increase. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, the final outcome of tax audits, investigations, and any related litigation could be materially different from our historical income tax provisions and accruals. Developments in an audit, litigation, or the relevant laws, regulations, administrative practices, principles, and interpretations could have a material effect on our operating results or cash flows in the period or periods for which that development occurs, as well as for prior and subsequent periods. For instance, the IRS is seeking to increase our U.S. taxable income related to transfer pricing with our foreign subsidiaries for transactions undertaken in 2005 and 2006, and we are currently contesting the matter in U.S. Tax Court. In addition to the risk of additional tax for 2005 and 2006 transactions, if this litigation is adversely determined or if the IRS were to seek transfer pricing adjustments of a similar nature for transactions in subsequent years, Amazon could be subject to significant additional tax liabilities.
Our Supplier Relationships Subject Us to a Number of Risks
We have significant suppliers, including licensors, and in some cases, limited or single-sources of supply, that are important to our sourcing, services, manufacturing, and any related ongoing servicing of merchandise and content. We do not have long-term arrangements with most of our suppliers to guarantee availability of merchandise, content, components, or services, particular payment terms, or the extension of credit limits. If our current suppliers were to stop selling or licensing merchandise, content, components, or services to us on acceptable terms, or delay delivery, including as a result of one or more supplier bankruptcies due to poor economic conditions, as a result of natural disasters, or for other reasons, we may be unable to procure alternatives from other suppliers in a timely and efficient manner and on acceptable terms, or at all. In addition, if our suppliers or other vendors violate applicable laws, regulations, our code of standards and responsibilities, or implement practices regarded as unethical, unsafe, or hazardous to the environment, it could damage our reputation, limit our growth, and negatively affect our operating results.
We May be Subject to Risks Related to Government Contracts and Related Procurement Regulations
Our contracts with U.S., as well as state, local, and foreign, government entities are subject to various procurement regulations and other requirements relating to their formation, administration, and performance. We may be subject to audits and investigations relating to our government contracts, and any violations could result in various civil and criminal penalties and administrative sanctions, including termination of contract, refunding or suspending of payments, forfeiture of profits, payment of fines, and suspension or debarment from future government business. In addition, such contracts may provide for termination by the government at any time, without cause.

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We May Be Subject to Product Liability Claims if People or Property Are Harmed by the Products We Sell
Some of the products we sell or manufacture may expose us to product liability claims relating to personal injury, death, or environmental or property damage, and may require product recalls or other actions. Certain third parties also sell products using our e-commerce platform that may increase our exposure to product liability claims, such as if these sellers do not have sufficient protection from such claims. Although we maintain liability insurance, we cannot be certain that our coverage will be adequate for liabilities actually incurred or that insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all. In addition, some of our agreements with our vendors and sellers do not indemnify us from product liability.
We Are Subject to Payments-Related Risks
We accept payments using a variety of methods, including credit card, debit card, credit accounts (including promotional financing), gift cards, direct debit from a customer’s bank account, consumer invoicing, physical bank check, and payment upon delivery. For existing and future payment options we offer to our customers, we may become subject to additional regulations and compliance requirements (including obligations to implement enhanced authentication processes that could result in significant costs and reduce the ease of use of our payments products), as well as fraud. For certain payment methods, including credit and debit cards, we pay interchange and other fees, which may increase over time and raise our operating costs and lower profitability. We rely on third parties to provide certain Amazon-branded payment methods and payment processing services, including the processing of credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks, and promotional financing. In each case, it could disrupt our business if these companies become unwilling or unable to provide these services to us. We also offer co-branded credit card programs, which could adversely affect our operating results if terminated. We are also subject to payment card association operating rules, including data security rules, certification requirements, and rules governing electronic funds transfers, which could change or be reinterpreted to make it difficult or impossible for us to comply. If we fail to comply with these rules or requirements, or if our data security systems are breached or compromised, we may be liable for card issuing banks’ costs, subject to fines and higher transaction fees, and lose our ability to accept credit and debit card payments from our customers, process electronic funds transfers, or facilitate other types of online payments, and our business and operating results could be adversely affected.
In addition, we provide regulated services in certain jurisdictions because we enable customers to keep account balances with us and transfer money to third parties, and because we provide services to third parties to facilitate payments on their behalf. In these jurisdictions, we may be subject to requirements for licensing, regulatory inspection, bonding and capital maintenance, the use, handling, and segregation of transferred funds, consumer disclosures, and authentication. We are also subject to or voluntarily comply with a number of other laws and regulations relating to payments, money laundering, international money transfers, privacy and information security, and electronic fund transfers. If we were found to be in violation of applicable laws or regulations, we could be subject to additional requirements and civil and criminal penalties, or forced to cease providing certain services.
We Could Be Liable for Fraudulent or Unlawful Activities of Sellers
The law relating to the liability of providers of online payment services is currently unsettled. In addition, governmental agencies could require changes in the way this business is conducted. Under our seller programs, we may be unable to prevent sellers from collecting payments, fraudulently or otherwise, when buyers never receive the products they ordered or when the products received are materially different from the sellers’ descriptions. Under our A2Z Guarantee, we reimburse buyers for payments up to certain limits in these situations, and as our marketplace seller sales grow, the cost of this program will increase and could negatively affect our operating results. We also may be unable to prevent sellers on our sites or through other seller sites from selling unlawful goods, selling goods in an unlawful manner, or violating the proprietary rights of others, and could face civil or criminal liability for unlawful activities by our sellers.

Item 2.
Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Use of Proceeds
None.

Item 3.
Defaults Upon Senior Securities
None.


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Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.

Item 5.
Other Information
Not applicable.

Item 6.
Exhibits
See exhibits listed under the Exhibit Index below.


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SIGNATURES
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.
 
 
AMAZON.COM, INC. (REGISTRANT)
 
 
 
 
By:
/s/ Shelley Reynolds
 
 
Shelley Reynolds
 
 
Vice President, Worldwide Controller
 
 
(Principal Accounting Officer)
Dated: April 23, 2015

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EXHIBIT INDEX
 
Exhibit
Number
 
Description
 
 
 
3.1
 
Restated Certificate of Incorporation of the Company (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the Quarter ended March 31, 2000).
 
 
 
3.2
 
Restated Bylaws of the Company (incorporated by reference to the Company’s Current Report on Form 8-K, filed February 18, 2009).
 
 
 
31.1
 
Certification of Jeffrey P. Bezos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Amazon.com, Inc., pursuant to Rule 13a-14(a) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
 
 
 
31.2
 
Certification of Thomas J. Szkutak, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Amazon.com, Inc., pursuant to Rule 13a-14(a) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
 
 
 
32.1
 
Certification of Jeffrey P. Bezos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Amazon.com, Inc., pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1350.
 
&