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Amazon seeks official permission to use drones

Amazon has officially asked US aviation authorities for permission to use drones as part of its plan to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less.

In a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Amazon said it is developing aerial vehicles as part of Amazon Prime Air.

It is the latest step in the online retailer's plan to deliver packages with self-guided aircraft that can travel over 50 miles per hour and carry loads of up to five pounds.

About 86% of Amazon's deliveries weight five pounds or less, the company said. Credit: PA

"We believe customers will love it, and we are committed to making Prime Air available to customers worldwide as soon as we are permitted to do so," Amazon said in the letter.

The FAA allows hobbyists and model aircraft makers to fly drones, but commercial use is mostly banned. Amazon is asking for an exemption so it can test its drones in the US.

The Seattle company says its drone testing will only take place over Amazon's private property, away from airports or areas with aviation activity - and not in densely populated areas or near military bases.

Bloggers: Amazon investors 'like what they see so far'

Tech bloggers have given their verdict on Amazon's new fire smartphone using Twitter:


Amazon's Fire phone could be on sale in UK this year

The phone tracks user's head movements to create a moving 3D display Credit: Amazon

Amazon's highly-anticipated new smartphone featuring a 3D display screen could be on sale in the UK within months.

The Fire phone will initially only be on sale in the US, a press conference has heard.

Although Amazon has not yet confirmed a release date for the UK, experts predict it will be on sale this year outside the US.

The release is a key move into the crowded and highly competitive smartphone market for the online retailer.

Amazon's Fire phone 'could whip crown from Apple'

Online retailer Amazon is aiming to "whip the crown from Apple" with the launch of its first ever smartphone, the company's CEO has said.

Jeff Bezos unveiled the heavily-anticipated phone, which measures in at 4.7 inches and will retail for $200 (£120).

"It's time to whip the crown from Apple," he said as he showed off the mobile, which is the latest addition to the retailing giant's Fire-branded line of tablets and streaming devices.

Amazon unveils its first 'Fire' smartphone

Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos unveils the Fire Phone at a news conference in Seattle Credit: REUTERS/Jason Redmond

Amazon has unveiled its first ever smartphone, which comes equipped with a 3D screen and the ability to recognise millions of songs, films and books.

The web retailer's Fire Phone uses four cameras to track the user's head movements and create the perception of 3D, a packed press conference in Seattle heard.

It will also come with a new app called Firefly, which the company said takes in details from the camera and microphone to recognise and identify objects including books, films, TV shows and music, and then search for them on Amazon.

Amazon 'to launch local services marketplace'

Online retail giant Amazon is set to launch a new service helping link people with services such as plumbers and handymen in their area, Reuters reports.

The move is seen as a challenge to popular US sites such as Yelp and Angie's List which help connect people with local services, though there is no indication of whether the company plans a similar service in the UK.


Amazon statement: We pay 'all taxes'

Amazon have responded to a report that the company paid £10 million corporation tax in Britain last year, despite achieving record sales of £4.3 billion.

The company pays all applicable taxes in every jurisdiction that it operates within.

– Amazon

Shoppers have been urged to boycott Amazon after it paid £10 million corporation tax in Britain last year, despite achieving record sales of £4.3 billion.

'It's an outrage Amazon only paid £10m in tax'

The chairwoman of the Commons Influential Public Accounts Committee has said its "an outrage" that the retail giant Amazon paid only £10m in tax in 2013, after reporting record sales of £4.3 billion.

Amazon insists it follows the tax rules in all the countries where it operates. Credit: Katerina Sulova/Czech News Agency/PA

"It is an outrage," chairwoman Margaret Hodge told the Herald Scotland, "Amazon should pay their fair share of tax.

"They are making money out of not paying taxes. I no longer use Amazon."

Amazon insists it follows the tax rules in all the countries where it operates.

Amazon pays £10m UK tax despite record £4.3bn sales

Amazon paid £10 million corporation tax in Britain last year, despite achieving record sales of £4.3 billion.

Amazon accounts filed today showed the company had a tax bill of £10 million in 2013. Credit: Reuters

The US company's UK arm is registered to pay tax in Luxembourg, meaning it can avoid higher rates of tax. reported a 56% rise in profits to £17 million last year on a 13% rise in UK revenues.

Essex University's Professor of Accounting, Prem Sikka, said this may have put the company "under pressure from HMRC to adjust their inter-company agreements."

Amazon said it follows all the tax rules in every country where it operates. HMRC declined comment.

Amazon tie-up lets Twitter users shop with a hashtag

Online retailer Amazon has announced a new partnership that will allow customers to shop via Twitter.

Customers will be able to add products to their Amazon shopping basket through their Twitter account. Credit: PA

With the new system users add the hashtag #AmazonBasket to tweets referencing products they like, then the item is automatically added to their online shopping cart.

Amazon said the tie-up would mean "no more switching apps, typing out passwords or trying to remember items you saw on Twitter".

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