Live updates

'Gay best friend' product still available on Amazon

The product was on sale from a number of Amazon sellers for under £5. Credit:

What appears to be the same product is available on Amazon, and includes descriptions such as "Loves To Shop" and "Gives Great Fashion Tips".

In the product description section of the web page, it says: "Can't find the perfect friend to patiently listen to all your problems and give you advice!? Well here he is!!

"Everyone knows someone who is in need of a caring, stylish and funny friend!!! This is a hilarious gift! All of you girlies out there would love to have someone to patiently listen to you and give you advice."

Also available on the site is a product called Grow Your Own Gay Best Friend. Amazon had yet to respond to a Press Association request for comment.

How to turn off in-app purchases

Screenshot of iPad settings Credit: ITV News

The online games app industry has been warned by the Office of Fair Trading of "potentially unfair and aggressive commercial practices" that could target "susceptible" children to pay to continue playing 'free' web and app-based games.


Amazon to hire 15,000 extra staff for Christmas jobs

Amazon hired around 10,000 temporary staff in the run-up to last Christmas. Credit: PA

Amazon said it will hire more than 15,000 people across the UK for seasonal work this Christmas - 5,000 more than last year.

The online retailer, which will recruit new staff at its eight nationwide "fulfilment centres" and its customer service department in Edinburgh, says many temporary staff hired to cover the festive period will get permanent jobs.

“On our busiest shopping day last Christmas, customers ordered a total of 3.5 million items during one 24-hour period at a rate of 44 items a second,” said Catherine McDermott, the company's UK Director of Operations.

Tesco 'planning tablet computer' to rival Kindle

A Tesco tablet could rival Amazon's Kindle Fire (pictured). Credit: Reuters

Tesco is reportedly planning its own tablet computer this year to win back book and DVD sales from technology giants Apple and Amazon.

Priced at around £100 to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire, the tablet is expected to come pre-loaded with content and apps including Tesco's new movie, music and e-book subscription service Blinkbox.

Tesco declined to comment on the report in the Times newspaper.

The supermarket has been looking to reinvigorate its business since annual profits fell for the first time in decades in April, while it was recently forced to scrap a high-profile expansion in the US.

Bezos: 'Washington Post values will remain the same'

Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos, who is buying the Washington Post for a reported $250 million, is doing so as an individual and Inc. is not involved in the purchase, Reuters reports.

Jeff Bezos (Left), CEO of Amazon, talks with Donald Graham, CEO of the Washington Post Company. Credit: Reuters

Washington Post chairman and CEO Donald Graham called Bezos a "uniquely good new owner" and said the decision was made after years of newspaper industry challenges.

Bezos said in a statement that he understands the Post's "critical role" in Washington and said its values won't change.

"The paper's duty will remain to its readers and not to the private interests of its owners," Bezos said to Post employees in a letter. "We will continue to follow the truth wherever it leads, and we'll work hard not to make mistakes. When we do, we will own up to them quickly and completely."

Amazon boss Jeffrey Bezos buys Washington Post

Amazon boss Jeffrey Bezos is to buy the Washington Post newspaper for a reported $250 million.

In a lead article on the newspaper's website Bezos is quoted as saying: "This will be uncharted terrain and it will require experimentation."

Amazon boss Jeffrey Bezos is to buy the Washington Post. Credit: Reuters

The sale will end the Graham family’s stewardship of the paper after 80 years and four generations.

Bezos founded Amazon nearly twenty years ago, when he was 30 with a $300,000 loan from his parents, and started working from the garage.


Amazon imposes £10 minimum spend for free delivery

Online retailer Amazon today told customers they will have to spend a minimum of £10 to qualify for the site's "Free Super Saver Delivery" option.

The limit applies to all products except books, DVDs (including Blu-ray), music, video games and computer software.

Amazon previously offered free delivery on a host of products Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

In a statement sent to customers, Amazon said the the change - effective from today - "will affect only a very small proportion of orders".

However, numerous departments such as electronics, clothes, DIY, health, beauty, sports and jewellery will be affected.

Amazon steps up digital battle with music giveaway

Online retailer Amazon has stepped up the battle for music sales with the announcement that it will give away digital versions when customers buy CDs and vinyl records - and they will backdate for any past purchases.

The free MP3 service, named AutoRip, will enable Amazon customers to have instant access to music they have bought days before their purchases arrive in the post.

Amazon has launched the free MP3 service AutoRip for customers who buy CDs and vinyl records. Credit: Paul Faith/PA Wire

The firm has already lined up in excess of 350,000 albums for AutoRip with more titles to be added, and said there will be no knock-on effect on its prices.

Tracks will be added to customers' Amazon Cloud Player account and can either be streamed or downloaded to devices such as iPhones, iPads, Kindles and smartphones.

Government 'must clamp down on tax avoidance'

It's an absolute disgrace that Amazon is paying such tiny amounts in tax.

The Government should be clamping down on tax avoidance rather than slashing the welfare state, privatising the NHS and cutting legal aid for ordinary people.

This shows us yet again that the Government is making a political choice rather than an economic necessity.

– A spokeswoman for tax avoidance campaign group UK Uncut

Amazon paid £3m tax on £4bn UK sales

  • Amazon's main UK subsidiary paid just £3.2m in tax last year, according to official accounts, despite overall UK sales of £4.2bn.
  • Amazon's taxes for last year are only marginally higher than the £2.5m the company received in government grants during the year.
  • The company's tax bill was £1.9m in 2011, but these sums may not actually be paid to HMRC because of cumulative losses across the Amazon group.
  • Amazon employed 4,191 people at the end of 2012 in the UK but reduced payments to the British government by routing sales via a subsidiary in Luxembourg.
  • The UK company declared a turnover of £320m for 2012, up 50% on 2011.
  • However, its income is largely raised from other Amazon companies in return for services such as warehousing and distribution and negotiating purchasing deals with book publishers.
Load more updates