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Amazon is buying up real estate in three city blocks in Seattle and plans to build a million-square-foot office tower on each block.
The company signed a purchase-and-sale agreement with the property owners several weeks ago, and that agreement included options to purchase even more property in the future. The Seattle Times says this is the biggest real estate deal Seattle has seen in years. Though the seller declined to disclose the exact terms of the deal, a representative of the real estate group said the deal was “off the charts” and that the facilities were going to be “world-class.”
The company’s growth is undeniable; over the past several years, Amazon has become a mainstream titan of e-commerce, and its cloud services for web hosting are omnipresent in a world populated with apps.
However, the company did post dramatically lower-than-expected profits for Q4 2011. The year-end numbers included a huge 58 percent dip in net income. Still, in terms of revenue, Amazon brought in $17.43 billion in sales, up 35 percent year-over-year, with Amazon S3 growing at a rate of 193 percent year-over-year.
A significant chunk of that revenue can be attributed to sales of the company’s Kindle line of tablets and e-readers. In fact, tablet and e-reader ownership saw enormous increases over the 2011 holiday season, with Kindles selling at a rate of a million each week during at least some of that period.
Also, the company has been heavily promoting its Amazon Prime service, which bundles free and fast shipping for e-commerce customers as well as a slew of premium content in the streaming video category, including shows from Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, and other networks.
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