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Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos Pledge $2 Billion for Homeless and Preschoolers

The Amazon founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, and his wife, MacKenzie, pledged $2 billion on Thursday for a new fund to start preschools and help homeless families.The money, put into he what called the Day 1 Fund, is by far the largest philanthropic donation by Mr. Bezos, the world’s richest person. It will support organizations that provide shelter and food for homeless families, and will start a network of nonprofit Montessori-inspired preschools for underserved communities.“If our own great-grandchildren don’t have lives better than ours, something has gone very wrong,” Mr. Bezos wrote on Twitter announcing the fund.As Mr. Bezos’s wealth and influence has grown, he has…

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State of the Art: The Metamorphosis of Silicon Valley C.E.O.s: From Big to Boring

Though he has made good on only some of those points — Tesla is now struggling to fulfill orders for the Model 3, the “even more affordable” car in the plan — posting the plan was part of an impish ploy to generate publicity for what looked like an outlandish idea. That ploy worked; ever since, Mr. Musk has leveraged his growing celebrity as if it were a currency.Every few months, he makes new promises about this or that amazing thing coming soon. Each time, he reaps more attention and financing and, eventually, builds real cars that are sold to real people. In this way, Mr. Musk’s…

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Amazon’s Antitrust Antagonist Has a Breakthrough Idea

Ms. Khan disagreed. Over 93 heavily footnoted pages, she presented the case that the company should not get a pass on anticompetitive behavior just because it makes customers happy. Once-robust monopoly laws have been marginalized, Ms. Khan wrote, and consequently Amazon is amassing structural power that lets it exert increasing control over many parts of the economy.Amazon has so much data on so many customers, it is so willing to forgo profits, it is so aggressive and has so many advantages from its shipping and warehouse infrastructure that it exerts an influence much broader than its market share. It resembles the all-powerful railroads of the Progressive Era,…

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The Mystery of Amazon HQ2 Has Finalists Seeing Clues Everywhere

Over Labor Day weekend, a club promoter who goes by the name Purple posted a photo on Instagram from the LIV nightclub in Miami. In front of a wall graffitied with names and a single “Life Is Beautiful” sticker, Purple’s arm was casually draped over the shoulders of Jeff Bezos, the Amazon chief executive, whose pants matched the host’s name. “It’s not everyday you get to hang with the richest guy in the world,” Purple wrote on Instagram. “What a pleasure.”But when The Miami Herald covered the celebrity spotting, its cares turned toward the practical: “Could this be good news for Miami’s HQ2 bid?”Friday marks one year…

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Jeff Bezos’ First Major Political Donation Is $10 Million to Elect Veterans

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the richest man in the world, has recently faced the ire of elected officials across the political spectrum, President Trump on the right and Senator Bernie Sanders on the left.Now, two months before the midterm elections, Mr. Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, are making by far their biggest known campaign contribution to a political group that plays right down the middle.The couple are donating $10 million to the With Honor Fund, a so-called super PAC that supports military veterans running for Congress who vow to take a cross-party approach to governing. The group has endorsed 33 candidates running this…

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Amazon Hits $1,000,000,000,000 in Value, Following Apple

SAN FRANCISCO — When Apple’s market value crossed a trillion dollars last month, the reason was simple: It makes devices that a lot of people are willing to spend a lot of money on.Now Amazon has become the second American company to cross that once-unimaginable line. Its shares rose as high as $2,050.50 on Tuesday morning, pushing it over $1 trillion in value, before immediately falling back and then ending the day at $2,039.51, below the $1 trillion threshold. Amazon’s founder and chief executive, Jeff Bezos, is worth nearly as much as Bill Gates and Warren E. Buffett put together.This time, the explanation is more complicated.Amazon captures…

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Amazon’s Plan to Reach 500 Million Indians: Speak Their Language

BANGALORE, India — Only 10 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people know English. Yet most of the country’s e-commerce services have been offered only in English, closing off online shopping to the vast majority of people here.Now Amazon is aiming to break through that language barrier. The e-commerce giant on Tuesday offered a hearty “namaste” to this country’s half a billion Hindi speakers by making its local website and apps available in India’s most popular language. Users of the India site or app will be able to choose Hindi as their preferred language, much as American users can choose Spanish.Amazon’s expansion into Hindi — its first foray…

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Amazon Sets Its Sights on the $88 Billion Online Ad Market

Last year, the jeans maker Levi Strauss & Company shifted some of its advertising spending away from YouTube to Amazon, where it sharply increased its use of display ads, according to a May report by Gartner L2. In doing so, Levi’s increased the brand’s visibility in Google searches, driving shoppers to an Amazon page with Levi’s merchandise, the research firm said.In an emailed statement, a spokeswoman for Levi’s said the company had increased its marketing investment across all channels, including television, traditional digital and newer digital platforms, including Amazon.For some brands, the increased spending is most likely directly linked to increased competition on Amazon’s platform from Amazon…

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DealBook: Silicon Valley Doesn’t Like Trump. It Can Still Work With the Government.

Alex Karp grew up in a liberal household and considers himself a progressive. He voted for Hillary Clinton, and he lives and works in Silicon Valley.Yet Mr. Karp, the chief executive of Palantir, has found himself increasingly at odds with his peers in the technology industry as it publicly distances itself from the government, particularly the Department of Defense, under President Trump.Mr. Karp readily admits he would prefer that Mr. Trump didn’t occupy the Oval Office. But he believes that Silicon Valley — already facing something of a crisis of user confidence over issues including privacy and foreign influence — is setting itself up for a fall.“It’s…

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India Pushes Back Against Tech ‘Colonization’ by Internet Giants

NEW DELHI — In India, American companies dominate the internet. Facebook’s WhatsApp is the most popular app on phones. Virtually every smartphone runs on Google’s Android system. YouTube is the favorite video platform and Amazon is the No. 2 online retailer.For some Indian political leaders, it is as if their nation — which was ruled by Britain for a century until 1947 — is being conquered by colonial powers all over again.And they are determined to stop it.“As a country, we have to all grow up and say that, you know, enough of this,” Vinit Goenka, a railways official who works on technology policy for India’s governing…

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