Amazon acquisition spree: Is Jeff Bezos eyeing media companies?

Amazon acquisition spree: Is Jeff Bezos eyeing media companies?

Now, with its $US13.7 billion blockbuster buy of Whole Foods - Amazon's largest-ever acquisition - the retailer is looking to do it again with grocery stores.

One big deal today could change that: Amazon announced today that it is buying the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods in a deal worth about $13.7 billion.

Most of these retailers are within days of the end of their financial year (around June 30), so their shares will be under pressure on two fronts - performance in a tough consumer shy market in the past year, and the supposed threat from Amazon - on top of the continuing pressures from Aldi for the likes of Woolies, Coles and Metcash.

Some shoppers worry about the quality of their produce and say they're rather pick their pears themselves.

"This private corporation already dominates every corner of online commerce, and uses its power to set terms and prices for numerous most important products Americans buy or sell to one another", Lynn said.

Analyst Madeline Hurley at research firm IBISWorld says books are more homogenous than groceries, and people want to know what they're getting in terms of foods.

"I think this acquisition is a concern", he said. And because Amazon can now offer a mix of in-store shopping, same-day delivery, and its usual style of online shopping, it has room to grow.

Delrahim, who has worked on merger deals for over a decade and is viewed by legal observers as less likely to pursue aggressive antitrust enforcement as the previous administration, will be in office to review the Amazon-Whole Foods deal soon. "Either way, it's good for consumers like myself", said Di Wu, a NY resident in her early 30s who is a member of Amazon's Prime fast-shipping club and who shops at Whole Foods at least twice a week.

- Amazon has been pushing for drone delivery for several years, but finally launched its first project in Britain in 2016, saying regulatory obstacles were too great in the United States. The 10-year-old company, which started online only and later added stores, gets access to capital and to the talent that came aboard when Walmart bought Hoboken-based Jet.com last year and made Marc Lore, its co-founder, head of e-commerce operations.

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But an Amazon spokesman said it does not plan on using its checkout line-free technology in Whole Foods, and that the purchase is not expected to cost any jobs.

That could force other supermarkets to follow or lose customers, Astrachan said.

But this points to a risk: Can Whole Foods itself embrace Amazon's approach to innovation? John Mackey will remain as CEO of Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market's headquarters will stay in Austin, Texas. Based on his forecasts, Amazon will likely rank as the ninth largest US grocery retailer this year - though he expects it to assume third place by 2021, behind only Walmart and Kroger.

What this deal means for food manufacturing is unclear yet.

Those buildings come with warehouse space, truck loading docks, and experienced logistical workers, making them a ideal nucleus from which to expand grocery delivery, and eventually, maybe even delivery of other staples.

"It's pharmacy. It's having the ability to put stores that are similar to Apple stores inside Whole Foods", he said. Jaimie Gorelick, the former Justice Department official in Bill Clinton's White House turned chief outside legal adviser to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, holds a seat on Amazon's board of directors.

Prime membership growth isn't showing any signs of slowing down.

So does the Whole Foods takeover - once completed - change the picture? She also praised the way Shipt allows customers to schedule delivery times to make sure they'll be home when groceries arrive.

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