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Texas and Amazon.com Duke it Out but Come to an Agreement

The State of Texas and Seattle, Washington based retail giant Amazon.com have come to an agreement, to settle a long standing dispute over whether the company owes taxes on purchases made by those living in Texas. The legal battle began in 2010 when Amazon received a bill from the State of Texas for unpaid taxes on online purchases for roughly $269 million dollars. Normally companies that have a physical presence in a state, must collect sales tax if the purchasing customer also resides in that state.

Amazon was sent the bill, due to a subsidiary of Amazon operating a distribution center in Irving, Texas. Amazon initially refused to pay the bill, claiming that they were not directly responsible for the operation of the distribution center. Two years later, the company while not officially admitting any liability, has agreed to work with the Texas Comptroller’s Office and begin collecting sales tax on all purchases by those living in Texas, starting on July 1st.

A joint press release issued by Texas Comptroller’s Office and Amazon.com, details how they will make this a mutually beneficial agreement that will also help create jobs.

Press Release

(AUSTIN, TX and SEATTLE, WA) — Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs and Amazon.com, Inc. today announced an agreement that will lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs in Texas by the online retailer.

According to the agreement between the Comptroller of Public Accounts and Amazon, the Company plans over the next four years to create at least 2,500 jobs and make at least $200 million in capital investments in the state and will begin to collect and remit Texas sales tax on July 1, 2012. The agreement resolves all sales tax issues between Texas and Amazon.

“We thank Amazon for partnering with us to find a solution that works for our state,” said Combs. “This is an important step in leveling the playing field in Texas; however, Congress should enact federal legislation that will give states access to revenues that are already due, which would resolve this issue fairly for all retailers and all states.”

“Amazon looks forward to creating thousands of new jobs in Texas and we appreciate Comptroller Combs working with us to advance federal legislation,” said Amazon Vice President of Global Public Policy Paul Misener. “We strongly support the creation of a simplified and equitable federal framework, because Congressional action will protect states’ rights, level the playing field for all sellers, and give states like Texas the ability to obtain all the sales tax revenue that is already due.”

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial.

Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. The new latest generation Kindle is the lightest, most compact Kindle ever and features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes – still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch 3G is the top of the line e-reader and offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch, with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G.

Kindle Fire is the Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games and web browsing with all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, Amazon Silk (Amazon’s new revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser), vibrant color touch screen, and powerful dual-core processor.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, www.amazon.it, and www.amazon.es. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

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State of Texas Comptrollers Office