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Amazon’s Monday: Kids’ Products and the Supreme Court

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Oct. 8 2019, Published 11:34 a.m. ET

On October 7, Amazon (AMZN) fell -0.40%. The stock opened at $1,732.59 and closed at $1,732.66. It might seem that AMZN traded flat throughout the day, although that is rarely the case with Amazon shares.

The US-based e-commerce stock saw a lot of movement during the day. In the early hours of trading, AMZN stock touched a daily high of $1,747.20. The lowest price during the day was $1,724.53.

During extended trading hours, AMZN shot to a high of $1,782.49, albeit for a brief period. What led to the stock’s fluctuations during the day? Here is a detailed look at yesterday’s official releases and additional insights into the massive Seattle-based e-tailer.

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Amazon for Kids

Amazon FreeTime features a lot of content for kids. Now subscribers to FreeTime can access their accounts through devices like Fire HD 10, Kindle Kids edition, and selected devices on Amazon Fire TV. The kid-friendly content comes with parental controls.

Kurt Beidler, the director of the company’s Kids and Family division, noted, “FreeTime Unlimited provides the perfect balance between giving kids unlimited access to the content they love within a place that’s theirs, while providing parents peace of mind knowing what their kids are enjoying is appropriate.”

FreeTime Unlimited allows children to access a variety of engaging content, and parents can monitor content usage. In addition, FreeTime is also accessible on the company’s Echo Show devices.

On October 7, Amazon also released two new products—Kindle for Kids and Fire HD 10.

Kindle Kids Edition

Kindle Kids Edition is the first version of Kindle designed to develop an interest in reading. With a price point of $109.99, this device features a six-inch display screen and extended battery life. The device offers access to exclusive content designed for children and Bluetooth support for audiobooks.

Kindle Kids Edition offers a variety of achievement badges, a dictionary, and a vocabulary builder feature. Its Word Wise feature allows kids to see a short definition in a Kindle book, allowing them to keep reading with reduced interruption. The device’s Easy Discovery feature allows kids to find a book without knowing the precise spelling.

Amazon’s Kindle Kids Edition can be preordered, and the devices should start shipping on October 30.

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Fire HD 10

Amazon also announced the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition yesterday. The tablet sports a 10.1-inch 1080-pixel HD display. In addition to the 32GB internal memory, the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition also supports micro SD cards up to 512GB. Although its battery life isn’t as robust as the Kindle Kids Edition, the tablet has a reversible charging mechanism.

The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition suite comes with one-year access to Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a tablet case, and an adjustable stand. The bundle price for the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition starts at $199.99, and the company plans to ship this product at the end of the month.

Amazon in Singapore

Yesterday, the e-commerce titan set up a larger local store in Singapore, one of the high-value markets in the Southeast Asia region. When Amazon entered Singapore in 2017, it didn’t have a lot of market outreach at the time. Instead, e-commerce companies like Alibaba and Lazada Group had a stronger market presence.

Plus, Amazon’s products were limited compared to its competitors. With this new store, Amazon plans to increase its featured products. The company plans to allow small and medium-sized businesses to list their products on its e-commerce portal.

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Amazon’s regulatory challenges

Adding to the e-commerce company’s regulatory conflicts, the United States Supreme Court opened its session by rejecting Amazon’s appeal regarding the wages of warehouse workers. These employees have demanded payment for the time spent on security screenings after their shifts.

If this lawsuit goes against Amazon, it could see an increase in its salaries and wages expenses on its income statement. Plus, there could be an increase in regulatory penalties.

The AMA’s request to target illicit vaping products

Amazon was one of several e-commerce companies to receive a letter from the American Medical Association (the AMA). In the October 4 letter, the AMA’s CEO, James Madara, asked Amazon to monitor listings related to illicit vaping products.

The letter stated, “We urge you to actively enforce your existing policies to keep illicit products off the market and out of the hands of people who are, often unwittingly, putting their lives at risk. Given the pace at which vaping-related lung illness is expanding, there is no time to waste.”

The CEOs of Facebook, Microsoft, Instagram, and LinkedIn also received this letter.

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