PBS takes on Jeff Bezos and Amazon's impact

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PBS takes on Jeff Bezos and Amazon's impact

By Mike Troy - 02/18/2020
A worker interacting with an autonomous order picking system in one of Amazon's automated fulfillment centers.

A new PBS documentary, “Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos,” aired on Feb. 18, and puts the company founder and the vast enterprise he created under the microscope.

The PBS investigative journalism series Frontline offered an unflattering portrayal of the company as too big, too powerful and too integrated into the fabric of America. All of that may be true, but it doesn't change the reality for retail competitors who need to chart their own path forward against a company PBS question questions as being too powerful, when the question for retail competitors is really whether Amazon is too good.

In "Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos," now available for viewing on demand at PBS.org, producer and director James Jacoby interviews former and current Amazon executives as well as others with a perspective on the retail and consumer packaged goods industry.

In predictable fashion, the two-hour documentary follows Amazon’s evolution from an online bookstore to its current state and details allegations of Amazon's devastating impact on the retail industry, poor working conditions at its fulfillment centers and  Bezos' lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C. to thwart regulation. The documentary also takes aim at the company's portfolio of Alexa-enabled products, portraying them as listening devices.


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