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1. What is the main idea of Robert Ariail’s cartoon?

2. Explain each of the following from the cartoon (you may have to do an internet search for the ones you don’t know)

  • books
  • groceries
  • health care
  • home security
  • shipping

3. Which newspaper did Amazon’s Jeff Bezos buy in 2013? (Do an internet search to find the answer.)

CHALLENGE: Make a list of at least 5 other companies Amazon owns that you are familiar with.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.

Cartoon by Robert Ariail


1. The main idea of Robert Ariail’s cartoon:  Amazon is like a snake that kills/eats every business in its path. The company either buys or launches a competing service that puts the competitors out of business mostly by undercutting them on price. Soon there will be no business left but Amazon – one huge monopoly.

2. Explain each of the following from the cartoon:

  • Bookstores, small and large (Borders and Barnes & Noble). Undercut prices and put many out of business. Amazon started off as an online bookseller. It undercut the prices of brick and mortar bookstores, eventually putting many independent bookstores and Borders out of business and forcing many Barnes & Noble locations to close because they couldn’t compete with Amazon. (Last year Amazon ironically opened its own brick and mortar in NYC in the same mall where a huge Borders bookstore closed.)
  • Recently moved on to grocery stores. First by opening its own Amazon Go cashier-less store – then buying Whole Foods supermarket chain.
  • Next, recently announcing it is developing their own employee healthcare company. And in a challenge to pharmacies (CVS, Walgreens etc.) Amazon has quietly launched an exclusive line of over-the-counter health products.
  • Amazon buys startup Ring in $1 billion deal to run your home security
  • Amazon said to launch its own delivery service to compete with UPS and FedEx – Called “Shipping with Amazon” – they will pick up packages from businesses and deliver them to customers. Amazon is planning to undercut UPS and FedEx on price.

3. Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million in cash.

CHALLENGE: Read a list of All the companies Jeff Bezos owns, in one (large) chart