12 Big Businesses You'll Be Surprised to Learn That Amazon Owns

From GoodReads to Zappos, here are 12 big companies owned by the online retail giant.
Last updated July 5, 2022 | By Jenny Cohen | Edited By Michael Kurko
 Amazon logo on the facade of one of their office building

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Amazon is best known as an online store where you can get anything from books and office supplies to household items delivered to your door. It's also helped many shoppers avoid money stress with low prices and delivery subscriptions. 

But you may be surprised to find out that the retailer owns more than just an online marketplace. Here are a few more companies you may be amazed to find out are owned by Amazon.


MGM

Postmodern Studio/Adobe MGM Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures website with logo

Amazon recently announced that it would be acquiring MGM for an estimated $8.5 billion, however, the deal still needs to be finalized.

If approved, the online retailer could add the movie studio’s huge archive to its streaming Prime Video service, which could help increase its competitive edge with streaming services like Netflix.

MGM’s library includes well-known characters James Bond and Rocky Balboa as well as newer television shows like "The Handmaid’s Tale" and "Fargo."

Whole Foods

Sundry Photography/Adobe Whole Foods store located in Almaden Valley area

Amazon acquired grocery store chain Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.4 billion. Since then, they’ve found ways to integrate the chain into their company with things like two-hour grocery delivery or special deals for Amazon Prime members.

The company, which was started in Austin, Texas, in 1980, is known for its organic and natural food selection and has more than 500 locations in the U.S.

Pro tip: Get cash back on your Whole Foods purchases with one of the best Amazon shopping credit cards.   

Twitch

Andrea/Adobe Purple twitch logo on a smartphone screen

Twitch has become popular among gamers, who like to live stream videos of their gameplay or have discussions about video games and the gaming industry.

The company was acquired by Amazon in 2014 for $970 million. It currently boasts a user base of 30 million active users with nearly 75% of them in the 16 to 34 age range.

PillPack

piter2121/Adobe PillPack website displayed on a modern smartphone

PillPack, which was acquired by Amazon in 2018 for $1 billion, provides targeted prescription needs for its customers.

Instead of having to sort through multiple prescriptions and remember when to take them, PillPack provides customers with pre-made packs of their prescriptions organized by day, time, and date. What's more, some insurance policies also cover the service.

Zappos

Postmodern Studio/Adobe zappos logo

Shoe store Zappos was picked up by Amazon in 2009 for $1.2 billion. The online shoe retailer, based in Las Vegas, has a unique company culture that fosters creativity, communication, and “a little weirdness.”

Zappos was one of Amazon’s earlier acquisitions as the company began a push into other retail spaces outside of books and continues to help its customers save money on shoes.

Kiva Systems

Игорь Головнёв/Adobe Amazon Robotics logo seen displayed on a smartphone

Kiva Systems was a robotics company that Amazon purchased in 2012 for $775 million and has since been rebranded as Amazon Robotics.

The company specializes in robotics for warehouses such as those operated by Amazon. So while you may not be able to buy Kiva’s products on the website, the acquisition now helps millions of customers get their products from Amazon’s warehouse to their doors.

GoodReads

fizkes/Adobe Happy Afro American young business woman in glasses using smartphone

Book readers may enjoy GoodReads which helps users keep track of books they’ve read and books they want to read. That’s why it might have been a perfect fit for Amazon, which started out as a books-only retailer.

The company, which was acquired by Amazon in 2013 for $150 million, has been integrated into Amazon’s user experience. Readers who finish a book on Amazon Kindle are given the option to post a review and a date of completion on GoodReads. 

Some Amazon reviews will also make it to GoodReads, which gives readers a better idea of which books they may want to read next.

IMDb

Ryan/Adobe IMDB Website Homepage in Apple Safari Browser

One of Amazon’s early acquisitions was IMDb, an online database for the entertainment industry. The database includes actors and their complete list of roles, a rundown of different television shows and movies, and tickets and showtimes for local movies.

The online retailer, which picked up IMDb in 1998, has rebranded the IMDb TV portion of the company as Amazon Freevee.

Comixology

Prostock-studio/Adobe African american man reading e-book on digital tablet

Comixology is a tech company that developed a platform that allows users to read comic books in a digital format, which is why it may seem like a good fit for Amazon.

Amazon picked up the company in 2014 as comic books were becoming more popular due to movie blockbusters like "Captain America" and "Iron Man." It’s also the digital home of popular graphic novels, including "The Walking Dead."

Ring

Mat Hayward/Adobe  Ring security camera doorbell

Security system Ring was picked up by Amazon in 2018 for $1 billion. But why would Amazon want to get into home security? 

Adding home tech to Amazon’s portfolio was another way for the company to get into consumers’ homes to increase its reach for other products like Alexa and Echo. Not bad for Ring, which almost went broke before being picked up by the online retailer.

Zoox

ALEKSTOCK.COM/Adobe Electric car drive on the wind turbines

One of Amazon’s newer acquisitions is autonomous vehicle company Zoox. The company’s self-driving vehicles may look futuristic or different from anything on the road, but the idea of autonomous vehicles has been explored for several years.

Amazon hopes its $1.3 billion purchase could lead to new ways for the retailer to deliver goods to customers. In response to the acquisition, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was a “copycat.”

Quidsi

Marina Andrejchenko/Adobe  Young woman makes purchases in the Internet

In 2011, Amazon acquired Quidsi, a company that included a variety of retail-specific sites, for $545 million. 

These include baby retailer Diapers.com which lets parents buy diapers and other baby essentials like food and formula. Quidsi also owns Soap.com which offers cleaning products and Wag.com which caters to your furry friends.

Unfortunately, Quidsi’s websites weren’t profitable for Amazon and the company was shuttered in 2017. Products for Quidsi’s various companies were folded into Amazon’s site instead.

Bottom line

Aleksei/Adobe Amazon shopping application icon on Apple iPhone X screen

Amazon is a well-known brand, but you may be surprised to find that there are many other companies that fall under its umbrella. 

So, pay attention the next time you’re shopping online or opening up a website. It may be owned by Amazon. And don't forget to check out these genius Amazon shopping hacks the next time you sign in.

Turn Grocery Receipts Into Gift Cards Learn More
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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.