Will Amazon announce plans to spin off one or more businesses?
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2026
28%
chance

Amazon is currently facing an FTC complaint over anti-competitive behavior. Will the company either preemptively spin something off, or be forced to by the US government? Failing to close an acquisition does not count, just spinning things off.

For resolution, I'll take either a form 8-K announcing a spin or a form 10 describing it, both of which will be available on sec.gov. (I'll resolve if this is announced by the deadline, even if the scheduled transaction closes after.)

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Amazon has so many little subsidiaries that I feel tempted to assign a high probability to the disjunction. Does it count if the spin-off has no relevance to antitrust?

@JonathanRay They rarely spin stuff off. They might shut down smaller businesses and sell the assets, but if there's no 8-K it wouldn't count. The form 10 criterion would imply a sizable one where they do a tax-free spin of a fairly big business (companies only spin off tiny stuff that way if they actively want to get rid of it, like the gold miner that spun off its coal mining subsidiary whose stock promptly 10xed).

Why should it?

@ICRainbow They'd have to if that's the result of the antitrust enforcement action. But they might also decide that being ordered to do this is inevitable, and that if they preemptively spin something off, they can do it in the least damaging way possible.

And they already run in a pretty decentralized way, where different units are charging each other for services just like they would an external vendor (at least that's the theory), so a spinoff would be easier than it would be for other companies. On the other hand there, the cleanest spin would be AWS, and the recent FTC complaint is all about retail and logistics instead.