Following on from the Listener’s highlighting of employment condition concerns at Santa’s workshop Amazon has just announced that it has acquired the global manufacturing and logistics enterprise for an undisclosed sum (rumoured to be in excess of US$15 billion). Alibaba would not confirm whether it too had attempted to buy the family-owned company.
A combination of impending industrial action, competition from emerging economies and the need to relocate the company’s head office and main distribution centre due to unstable climatic conditions are thought to have prompted the sale.
Amazon is also not without its own labour relation problems, but it is understood that the International Elf Union has negotiated an attractive living wage and maximum hour collective agreement for its members. Spokeself for the Union, Lee Golas, stated that the agreement is a short-term measure that will be revisited next year before robotic production lines and industrial scale 3D-printer FabLabs are established. Mr Golas also indicated that relocation of the facilities to more arboreal lands was a significant factor in reaching an agreement. He appeared unconcerned about whether a long term contract could be negotiated, and made reference to “white gulls crying” and “our days are ending and our years failing” that suggest a fully automated company in the future.
It is understood that Amazon will be deploying swarms of drones to assist delivery of presents this Christmas because of animal rights group concerns about the use of Reindeer, and by lobbying from the influential “Mothers With Children Allergic to Reindeer And Don’t They Carry Lyme Disease Too?!”
Elon Musk and Neal Stephenson have expressed interest in building a suite of Space Xmas fabrication facilities in geostationary orbits, connected to space elevators and Hyperloop distribution lines.
Confidential sources report that Amazon is negotiating a contract with Palantir Technologies to improve efficiency in the seasonal gift prediction and distribution service. It is understood that Palantir will collect and analyse social media and national intelligence service information to determine which children (and adults) have been “good”. Industry analysts speculate that a five star rating for goodness may be introduced. A spokesperson for Palantir would neither confirm nor deny the venture but noted that as a matter of company policy privacy and security protection of the information it collects is an “immutable log”.
The founder and owner of the North Pole company, Mr S. Claus, did not respond to requests for comment. However, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola™ Amantil indicated that Father Christmas played an important role in the company’s history and it looked forward to working with Amazon on marketing opportunities in the future.
A spokesperson for Google declined to comment directly on Amazon’s latest acquisition but indicated that a major announcement “with bells on!” was likely to be made by Google X in the new year.