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As It Warned, Amazon Boosts the Price of Prime

The Amazon.com fulfillment center in Phoenix
The Amazon.com fulfillment center in PhoenixPhotograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

“There are two kinds of companies,” Amazon.com Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is fond of saying, in one of his earnest, oft-repeated Jeffisms. “Those that work hard to lower prices, and those that work hard to raise prices.”

Amazon, he has always contended, was firmly in the former camp. So Thursday’s announcement must come as something of a defeat inside the walls of the Seattle-based Internet giant. After forecasting the possibility in its January earnings call, Amazon raised the annual fee for Amazon Prime, its two-day shipping service. The suitably prime rate of $79 a year has now increased by 25 percent, to $99—which, as any sixth grader will drolly inform you, is easily divisible by 3, not to mention 9 and 11 (and so on).