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Amazon’s Plague Year

As small businesses closed and layoffs hit, Amazon expanded its power — despite a string of crises and worker uprisings

A photo of an Amazon package in one of the company’s fulfillment centers.

When the Covid crisis went into full swing in March, two trend lines emerged almost immediately: Small businesses were forced to close down, and Amazon started hiring. At the time, I worried that as the pandemic raged we would see…



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Brian Merchant

Senior editor, OneZero, books, futures, fiction. Author of The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone, founder of Terraform @ Motherboard @ VICE.