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Business & Economy

‘Amazon Flex’ would pay drivers to deliver packages, but will it catch on?




Amazon has launched a delivery service that relies on
Amazon has launched a delivery service that relies on "Uber"-style drivers to make one-hour deliveries.
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In retail news and employment news, Amazon has launched a delivery service that relies on "Uber"-style drivers to make one-hour deliveries.

Dubbed “Amazon Flex,” it’s available in  Seattle now with plans for expansion. The e-commerce giant is attempting to take control of its distribution by offering on-demand, independent couriers $18 to $25 an hour to deliver packages ordered for one-hour Amazon Prime Now delivery.

On Tuesday, shares of Amazon.com Inc. fell $7.99 to $496.07. Its shares are up 54 percent from a year ago.

What are the economics of this new model for Amazon? Is Amazon a natural addition to the “gig economy?” Or could it face similar legal and safety issues that have dogged Uber?

Guests:

Greg Bensinger, writes about technology for the Wall Street Journal's San Francisco bureau

Sucharita Mulpuru, e-commerce analyst at Forrester Research, a technology research and advisory firm based in Cambridge, MA