1994: Company is founded in the basement of CEO Jeff Bezos' garage.
1995: Goes live on the Internet on July 16. First book sold: "Fluid Concepts & amp; Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought."
1996: Launches associates program, linking smaller Web sites to Amazon.com.
1997: Goes public, became first online retailer to reach 1 millionth new customer.
1998: Adds music, videos and DVDs, launches first international sites in the United Kingdom, Germany.
1999: Adds auctions, electronics, toys, software, home improvement and video games. Bezos named Time magazine's "Person of the Year."
2000: Adds electronic books, expands to France and Japan. Introduces free shipping deal. Makes its first layoffs, 150 workers.
2001: Introduces "Look Inside the Book," which lets users browse several pages. Posts $1.4 billion loss. Lays off 1,300 employees.
2002: Expands business to Canada. Launches office products, and apparel and accessories stores.
2003: Starts Internet search engine A9.com. Opens sports and outdoors, gourmet food, and health and personal care stores. Introduces "Search Inside The Book," letting users search for words and phrases in a book, fielding complaints that it gives book shoppers access to too much free content. Posts first full-year profit.
2004: Opens jewelry store. Acquires joyo.com, Ltd., China's leading online book, music and video retailer. Begins DVD rental business in Britain. Annual profit rises to $588 million, up from $35 million the previous year.
2005: Launches Amazon Prime, a service that gives customers unlimited two-day shipping for $79 a year. Acquires BookSurge, an on-demand publishing company. Expands DVD rental business to Germany.