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Amazon Kills Two Businesses: Local Daily Deals and Its Square Competitor

Amazon has been telling investors lately that it was looking more closely at ways it could be more efficient and rein in costs.

Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Amazon has been taking a more conservative tone on earnings calls in recent quarters, saying it was looking more closely at ways it could be more efficient and rein in costs. Today, it cut two businesses in a move that will help with that cause.

In separate announcements, the company said it was closing down Amazon Local, its four-year-old daily deals service, as well as Amazon Local Register, a payments processing business targeting the type of small businesses that would be customers of Square.

“We’ve learned a great deal from the daily deals business and will look for ways to apply these lessons in the future as we continue to innovate on behalf of our customers and merchants,” a spokesman said in a statement.

Amazon Local launched in the summer of 2011, before Groupon went public and the bottom dropped out of the daily deals fad. The majority of the service was initially populated with deals sourced by Living Social, in which Amazon owns a large stake, but over time the company hired a big sales team and sourced the majority of deals itself.

The Local Register business, on the other hand, launched to much fanfare last year with promotional pricing that severely undercut Square. But it appears that wasn’t enough.

The future of the Local Register business had been in question since earlier this year, when several executives in that business unit departed or moved to other parts of Amazon. One of them was Mary Kay Bowman, who helped lead the Local Register team before departing for a big role at Square.

Customers can process funds until February 1.

While Amazon is discontinuing one payments processing business, it recently expanded another: Its online “Pay with Amazon” business, which just launched in its first non-Amazon app.

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