Tax protest disrupts Amazon shareholders meeting

A protest demonstration has disrupted Amazon.com's latest shareholder meeting in Seattle, with more than 100 protesters gathered outside the meeting calling on Amazon to pay more taxes and treat its workers better, according to the Seattle Times.

The protesters also called on the e-tailer to drop its membership in conservative public-policy organisation, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which Amazon then said they will not renew its membership of.

The hour-long meeting was attended by about 200 people, with some protesters said to have bought a single share in order to get inside the event.

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos said the company will spend $52m fitting its warehouses with air conditioning, after reports of harsh conditions in the company's US warehouses.

At the meeting, Bezos also reported that 145,000 e-books can be borrowed free on its website, with an overall growth in sales in 2011 of 41%.