Amazon raises prime membership fee

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Amazon announced Thursday that it would raise its annual shipping fee by 25 percent, right up to — but not over — the psychologically important $99 level. It had originally said it would increase the fee as high as $119, which prompted grumblings among some customers that they might rebel.

A retailer raising a fee would not usually be news, but Amazon has built its considerable reputation on delivering value. This is the first time it has raised the fee for Amazon Prime in the nine years of the program’s existence. In January, when the company first announced a prospective increase, it noted that fuel costs and other expenses had risen considerably over that time.

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