Amazon.com, Inc. engages in the provision of online retail shopping services. It operates through the following business segments: North America, International, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The North America segment includes retail sales of consumer products and subscriptions through North America-focused websites such as www.amazon.com and www.amazon.ca. The International segment offers retail sales of consumer products and subscriptions through internationally-focused websites. The Amazon Web Services segment involves in the global sales of compute, storage, database, and AWS service offerings for start-ups, enterprises, government agencies, and academic institutions. The company was founded by Jeffrey P. Bezos in July 1994 and is headquartered in Seattle, WA.
We have organized our operations into three segments: North America, International, and AWS. These segments reflect the way the Company evaluates its business performance and manages its operations. See Item 1 of Part I, “Financial Statements — Note 8 — Segment Information.”
Net sales include product and service sales. Product sales represent revenue from the sale of products and related shipping fees and digital media content where we record revenue gross. Service sales primarily represent third-party seller fees, which includes commissions and any related fulfillment and shipping fees, AWS sales, Amazon Prime membership fees, advertising services, and certain digital content subscriptions. Net sales information is as follows (in millions):
Sales increased 17% in Q1 2019 compared to the comparable prior year period. Changes in foreign currency exchange rates impacted net sales by $(1.1) billion for Q1 2019. For a discussion of the effect on sales growth of foreign exchange rates, see “Effect of Foreign Exchange Rates” below.