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Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

In just four years, Amazon's invented Prime Day has become an event with as much clout as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, analysts report. And while this year got off to a rough start, the event, which ended at 3 a.m. ET Wednesday, was in many ways the biggest one yet.

Why it matters: Amazon uses the event not just to boost sales and reward existing customers, but also to sign up new Prime customers.

  • Prime customers are, like their name suggests, some of the company's most valuable ones. New Prime subscribers spent over $1,200 in the year after signing up, on average, compared to roughly $600 spent before having access to Prime, according to an estimate from Second Measure.
  • But there are signs membership is slowing down. Amazon Prime membership only grew 12% in the past 12 months, down from 35% growth during the previous 12 months, per Digital Commerce 360.

The highlights:

  • Bigger brands: The sales were bigger than last year — not only with Amazon brands — but with notable retail brands like Calvin Klein, P&G and Samsung, ranging from 20-50% off. This year's Prime deals were better than Black Friday last year, per analysis from bestblackfriday.com.
  • Anti-Prime days: Prime Day is also now big for others in e-commerce too. eBay rewarded shoppers if they purchased items over $119 — the price of a Prime membership — with $25 off a purchase. Other retailers that had sales included Google, Best Buy, Target and Walmart.
  • Andy Rubin's Essential used Prime Day to sell its smartphone for a deeply discounted $250. The company sold on the order of 30,000 phones with the device now on back order.

The lowlights:

  • Downtime: Amazon's website started suffering glitches and outages as soon as Prime Day started on Monday. That created headaches for customers and for the company, which scrambled to adjust limited time offers so customers had a chance to cash in on the deals they were looking for.
  • Lacking in gadgets: Unlike Black Friday, there were only a handful of TV deals, says Boomerang Commerce.
  • Food for thought: Whole Foods' items were not included in any Prime Day deals, but Amazon rewarded shoppers who visited Whole Foods stores during Prime Day with a $10 return in their Amazon account.

What's next: Look for Amazon to tout how this was the biggest and best Prime Day ever in an adjective-filled press release.

  • The company is famously short on details, so expect it to merely compare this year to previous ones.
  • Amazon announces its Q2 financial results July 26, which could provide additional insight — perhaps even an update on the number of Prime subscribers.

Go deeper

Updated 19 mins ago - World

Trudeau's party set to form another minority government in Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government was reelected for a third term in the country's parliamentary elections — but without a majority, preliminary results show.

Why it matters: Trudeau has governed Canada with a minority of legislative support in parliament for the past two years. Last month, he called for an election two years earlier than scheduled in the hope of forming a majority government.

Reports: CIA director's team member reported Havana Syndrome symptoms

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Bill Burns during a House Intelligence Committee hearing in April on Capitol Hill. Photo: Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images

A member of CIA director Bill Burns' team who traveled with him to India this month was treated for "symptoms consistent with Havana syndrome," CNN first reported Monday.

Why it matters: Current and former officials told the New York Times the incident signals a "possible escalation" in the mysterious neurological symptoms affecting as many as 200 Americans who've worked in overseas posts since 2016.

Pelosi's back-to-school math problem

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) may need votes from an unlikely source — the Republican Party — if she hopes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill by next Monday, as she's promised Democratic centrists.

Why it matters: With at least 20 progressives threatening to vote against the $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill, centrist members are banking on more than 10 Republicans to approve the bill.