This excerpt taken from the AMZN DEF 14A filed Apr 27, 2007.
Maximum Grants under the 1997 Plan
The plan administrator has the authority in its sole discretion to determine the type or types of awards made under the 1997 Plan. Such awards may include, but are not limited to, stock options and awards made or denominated in shares of common stock. Awards may be granted singly or in combination. Not more than 4,500,000 shares of common stock may be made subject to awards under the 1997 Plan to any individual in the aggregate in any one fiscal year of the Company, except that the Company may make additional one-time grants of up to 18 million shares to newly hired or newly promoted individuals. The foregoing share limitations will be proportionately adjusted by the plan administrator in the event that a stock dividend, stock split, spin-off, combination or exchange of shares, recapitalization, merger, consolidation, distribution to shareholders other than a normal cash dividend, or other change in the Companys corporate or capital structure results in the Companys outstanding shares (or any securities exchanged therefore or received in their place) being exchanged for a different number or class of securities of the Company or of any other corporation or new, different or additional securities of the Company or of any other corporation being received by the holders of shares of the Companys common stock.
The Board believes that it is in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders to enable the Company to implement compensation arrangements that qualify as fully tax deductible performance-based compensation in the 1997 Plan. The Board is therefore asking shareholders to re-approve, for Section 162(m) purposes, the material terms of the performance goals set forth above. However, shareholder approval of the 1997 Plan is only one of several requirements under Section 162(m) that must be satisfied for amounts realized under the 1997 Plan to qualify for the performance-based compensation exemption under Section 162(m), and submission of the material terms of the 1997 Plans performance goals for shareholder approval should not be viewed as a guarantee that the Company can deduct all compensation under the 1997 Plan. Nothing in this proposal precludes the Company or the Leadership Development and Compensation Committee from making any payment or granting awards that do not qualify for tax deductibility under Section 162(m).
Shareholders are not being asked to approve any changes to the 1997 Plan. A summary of other significant terms of the 1997 Plan is set forth as Appendix A to this proxy statement. The complete text of the 1997 Plan was filed as Appendix B to the Companys 2000 Proxy Statement and is incorporated herein by reference. A copy of the 1997 Plan also can be obtained upon request from the Secretary of the Company. The summary of the 1997 Plan set forth in Appendix A is qualified in its entirety by reference to the actual text of the 1997 Plan.