The company’s stock lost roughly $31 billion in shareholder value Wednesday on an Axios report that the president may go after the retailer on taxes, antitrust and other issues.
The public feud between President Donald Trump and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is nothing new if you’ve been keeping track of Trump’s tweets over the years. But on Wednesday, more bad blood spilled between the two leaders and shares of Amazon fell 4.4% on Wednesday, wiping out shareholder value of roughly $31 billion, after the publication of a story in Axios
The report held that five anonymous sources had discussed Amazon with Trump and said the president was “obsessed” with the company and has wondered out loud if he could, “go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law.” The report further detailed that Trump’s wealthy friends say Amazon is crushing their businesses, including shopping malls and brick-and-mortar retailers, according to the sources. Further, these sources said Trump tells people Amazon has gotten a free ride from taxpayers and cushy treatment from the U.S. Postal Service.
Amazon did not respond to a request for comment from Retail Dive.
In response to a question asked during a press conference regarding whether the White House is considering an internet sales tax or other ways of going after Amazon, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said there were “no specific policies on the table at this time.” In a tweet Thursday morning, Trump affirmed his concerns over Amazon on taxes, its effect on the brick-and-mortar retail business and relationship with the postal service.
Last summer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin noted that the administration may take “a position” on Amazon’s tax collection policy, specifically as it relates to its marketplace sellers, who currently do not collect and remit sales taxes in most states. In February, he reaffirmed at a House Ways and Means Committee hearing that the administration wants to institute an e-commerce tax.
The Axios report suggests the Trump administration is looking at Amazon on several thorny fronts, including on tax, antitrust issues