Few things can spur a stock sell-off quite like rumblings that the president of the United States is going after a company.
For proof: look no further than Amazon, which continues to feel the impact of its contentious relationship with President Donald Trump.
A report by Axios today suggesting the chief of state is “obsessed” with Amazon and mulling ideas to “go after” the e-giant with various tax and antitrust laws has sent the company’s shares tumbling. After shedding more than $50 billion, or 7 percent, in early-morning trading, Amazon’s stock remained down more than 3 percent to $1,442 as of 12:15 p.m. ET.
Trump’s disdain for Amazon has been heavily documented during the past year; he’s taken to Twitter several times to target the e-tail behemoth.
The Axios report suggests that Trump’s latest qualm has to do with Amazon’s tax treatment and his alleged concerns that the firm will drive more mom-and-pop retailers and brick-and-mortar players out of business.
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Those supposed fears echo what the president said on Twitter in August 2017: “Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt — many jobs being lost!”
While it was unclear whether Trump was referring to Amazon’s collection of sales tax or its payment of taxes to the government, Amazon’s shares took a dip on the heels of that post, too.
Trump also took aim at Amazon in July 2017 when he tweeted: “Fake News Washington Post being used as a lobbyist weapon against Congress to keep politicians from looking into Amazon no-tax monopoly?”
And before 2017 was over, Trump had taken one more shot at Amazon — tweeting in December: “Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer? Should be charging MUCH MORE!”