The punches keep coming.
Just one day after President Donald Trump took to Twitter to double down on his disdain for Amazon, former Walmart USA CEO Bill Simon joined the fray to criticize the e-giant, suggesting Congress take a “look at” splitting up the company.
“[Amazon has] subsidized their retail segment with profits from web services … They’re not making money in retail, [yet] they’re putting retailers out of business,” Simon alleged during an interview with CNBC’s “Closing Bell” yesterday. “It’s not going to hurt the big ones; Walmart can adjust, Target will to be there, Costco will continue to thrive. It’ll hurt small retailers, and it’ll hurt specialty chains. That’s because Amazon sells below cost and continues to do that … and it’s destroying jobs and value in the segment.”
Simon’s claims and criticisms come two days after a report by Axios suggested Trump is “obsessed” with Amazon and mulling ideas to “go after” the e-giant with various tax and antitrust laws. That news was enough to send the e-tail behemoth’s shares tumbling, shedding 7 percent, or $50 billion, in early-morning trading on Wednesday.
Trump took to Twitter on Thursday seemingly to lend credence to the report, writing, “I have stated my concerns with Amazon long before the Election. Unlike others, they pay little or no taxes to state & local governments, use our Postal System as their Delivery Boy (causing tremendous loss to the U.S.), and are putting many thousands of retailers out of business!”
Trump’s Twitter feud with Amazon can be traced back to at least last year, when he took to the social media platform several times to chastise the company.
In August 2017, he tweeted: “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 wrote via Twitter: “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!”