Trump escalates attack on Amazon, slams it on taxes, shipping

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday blasted Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) with a list of complaints, a day after news website Axios reported that Trump wants to rein in the mega retailer’s growing power using federal antitrust laws and led its shares to fall almost 5 percent.

FILE PHOTO – U.S. President Donald Trump walks to Air Force One as he departs for Palm Beach, Florida, from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Amazon founder and chairman, Jeff Bezos, also owns the Washington Post, which won a Pulitzer Prize last year for its investigation of Trump’s donations to charities. The probe found that many of Trump’s philanthropic claims were exaggerated and often were not charitable donations.

The logo of Amazon is seen on a building in San Jose, Costa Rica March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

Apart from nationwide goods deliveries, Amazon’s services include video streaming, a digital home assistant known as Alexa, and an online payments program.

“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 said in a post on Twitter early on Thursday.

Trump’s claims about Amazon’s state and local tax payments were met with skepticism. While the company was once criticized for attempting to skirt state sales taxes, it currently has a reputation as a leader in collecting the levies, which can vary from state to state.

Legally pursuing Amazon could affect more than the company’s share price, which was largely steady after Trump’s tweet. Amazon is currently in the process of establishing a $5 billion second headquarters which could bring 50,000 new jobs to the location it selects. In January, it winnowed the list of possible locations down to 20 metropolitan areas.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Bernadette Baum



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