Update: If President Trump's tweet was not enough, White House spokesperson Raj Shah has just confirmed that tax policies need to catch up to Amazon, and President Trump would support tax changes aimed at leveling the playing field, which now favors the online retailer as Amazon has advantage over brick and mortar stores.
“Right now, there is no Internet sales tax and as a result companies like Amazon can buy and sell goods without having to pay basic retail taxes,”
AMZN is extending its losses on these latest headlines...
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As we detailed earlier, the main driver behind yesterday's FANG plunge, was a report in Axios, according to which it was not Facebook that Trump wants to go after, but rather Amazon:
“He’s obsessed with Amazon,” a source told Axios. "Obsessed", and added that Trump has allegedly talked about changing Amazon’s tax treatment because he’s worried about mom-and-pop retailers being put out of business. Another Axios source said that POTUS has "wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law."
Trump’s deep-seated antipathy toward Amazon surfaces when discussing tax policy and antitrust cases. The president would love to clip CEO Jeff Bezos’ wings. But he doesn’t have a plan to make that happen.
However, as we countered, none of this is new and Trump's feud with Amazon reemerges periodically, although on Wednesday it came at an especially sensitive time for the tech sector, which had gotten clobbered in recent days, making it especially sensitive to negative news (one almost wonders if someone had bought AMZN puts ahead of the Axios news).
And, as if to underscore what we said yesterday, moments ago Trump himself said that he has stated his concerns with Amazon "long before the Election" and said that "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!"
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2018
Trump's tweet comes just hours after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied the Axios report on Wednesday, and said that the administration isn’t considering any changes in policy directed at the company.
Which means that the bad blood remains and that nothing has changed in the two or so years since Trump launched his campaign against Jeff Bezos (who also owns the Washington Post, which over the pastg year has made it overly clear what its feelings toward Trump are).
So will today's confirmation that Trump is again on the war path against Amazon - and Jeff Bezos - serve as today's tech selloff catalyst? Keep an eye on AMZN stock for the answer.