Donald Trump: Jeff Bezos, Amazon ‘getting away with murder’

Donald Trump is talking tech again. The target this time: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

You might remember that the soon-to-be Republican nominee for president hasn’t had kind words for Apple (for making its products overseas, and for refusing to comply with a court order to help the FBI unlock an iPhone) or Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (over H-1B visas and immigration). Now Trump has said on TV that Bezos is taking advantage of his ownership of the Washington Post to supposedly influence politicians to give Amazon a pass on taxes and antitrust issues. It’s a continuation of accusations Trump tweeted late last year.

Here’s what Trump told Fox News on Thursday after Sean Hannity asked him to comment about the Washington Post assigning 20 reporters to look into Trump’s life.

Yeah — it’s interesting that you say that, because every hour we’re getting calls from reporters from the Washington Post asking ridiculous questions and I will tell you, this is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos, who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He’s using The Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed. He’s getting absolutely away… he’s worried about me and I think he said that to somebody, it was in some article where he thinks I would go after him for antitrust because he’s got a huge antitrust problem because he’s controlling so much. Amazon is controlling so much of what they’re doing, and what they’ve done is he bought this paper for practically nothing and he’s using that as a tool for political power against me and against other people and I’ll tell you what, we can’t let him get away with it.

Got all that?

It’s true that the Seattle-based company built its business on low prices and avoiding collecting sales taxes. But over the past several years it has given in to pressure from many states, including California — and it now reportedly collects taxes in 25 states. And Amazon has said it supports an online sales tax bill.

As for Trump’s reference to antitrust: Amazon, of course, is the online retailer that sells everything under the sun — plus it wants to deliver your food, be your streaming-movie provider, furnish your smart home with talking devices and more. The company has been the target of monopoly and antitrust talk over some of its business practices — authors and booksellers have called for an investigation, for example — but has not been charged in the United States. It has been the target of antitrust and tax scrutiny in Europe, though.

As for Bezos and the newspaper, its publisher told the Wall Street Journal that the Amazon boss doesn’t get involved in the Washington Post’s journalism.

Washington Post Editor Marty Baron also said in a statement, according to CNNMoney: “As the individual who oversees The Washington Post’s news staff, I can say categorically that I have received no instructions from Jeff Bezos regarding our coverage of the presidential campaign — or, for that matter, any other subject. The Post has a long tradition of publishing thorough examinations of the major party nominees for president.”

As for who handles U.S. antitrust issues, that would be the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice.

Amazon hasn’t commented on Trump’s latest comments, but here’s what Bezos tweeted in December when Trump went after him on Twitter:


Photo: Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, holds the new Amazon Kindle Fire HD at the product’s introduction in Santa Monica, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP/Reed Saxon)


Tags: , , , , , ,


Share this Post

  • “Yeah, I bought the Washington Post on a lark, and would NEVER use it to influence anyone or anything.”

    Does Bezos really believe people are that stupid? Apparently so.

  • mbennett

    Haven’t see syntax like that since the Eisenhower administration.

  • Eaton111

    Amazon supported big government, now live with what you supported. I hope Trump nails them.