Trump assails Amazon on taxes, retail competition

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The president on Thursday tweeted three misleading statements: 1) Amazon pays "little or no taxes to state & local governments", 2) Amazon's relationship with the US Post Office causes "tremendous loss" to the United States and 3) Amazon is "putting many thousands of retailers out of business".

He said: "A lot of people have made this, with respect to Amazon, about personalities and the CEO at Amazon - we're talking about Jeff Bezos here".

Before becoming president, Trump criticized Amazon's "monopolistic tendencies" and said the company could face "a huge antitrust problem" because "Amazon is controlling so much".

"He's obsessed with Amazon", a source said. Connable Office Inc sold 457 shares as Amazon.Com Inc (AMZN)'s stock rose 28.13%. As a result, he sees Trump's latest tweet as nothing more than a distraction that's been amplified by what's happening to Facebook.

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Some of Trump's claims about Amazon have not been based on complete information.

Still, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah shot down the notion that Trump's criticism was part of a personal grudge. Facebook's stock has plummeted about 20% since February 1.

Amazon founder and chairman Jeff Bezos also privately owns the Washington Post, which won a Pulitzer Prize a year ago for its investigation of Trump's donations to charities. Deutsche Bank analyst Lloyd Walmsley said in a note this week that the regulatory risks related to Trump's views of the company are mostly just headline risks for Amazon stock with no real impact on the company's business.

It is clearly true that consumers' shift to e-commerce companies like Amazon has forced many traditional retailers to close stores. All that data and own a political newspaper, The Washington Post.

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To his credit, Trump has voiced his "concerns" with Amazon for years, as he said on Thursday.

Trump has tweeted about Amazon several times since his election, and the Washington Post has come under attack as well.

The president is correct that Amazon does not always collect city and local sales taxes, according to analysis earlier this week by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. "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". "Towns, cities and states throughout the US are being hurt - many jobs being lost!" Last year, the postal service reported profits of $7 billion and $20.7 billion in revenue.

Amazon now collects sales taxes across the country in states that have a sales tax and where Amazon has a physical presence with distribution centers or other facilities, such as California. Hartford Financial Management Inc.'s holdings in Amazon.com were worth $847,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Congress could pass legislation making online sales taxes more uniform. Because of the company's extremely high share of the online sales market, the government might be able to argue that third-party sales must be regulated, but Post also notes that Amazon's retail margins remain low, which might hurt the argument. While the company was once criticized for attempting to skirt state sales taxes, it now has a reputation as a leader in collecting the levies, which can vary from state to state.

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