WASHINGTON: Reuters News Agency in article by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland.- Amazon.com Inc’s shares fell as much as 7 percent Wednesday, wiping out about $52 billion from the company’s market value, after a report that U.S. President Donald Trump wants go after the U.S. tech giant.

President Trump talked about changing Amazon’s tax treatment because he’s worried about mom-and-pop retailers being put out business, Axios reported earlier Wednesday.

The report comes at a time tech stocks are already under pressure after Facebook Inc acknowledged earlier this month that user data had been improperly harvested by a consultancy firm.

Trump talked about using antitrust law “go after” the company because he is worried about mom-and-pop retailers being put out business by Amazon, Axios reported, citing five it said had discussed the issue with him.

Trump also wants to Amazon’s tax treatment, the Axios report said, an issue the president raised publicly last year he called for an internet tax for online retailers, even though Amazon already collects sales tax items it sells directly to customers.

“The president said many times before he’s always looking to create a level playing field for all businesses and this is no ,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, asked about the Axios report. “He’s always going to at , but there aren’t any specific policies on the table at this time.”

Trump has been complaining about Amazon in private, believing the company has become too powerful, another administration official confirmed to Reuters.

The official said Trump links this to Amazon Executive Jeff Bezos’ private ownership the Washington Post, he has called “fake news” for its critical coverage of his administration. Trump regards the newspaper as a mouthpiece for Bezos’ business interests, calling it #AmazonWashingtonPost on Twitter.

Amazon did not reply to a request for comment on the Axios report.


Trump has criticized Amazon over taxes and jobs in the past, offering evidence. The president urging the use of antitrust law to selectively thwart a company would be unprecedented, to Jeffrey Jacobovitz of the law firm Arnall Golden Gregory LLP.

Amazon’s stock, fell as as $1,386.17 on Wednesday, was last down 4.6 percent at $1,427.83. The shares nearly quadrupled over the last three years.

Tech stocks been under pressure after Facebook Inc acknowledged this month that user data had been improperly harvested by a consultancy.

“With Facebook and regulatory worries, the last thing nervous tech investors wanted to see was news that Trump is targeting Bezos and Amazon over the coming months as this remains a lingering cloud over the and heightens the risk in the eyes of the Street,” GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives said.

(Additional reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; Diane Bartz and Amanda Becker in Washington; Sinead Carew in New York; writing by ; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and James Dalgleish)