WASHINGTON: According to Reuters News Agency article public by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland.- Amazon.com Inc’s shares fell as much as 7 percent on 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 has talked about changing Amazon’s tax treatment because he’s worried about mom-and-pop retailers being put out of business, Axios reported earlier on Wednesday.

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

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

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

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

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

The official said Trump links this to Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos’ private ownership of the Washington Post, which 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 the past, without offering evidence. The president urging the use of antitrust law to selectively thwart a company would be unprecedented, according to Jeffrey Jacobovitz of the law firm Arnall Golden Gregory LLP.

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

Tech have 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 wanted to see was news that Trump is targeting Bezos and Amazon over the coming months as this remains a lingering cloud over the stock and heightens the risk the eyes of the Street,” GBH Insights analyst Daniel Ives said.

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