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Has Amazon Become Too Big?

Trump & Sanders agree that the tech giant has too much power

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Spencer Kellogg | United States

This past week, Amazon became the critical focus for Trump’s administration and stock analysts alike. The tech giant’s share price plummeted more than 7% after the president threatened action against the shipping behemoth. Attacking beneficial tax loopholes and Amazon’s competitive advantages against the United State Postale Service, Trump has made controlling the size and scope of Jeff Bezos’ company a priority of his second year in office.

Joining the chorus of critique were members of the progressive left including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. This weekend, the former presidential candidate weighed in on the debate by telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that “Amazon has gotten too big.”

What we are seeing all over this country is a decline in retail. We are seeing this incredibly large company getting involved in almost every area of commerce and I think it is important to take a look at the power and influence that Amazon has.

Over the past decade, Amazon has come to symbolize a radical transformation in manufacturing and shipping. Their forward thinking delivery service and free shipping membership tiers have allowed them to penetrate the outdated model of big-box shopping. They have expanded into daily life appliances with their Echo product that acts as a simple artificial intelligence guide for hip millennials.

This is not the first time Mr. Trump has attacked Amazon. He has portrayed the company’s business practices as technocratic and monopolistic in the past and slammed the corporation on Twitter over Easter weekend.

Although Trump and Sanders agree on the problem, the methodology of turning back Amazon’s dominance of the American commercial market is trickier than it may appear. Adding to the confounding puzzle is a President Trump’s checkered past with the Bezos owned Washington Post. The Post has been amongst the most vocal critics of Trump’s presidency.

Although many in the Trump administration have voiced frustration, the president believes Amazon is receiving an unfair advantage in the market. Oddly enough, after eight years of Republicans complaining about the government picking winners and losers, it is a Republican president that wants to use his political power to determine corporations reach.

Gary Cohn, a Trump insider, has been vocal in his opposition to the measures. Cohn has pointed out that Amazon’s shipping practices have been a boon to the postal service. Trump, however, has his eyes fixated on his rival Bezos and the president seems prepared to take extreme measures to diminish Amazon’s power.

Inside the White House, advisors have suggested the Pentagon cut ties with Amazon’s cloud computing service which costs the defense department billions per year. Others have formulated a plan that would see red state attorney generals scrutinizing Amazon’s business practices.

This weekend, former Walmart US CEO Bill Simon chimed in during an appearance on CNBC. He suggested that Congress explore the possibility of breaking up Amazon.

Although this latest warning to Amazon has been spurred on mainly by the president’s ego, many in the political community have echoed his sentiments. Is it time to question Amazon’s size and scope? Has Amazon become too big?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Image Source Flickr

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