Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster, one of the leading tech analysts in the world, isn’t buying Donald Trump’s tax accusations on Amazon, calling them “hollow,” in a note published on Friday.
Munster writes that Trump’s comments from his Thursday interview with Fox News, in which he says that Amazon “is getting away with murder tax-wise,” bears no merit and doesn’t pose any threat to Amazon’s antitrust and tax issues.
“We believe it is very unlikely that Trump could have an impact on Amazon or that his comments will incite regulatory changes in any way,” Munster wrote in the note.
He argued that all tax allegations on Amazon are baseless. The company already collects sales tax in 28 states, representing 85% of the US population, with the remaining states not requiring sales tax from sellers without a physical presence.
Amazon’s international tax structure is legal, Munster writes, despite all of the scrutiny and accusations alleging that the company’s built an overseas tax shelter to minimise its tax payments. He also wrote that Amazon’s retail market share is far below antitrust thresholds.
Instead, Munster believes that the comments are aimed at bullying The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and targeting liberal/middle-ground voters with corporate-regulatory ideas. There’s been reports of The Post deploying 20 reporters to scour every detail of Trump’s life, with plans for an upcoming biography in the cards as well.
This isn’t the first time Trump attacked Amazon and Bezos. In February, he accused Bezos of buying The Post to gain political influence, and previously said that the purchase was to use the newspaper as a tax shelter for Amazon.
Bezos hasn’t responded to any of Trump’s taunts yet, but did offer to send him away to space in a tweet last year.
Amazon’s representative wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.