- President Trump has indicated he is not worried about Amazon becoming a monopoly.
- “Maybe Amazon will have massive competition, and they won’t be the same company in five years,” Trump said in an interview with the Daily Caller.
- Trump’s opinion offers a highly simplistic review of the antitrust criticisms that have been raised against Amazon by other politicians in the US and Europe.
President Trump isn’t all that worried about Amazon, apparently.
In an interview with the Daily Caller discussing both Amazon’s relationship with the US Postal Service and Amazon picking its HQ2 locations in both New York City and Arlington, Virginia, Trump shrugged off the suggestion that Amazon is a monopoly.
Trump said “only time will tell” whether the company and the cities giving it tax breaks are making wise investments.
He also said “maybe Amazon will have massive competition, and they won’t be the same company in five years, in which case it will be a big mistake.”
Trump then pivoted to talk about Amazon’s place in the e-commerce market, citing notable competitors like Walmart, which has been beefing up its online offerings.
“You know, Amazon could have – I see Walmart is doing very well and others are building sites. I think that’s going to be a very competitive business someday, Amazon. And I’m not sure that size necessarily helps,” Trump said before being interrupted by Daily Caller’s interviewers to move on to a different topic.
While Walmart has been making progress, hitting major milestones along the way, it still has a much smaller market share in terms of revenue online, according to eMarketer.
Trump’s opinion offers a highly simplistic review of the antitrust criticisms that have been raised against Amazon by other politicians in the US and Europe, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and the European Union’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager.
In September, speaking with The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin, Warren centered her criticism on the fact that Amazon is both a marketplace – essentially a platform for other sellers – and a direct retailer itself.
“You got to pick one business or the other, baby,” Warren said. “You want to be a competitor, be a competitor. That’s great. You want to be the platform provider, that is a different function. If you’re getting a huge competitive advantage from being a platform provider because of all this information you keep scraping off, then we no longer have competition going on.”
Vestager has a similar criticism with the company.
“The question here is about the data, because if you as Amazon get the data from the smaller merchants that you host – which can be of course completely legitimate because you can improve your service to these smaller merchants – well, do you then also use this data to do your own calculations? What is the new big thing, what is it that people want, what kind of offers do they like to receive, what makes them buy things,” she told a journalist in September.
She also confirmed the EU has opened a preliminary investigation into Amazon over possible antitrust violations.
Trump also very recently suggested his administration was looking at antitrust violations from big tech firms, including Amazon.
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