AMZN Stock: Is President Trump Bad News for Amazon.com Inc?

AMZN Stock US electionBezos Should be Worried for Amazon Stock

As the votes rolled in across the country, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos must have squirmed in his seat. His past run-ins with the President-Elect Donald J. Trump suggest the outcome of this election could have serious implications for Amazon stock (AMZN).   

Using his private funds, Bezos bought the Washington Post for $250.0 million in 2013. The paper (and on occasion Bezos himself) has been sharp and critical in review of Trump’s campaign, something which the incoming president did not appreciate.

Trump has routinely fired back at Bezos and made sure to include Amazon stock in his crosshairs. (Source: “Jeff Bezos wants to send Donald Trump to space, and Twitter is thrilled,” Geekwire, December 7, 2015.)

The first skirmish took place in December 2015, after Bezos suggested he would like to send Trump on a one-way trip to space. Trump retorted on Twitter by saying, “The @washingtonpost, which loses a fortune, is owned by @JeffBezos for purposes of keeping taxes down at his no profit company, @amazon.”

“The @washingtonpost loses money (a deduction) and gives owner @JeffBezos power to screw public on low taxation of @Amazon! Big tax shelter,” he continued. “If @amazon ever had to pay fair taxes, its stock would crash and it would crumble like a paper bag. The @washingtonpost scam is saving it!”

These allegations confused analysts who couldn’t tell whether Trump was simply unaware that Bezos bought the newspaper with his private funds or if he didn’t care. Trump clarified the attacks while appearing on Sean Hannity’s show in May of this year.

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“Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise,” he said. “[Bezos is] using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed.”

“He’s worried about me — I think he said that to somebody, it was in some article — where he thinks I would go after him for antitrust, because he’s got a huge antitrust problem, because he’s controlling so much. Amazon is controlling so much of what they’re doing.”

From Trump’s perspective, Jeff Bezos was propping up AMZN stock using a combination of Machiavellian politics and monopolistic tendencies. The implication in his comments is that those practices are bad, and that Jeff Bezos is a bad actor in corporate America.

Under a Trump administration, Bezos could have a reasonable fear of antitrust investigations by the Justice Department, not to mention additional screening by the Internal Revenue Service.