Trending: Man wearing swastika armband in Seattle gets punched out after his image spread on social media

Jeff Bezos
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

As Donald Trump began his march to the White House last year, he became embroiled in numerous feuds. One that got a lot of attention starting last year was a spat with fellow billionaire and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos over taxes, media coverage in the Bezos-owned Washington Post and antitrust issues.

President-Elect Donald Trump addresses a victory rally at the New York Hilton Midtown, with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence at his side. (Credit: Right Side Broadcasting)
President-Elect Donald Trump addresses a victory rally at the New York Hilton Midtown, with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence at his side. (Credit: Right Side Broadcasting)

Following Trump’s victory, Amazon’s stock opened down about 3 percent, not a major drop, and probably a lot less than expected after U.S. markets freaked out as the tide shifted from Hillary Clinton to Trump. But Amazon did see a slightly sharper decline than some of its big tech contemporaries, such as Microsoft, Apple and Google parent Alphabet.

When it became clear that Donald Trump was on the way to becoming the next U.S. president, Dow futures plummeted as the votes rolled in. But U.S. markets recovered this morning, possibly due to Trump’s victory speech, which featured a more conciliatory tone than his divisive and angry rhetoric as a candidate.

To be sure, Amazon’s stock movement could have nothing to do with Trump. Amazon’s stock has shown to be volatile with multiple peaks and valleys through the years. But some outlets speculate that a Trump presidency could be bad news for Amazon and Bezos.

Trump’s first dustup with Bezos came late last year. Bezos bought the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million. Trump has claimed he used the paper to influence politicians in Washington D.C. and keep them from taxing Amazon.

Trump has alluded to the possibility that Amazon could face antitrust issues under his presidency. From an appearance on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News in May:

I will tell you, this is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos, who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He’s 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.

He bought this paper for practically nothing, and he’s using that as a tool for political power, against me and against other people, and I’ll tell you what, we can’t let him get away with it.

According to Amazon’s annual report released in April, it paid approximately $273 million in cash in income taxes in 2015, up from $177 million in 2014 and $169 million in 2013.

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment, and Bezos has been silent on Twitter.

Bezos tends to downplay Trump’s attacks. After Trump’s December volley, for example, Bezos joked on Twitter that he would “reserve him a seat on the Blue Origin rocket,” another venture that the Amazon founder is pursuing with his private fortune. In May, Bezos said Trump’s remarks were “not an appropriate way for a presidential candidate to behave.”

Bezos is not the first tech luminary to speak out against Trump. In July, dozens of tech leaders signed a letter saying that a Trump presidency would be a “disaster for innovation.”

Investors have been very bullish on Amazon recently, with some analysts projecting that its stock could exceed $1,000 a share soon. Amazon strung together multiple strong quarters this year, before missing Wall Street expectations in the third quarter. It remains unclear what effect, if any, a Trump presidency will have on Amazon’s stock in the long term.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to GeekWire's free newsletters to catch every headline

Comments

Job Listings on GeekWork

Find more jobs on GeekWork. Employers, post a job here.