Trump vs. Bezos: A look into the longstanding rift over taxes

By Taxes FOXBusiness

(AP)

Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos was at the White House discussing ways to modernize federal IT systems just last week, but on Wednesday President Trump brought the tech titan and Washington Post owner back into the fray in a new way, by accusing him of dodging internet taxes.

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The history

There is some apparent animosity between the president and his fellow billionaire businessman. During an interview with Fox News in May, President Trump said Bezos was “getting away with murder tax-wise,” claiming the Amazon CEO was using The Washington Post to accumulate capital among politicians so that the company can dodge taxes.

During the same interview, Trump suggested Amazon had “a huge antitrust problem.”

"He's using The Washington Post, which is peanuts, he's using that for political purposes to save Amazon in terms of taxes and in terms of antitrust," Trump told Sean Hannity.

Meanwhile, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Amazon had violated no antitrust laws during an interview with FOX Business last week.

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“I haven’t seen anything that Amazon has done that would qualify remotely for antitrust consideration,” Ross said.

Trump said during a campaign rally in February 2016 that the company would have “such problems” if he were elected president.

In December 2015, Trump aired his grievances against Bezos via Twitter.

Bezos responded to Trump’s tweet, in one of his first ever messages on the social media platform, floating the idea of sending him to space.

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Bezos’ business victories

It’s unlikely Bezos will be too fazed by Trump’s most recent tweet, given the stellar year the tech innovator has had so far. Amazon’s stock is up more than 30% year-to-date and more than 340% over the past five years.

In the first quarter, sales on the e-commerce platform surged 23% to $35.7 billion, topping analysts’ expectations. And Amazon’s conquests are just beginning.

The tech company recently announced a bid to acquire organic grocer Whole Foods Market (WFM), furthering its expansion into the grocery aisle. “I think it’s a very clever move,” Secretary Ross told FOX Business regarding the Whole Foods deal.

Amazon also recently announced a new Prime feature that has the struggling retail industry trembling as it seeks to bring the dressing room straight into customers’ living rooms. The new service, Amazon Prime Wardrobe, would allow members to try on clothes for free and send back what they don’t like at no extra charge. This as Amazon was crowned the second-largest seller of apparel in the United States by Morgan Stanley (MS).

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