Elizabeth Warren shops at Amazon, but also wants to break it up

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is campaigning for her party’s nomination in 2020, said she buys from e-commerce giant Amazon, even though she has proposed both breaking the company up and forcing it to pay more in corporate taxes.

During a CNN townhall in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Monday night, host Anderson Cooper asked Warren whether she orders from Amazon, to which she responded “sure.”

When asked what the last item she ordered was, Warren responded “a mailbox.”

“It was a box of mailbox,” she joked.

Cooper asked the question after Warren finished explaining why she is in favor of splitting the e-commerce giant up.

“You can run the platform, that is, you can be the umpire in the baseball game and you can run an honest platform, or you can be a player, that is, you can have a business or you can have a team in the game, but you don't get to be the umpire and have a team in the game,” she explained, referring to the fact that Amazon runs a marketplace and collects information about buyers and sellers.

In March, the Massachusetts Democrat proposed breaking up the country’s biggest technology companies – specifically Amazon, Facebook and Google – which she said are consolidating power and crowding out competition. Warren said nearly half of e-commerce goes through Amazon, and she even proposed reversing Amazon’s acquisition of grocery chain Whole Foods which she called anticompetitive.

Earlier this month, Warren argued for a tax on corporate profits aimed at companies that she claims find loopholes in the tax system to avoid paying taxes – again specifically naming Amazon. The tax would apply to companies that report more than $100 million in profits. For every dollar of profit earned above that threshold, the company would pay a 7 percent tax, in addition to all other obligations it owes.

While Amazon said that it paid all taxes required of it in the U.S. and every country where it operates, Warren fired back that it was the obligations required of the company that was the problem.


"In response to my plan, Amazon says it 'pays all the taxes we are required to pay in the US,'" she tweeted. "Yeah, I know. You made more than $10 billion in profits last year and you were required to pay $0 in federal corporate taxes. That's the problem."

Under her plan, Warren said Amazon would owe $698 million.