According to sources close to President Trump who spoke to Axios, he is more worried about the overreaching control of e-commerce website Amazon than he is about social media network Facebook and other Silicon Valley titans like Google.
Axios reports that while many are currently focused on the power of Facebook due to their most recent user data scandal related to data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica, President Trump has reportedly set his sights on e-commerce giant Amazon. This information comes from five sources who claim to have discussed the situation with President Trump, “He’s obsessed with Amazon,” a source said. “Obsessed.”
President Trump is reportedly considering altering Amazon’s tax treatment as he is worried that the e-commerce giant may put small, privately owned “mom-and-pop” stores out of business. One source stated: “He’s wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law.” The President reportedly focuses on Amazon when discussing tax policy and antitrust cases but has yet to develop a full plan to crack down on the company.
President Trump reportedly has issues with Amazon’s impact on smaller businesses and with what he believes to be the abuse of the U.S. postal system who deliver Amazon’s packages for an extremely low fee. The President previously stated in a tweet “Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer? Should be charging MUCH MORE!” A source stated “The whole post office thing, that’s very much a perception he has. It’s been explained to him in multiple meetings that his perception is inaccurate and that the post office actually makes a ton of money from Amazon.”
Axios’ Kim Hart commented on the President’s focus on Amazon saying: “Trump told Axios last year he doesn’t mind Facebook because it helps him reach his audience. He’s an old-school businessman who sees the world in terms of tangible assets: real estate, physical mail delivery, Main Street, grocery stores. It reminds me of the story Jim wrote a while back about Trump’s fixation with 1950s life. Amazon takes direct aim at some of the core components of mid-century business.”
However, Vice President Pence is reportedly quite interested in the possible regulation or breaking up of large tech companies such as Google or Facebook. The Vice President is reportedly worried about the social media companies influence on the media and their monopoly of the advertising industry and control of user data.
Taking into consideration the fact that Trump’s engagement on Facebook dropped by 45 percent following the site’s News Feed algorithm change earlier this year, perhaps he will come around on the subject as well.