Amazon shares PLUMMET as Trump accuses website of not paying ENOUGH tax

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In 2015, Trump said that Amazon would tank if it ever had to pay "fair" taxes.

The tweet comes a day after Axios reported that the president has been "obsessed" with Amazon, focusing on how the company is taxed and how the company uses the United States Postal Service. Considering few people send letters anymore, we wonder what the condition of the postal service would be without it being propped up by the eCommerce giant. Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, also owns The Washington Post.

White House Spokeswoman Lindsay Walters repeated that sentiment to reporters Thursday.

But is Trump actually going to do anything about it?

Amazon.com fell as much as 7.4 per cent Wednesday before paring some losses to close 4.4 per cent lower after a Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst said the weakness created a buying opportunity. The truth, however, is that because of the way Trump's anger manifests itself and the way his administration works, Amazon is probably safe from his wrath.

In the past Amazon has been criticised for attempting to skirt state sales taxes, but since April a year ago it has voluntarily collected state sales tax on items it sells direct to customers in all 45 states that have one. Some in Congress support legislation to require all e-commerce companies collect state sales tax, but Amazon already does that. The Supreme Court ruled in 1992 that states couldn't collect sales taxes gathered by mail-order catalog companies unless the firms had a physical presence in a state. The social media giant had previously underperformed the tech megacap group amid concern over the company's handling of its users' personal information.

Yet observers often point to Amazon's business as one of the things keeping the USPS afloat, although critics argue that the Postal Service could have negotiated a better deal with the online retail giant. But the Postal Service, in its annual report to Congress, said its revenue from shipping and packages in the year that ended September 30 was $500 million above its forecasts, at $19.5 billion, "due to e-commerce growth" and successful marketing and sales campaigns. But when President Donald Trump tweets, the company loses value. All that data and own a political newspaper, The Washington Post.

If Trump really wanted to go after Amazon, he might be able to try. How would you go about it? Trump has also called the company an antitrust violator in the past. That bureaucracy is extremely skeptical of anything that restricts the prerogatives of big corporations, and since undermining Amazon doesn't serve any identifiable conservative goal, there would likely be strong pushback.

Amazon is one of the so-called FANG stocks that lead the technology sector: Facebook Inc., Amazon, Netflix Inc. and Google, now part of Alphabet Inc.

Amazon also pays local property taxes on its distribution centers as well as on the Whole Foods stores it purchased a year ago.

Items purchased through Amazon are mostly sent through the public postal system, and while we imagine Amazon would have negotiated favourable rates, the sheer volume would surely kick economy of scale into action. And that will only make him madder.

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