Trump Set To Go After Amazon, Supplier Margins Also Under Threat
Australian retailers battling Amazon, are this morning trying to work what will be the impact of claims that US President Donald Trump is set to go after the giant online retailer for monopolist practises.
It’s also emerged that Amazon is set to jack up the margin it takes from suppliers, they are also set to charge an additional fee to businesses operating via their online marketplace claims US followers of the Company.
The president has also repeatedly railed against the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post for news coverage he deems unfair. He has called the newspaper the “Amazon Washington Post,” even though they are separate companies.
Trump’s gripes with Amazon and its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos go beyond sales tax. He has “wondered aloud” about whether his administration could target Amazon with an antitrust law, a source told Axios.
According to US reports President Trump reportedly wants to ‘go after’ Amazon by changing its tax treatment
CNBC claims that it is unclear what the president would do on his own, but actions in the two other branches of government could settle the issue for him.
Some lawmakers have proposed legislation to settle the issue, and the Supreme Court is expected to rule on internet sales taxes this year.
Trump has long argued that Amazon gets unfair tax treatment relative to brick-and-mortar retailers. Trump is “obsessed” with Amazon and wants to “go after” the company, Axios reported on Wednesday, citing sources. The company’s stock, in turn, lost more than $50 billion in shareholder value at one point overnight.
The president’s reported stance on the company isn’t new. In several tweets in recent years, Trump has argued for changes in how Amazon purchases get taxed. At issue is whether a state sales tax is levied on purchases made from a third-party Amazon vendor.
Last year, the online retailer started to collect sales taxes on products it sells directly to consumers in states that levy such taxes. But some retail competitors argue the policy for third-party vendors gives Amazon an unfair advantage.
In February, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the House’s tax-writing committee that Trump “feels strongly” that the government should permit sales taxes on purchases made over the internet. Congress has the power to levy taxes, and it is unclear whether the Treasury can take any action itself against Amazon.
Even if the Trump administration takes no concrete actions itself, the agency and Trump himself could encourage Congress to pass legislation.
Some lawmakers have proposed legislation to settle the issue, but proposals have not gained traction in Congress.
The issue is likely to be settled in court before Congress has a chance to do something about it.
It’s also emerged that Amazon’s retail business has been willing to absorb millions in annual losses as they go after retailers.
But with its fulfillment expenses rising 43 percent last year, to $25 billion, Amazon is now looking to pass on the rising costs which in Australia are significantly higher than the USA.
To sustain its price war with retailers and other retail competitors, the e-tailer is reportedly raising its transportation fees for bulky products that are expensive to ship and will expand the number of inexpensive products (under $7) that can’t be purchased as single-item orders.
Amazon is also proceeding with its plan to employ fleets of delivery drones that can fulfil orders in 30 minutes or less. Late last week we were told that testing will shortly take place in Australia.
The e-tailer applied for and was recently granted a new patent that removes a major hurdle from its aerial strategy: humans.
The technology behind the patent will allow Amazon’s drones to respond to a full range of gestures, from the frantic arm waving of a dive-bombed bystander to the satisfied thumbs up of a customer awaiting his/her package.
The drones would use cameras and sensors to recognize hand and body gestures, human voices and movement, and can deliver parcels by landing or releasing padded packages from the air, the patent shows.