Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk called for Amazon to be broken up after a former New York Times journalist tweeted that his book had been denied for sale on the platform.
Musk is a vocal opponent of coronavirus-related shutdowns, as is Alex Berenson, who tweeted a screenshot showing that his upcoming book about covid-19 didn’t meet Amazon’s guidelines, The Hill reported.
“Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!” Musk tweeted in response to Berenson’s post.
Musk threatened to move his Tesla plant out of California if the governor did not let him continue production amid the coronovirus threat.
Arguably nobody has benefited more from coronavirus shutdowns than Jeff Bezos. While the S&P 500 is down 3.4 percent so far this year, Amazon stock is up 35 percent. Amazon was perfectly positioned to profit from an extended period of social distancing and staying at home, Investor Place reported.
As thousands of U.S. stores were forced to close and people shopped online, the economy took a beating. Amazon has the biggest share of the e-commerce market in the U.S. — about 44 percent, according to Bank of America. It had to hire 175,000 temporary warehouse and distribution workers just to keep up with demand, and Amazon plans to keep 125,000 of them permanently.
Amazon Web Services is also helping to power profits during covid-19, with clients that include Netflix, Facebook and Disney providing internet and at-home entertainment while people are stuck at home.
Big tech firms have been spending record amounts lobbying in Washington, D.C. ahead of the 2020 election while politicians on both sides of the aisle call for investigations into their power. Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple face an antitrust battle with billions of dollars at stake, Forbes reported.
A Congressional report on big tech is expected to be released later in June. Analysts project that with greater antitrust scrutiny, vast sums are at stake. Morningstar predicted in March a potential 15-percent drop in the valuation of Google parent Alphabet and an 11-percent hit to Facebook’s share prices. That could shave $150 billion and $70 billion off the value of their shares.
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Tesla itself is viewed by some as a monopoly — not a real monopoly but a micro-monopoly, Business Insider reported. As the first new auto brand to appear in decades, Tesla now dominates the market for luxury all-electric cars, developing a mini-monopoly in the auto industry, Matthew DeBord wrote in an opinion piece for Business Insider.
After Musk’s tweet calling for Amazon to be broken up, Amazon approved the sale of author Berenson’s book, saying it had been blocked in error and was now available for sale via its Kindle e-reading service, Reuters reported. The decision to allow the book’s sale was not due to Musk, Amazon said.
After Amazon approved the sale of the book, Berenson tweeted, “thanks to @elonmusk and everyone who helped.”
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