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Trump slams Amazon, claiming it destroys retailers

Trump vs. Amazon

President Donald Trump lashed out at Amazon (AMZN) on Thursday, tweeting that the online retail giant isn't paying enough in taxes and is putting "many thousands of retailers out of business."

The tweet was posted after Axios reported that Mr. Trump wants to rein in the ecommerce giant by changing Amazon's tax treatment or to go after the company for alleged antitrust violations. Amazon didn't immediately return a request for comment. 

It's not the first time Mr. Trump has taken aim at Amazon. The president has railed against how much the U.S. Postal Service charges the company for shipping, claiming the retailer is making the post office "dumber and poorer." 

Concern that the president's focus on Amazon could lead to increased government scrutiny weighed on Amazon's shares on Wednesday, sending them down 4.4 percent. The stock closed slightly higher on Thursday after an initial drop. 

"With media reports today that President Trump is 'obsessed' with Amazon and is exploring anti-trust, regulatory and potential tax ramifications/changes for Bezos & Co, the Street is now fearful that the long-awaited Trump vs. Amazon battle could finally be on the horizon," wrote Daniel Ives, head of technology research at GBH Insights in a Wednesday research note.

He added, "The Street is having fears and a high level of angst about reports that Amazon and Bezos has a bullseye on their backs."

Mr. Trump and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have had a testy relationship, with the president previously airing complaints about the retailer's taxes and taking pot shots at The Washington Post, which Bezos bought in 2013.

The president has denounced the newspaper as Bezos's "toy" and accused the businessman of using the newspaper to push his political agenda. Bezos has denied interfering with the newspaper's coverage. (The Washington Post is a separate company from Amazon.)

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