Amazon hit by Trump broadside over tax, jobs

Oliver Haill Sharecast | 16 Aug, 2017 12:07 - Updated: 13:52 | | |

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Shares in Amazon fell in pre-market trading after US President Donald Trump lashed out at the "great damage" the online retail giant was doing to the country's bricks and mortar retailers.

Lashing out on Twitter, Trump said: "Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the US are being hurt - many jobs being lost!"

Amazon stock fell just over $5 to $977.66, a slip of 0.52%, in premarket trade two and half hours before Wall Street opens officially.

Amazon and other online behemoths, generally from the US, have mostly come under fire in Europe for not paying their fair share of tax.

Last week Amazon was revealed to have paid just €16.5m tax on European revenues of €21.6bn, with a 50% fall in its annual UK corporate tax bill.

The Seattle-based retailer, which has seen its market capitalisation in the US soar to over $500bn in recent months to make founder Jeff Bezos the richest person in the world for a short while, has been investigated by the European Commission over its tax deal with Luxembourg, with regulators believing it locked in a preferentially low tax rate, using a system of internal royalty payments.

Amazon saw profits slump in its most recent quarterly results as it spends big on further attempts to diversify its business operations, with profits in 2016 falling to £24m last year.

Bezos's plans to buy grocer Whole Foods for around $13.7bn have put the cat among the retail pigeons the world over, however, causing carnage among stocks of US retailers and hitting shares in London too.

Bezos is personally the owner of the Washington Post newspaper, object of the President's ire over any unfavourable coverage he deems "fake news" and other reporting practices of the "very dishonest" media.

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