Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told interviewers at CNBC yesterday that ““If you look at Amazon, although there are certain benefits to it, it destroyed the retail industry across the United States, so there’s no question they’ve limited competition.”
The Secretary’s words, coupled with recent Justice Department disclosures that there are “plans to scrutinize tech platforms following mounting criticism across Washington that the companies have become too big and too powerful,” there is understandable worry at Amazon and other tech firms. Bloomberg’s Ryan Beene reports on Amazon’s response:
An Amazon spokeswoman pushed back on Mnuchin’s comments Wednesday, saying in a statement that “small and medium-sized businesses are thriving with Amazon” and that sales by independent sellers totaled $160 billion in sales on the platform last year. She also said roughly 90% of U.S. retail sales still occur at physical storefronts, citing government from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Amazon accounts for less than 4% of the U.S. retail market, the company said. Closely watched researcher EMarketer Inc. also estimates their share at about 4%. Other marketing estimates have indicated that the company’s share of U.S. retail sales is higher, with Euromonitor International Plc putting that figure as high as 7.7%.
“I think it’s very good that the attorney general is going to look into this,” Mnuchin said. “I think it’s an important issue and I look forward to him reporting back to the president and hearing his recommendations.”
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