business news in context, analysis with attitude

Content Guy’s Note: Stories in this section are, in my estimation, important and relevant to business. However, they are relegated to this slot because some MNB readers have made clear that they prefer a politics-free MNB; I can't do that because sometimes the news calls out for coverage and commentary, but at least I can make it easy for folks to skip it if they so desire.

Bloomberg reports that President Donald Trump has “resumed his public campaign against billionaire Jeff Bezos by calling his newspaper, the Washington Post, an ‘expensive lobbyist’ for Inc. and alleging the online retailer has a ‘huge antitrust’ problem.” The story notes that “Trump used Twitter on Monday to repeat his suggestion -- without offering any evidence -- that the newspaper is ‘used as protection against antitrust claims which many feel should be brought’ against the online retailer. He went on to misstate Amazon’s role in an internet sales tax case and the company’s impact on postal service revenues.”

Bloomberg goes on to point out that the Trump administration “could act against Amazon through antitrust, the U.S. Postal Service, consumer protection probes or even stoke the mounting push against their government contracting business,” though there are institutional and procedural limits on how far and how quickly the White House could act.
KC's View:
First of all, I spend a lot of time reading the Washington Post, and one of the things I’ve noticed is that the paper seems to have no qualms about doing negative stories about Amazon. Or positive stories. They seem pretty even-handed to me, ands always are up front about the fact that Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post.

Second, I have no problem with a mature, nuanced discussion about whether the nation’s antitrust guidelines ought to be adjusted in view of new competitive realities created by technology. I think there have been plenty of cases when government regulators have made the wrong decisions because they’re using old rules that don’t reflect the way the world is.

But … it has to be a nuanced discussion untainted by politics. Which means, I’d guess, that there isn’t much shot that it is going to happen.