(CNET) — President Donald Trump is not shy about sharing his opinions, particularly about the many things he doesn’t like.
Still, it appears the stock market was caught off guard by a story from Axios on Wednesday that said Trump is considering going after the largest e-commerce company in the world — already one of his favorite targets. Amazon’s shares fell about 5 percent Wednesday, causing the company to lose (at least for the moment) its status as the second most-valuable US stock.
Amazon’s stock decline comes amid a broader selloff in tech and financial stocks, with Facebook especially taking a beatingby polling company Cambridge Analytica. Those troubles may have created a negative backdrop for Amazon’s decline Wednesday.
“He’s wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law,” according to an anonymous source quoted in the report.
“He’s obsessed with Amazon … obsessed,” a source told Axios.
You don’t need to go far, though, to find that Trump has repeatedly tweeted his criticisms about the company and CEO Jeff Bezos, a vocal critic of the president. In July, Trump called Amazon a “no-tax monopoly.” In August, he claimed Amazon was “doing great damage” to other retailers. And in December he said Amazon was making the US Post Office poorer.”
That’s why Stifel analyst Scott Devitt noted Wednesday that Trump’s disdain for Amazon wasn’t new information, and maintained his upbeat view on the company.
The White House, for its part, said Wednesday that the administration isn’t considering any policy changes directed at Amazon.
“We have no announcements and no specific policies or actions that we’re currently pushing forward or considering taking,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in response to a question about the Axios story, according to Bloomberg.
“The president has said many times before he’s always looking to create a level playing field for all businesses and this no different and he’s going to always look at different ways, but there aren’t any specific policies on the table at this time,” Sanders added, according to Bloomberg.
Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
— Ben Fox Rubin