Elon Musk Takes a Shot at Jeff Bezos
Elon Musk called out Amazon.com Inc and founder Jeff Bezos after Kindle Direct Publishing rejected submission for a book called "Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns," according to the Wall Street Journal.
The book questions the route most countries have taken to combat the coronavirus. “This is insane @JeffBezos,” Musk tweeted. Musk has questioned the severity of the pandemic on multiple occasions. “Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!” He added. Amazon.com Inc has grown to become the third-largest public company by market cap and questions have started to arise about how far Amazon can expand.
Following these tweets, an Amazon spokeswoman stated that the book was being reinstated and was rejected by mistake. Amazon controls most of the US book-retail market and sells about 50 percent of all new book sales in the US and 75 percent of all e-book sales, according to research firm Codex Group. “They are by far the largest self-publishing platform in this country,” said Peter Hildick-Smith, president of Codex Group. “Writers want to be there because they believe they’ll have an inside track with the largest bookseller in the country.”
Musk's claim that Amazon is a monopoly is not unheard of. Regulators and politicians in both parties have questioned Amazon's business practice. Last year, the Justice Department opened an antitrust review of large tech companies, including Amazon. This review investigated the practices of online platforms that have a large market share of internet search, social media, and e-commerce. The Federal Trade Commission is also investigating Amazon acquisitions.
Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have both called for Amazon to be broken up and Republican Senator Josh Hawley has voiced support for a criminal investigation into the company. Former vice president Joe Biden stated last week, “I don’t think any company, I don’t give a damn how big they are, the Lord almighty, should absolutely be in a position where they pay no tax and make billions and billions and billions of dollars,” referring to Amazon paying zero in federal income tax in 2018.
President Trump has also criticized Jeff Bezos and Amazon. However, he is angrier about the Bezos owned Washington Post's articles about him. Last year, President Trump awarded a massive Pentagon cloud-computing contract to Microsoft over Amazon. Amazon appealed the decision, claiming President Trump influenced the decision.
Musk and Bezos are worth a combined $200 billion and the 21st century has been good to both of them. However, the rivalry between the two is related to a space race. Last week, Musk's SpaceX successfully sent two astronauts into orbit before they arrived at the International Space Station. Bezos has his own space travel company called Blue Origin.
Last year, Bezos took a shot at Musk and his ambitions to bring humans to Mars. “My friends who want to move to Mars?” Mr. Bezos said. “I say, do me a favor: Go live on the top of Mount Everest for a year first and see if you like it, because it’s a garden paradise compared to Mars.”