Surprise! Trump doesn't like Amazon

Did the stock market just wake up to that? Shares of the e-commerce giant fall after report President Trump wants to curb its power.

Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Ben Fox Rubin
2 min read
Amazon's chief Jeff Bezos, far left, at a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in late 2016.

Amazon's chief Jeff Bezos, far left, at a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in late 2016.

Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images

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 beating amid a scandal over the misuse of user data by 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.

First published March 28 at 1:57 p.m. PT.
Update at 2:06 p.m.: Adds White House response.

Blockchain Decoded:  CNET looks at the tech powering bitcoin -- and soon, too, a myriad of services that will change your life.

Special Reports: CNET's in-depth features in one place.