Elon Musk tweets 'break up Amazon' after coronavirus ebook temporarily blocked

Amazon says the self-published ebook was blocked in error. It's now available.

Carrie Mihalcik Managing Editor / News
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Elon Musk at the Kennedy Space Center on May 27.

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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Thursday took aim at Amazon on Twitter for apparently blocking the sale of a self-published ebook about the coronavirus pandemic by former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson. Amazon has since reversed the decision, saying the ebook was blocked in error. 

"Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!" Musk said in a tweet directed at Berenson and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos . Musk added in another tweet that blocking the ebook was "insane."

Berenson on Thursday tweeted an image of an email that appears to be from Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing arm saying his ebook, Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns, doesn't comply with company's guidelines and wouldn't be offered for sale. The tweet prompted criticism of Amazon from some people on social media, including Musk. 

Later Thursday, Berenson tweeted that the ebook was live, and thanked Musk and "everyone who helped."

A spokeswoman for Amazon confirmed on Friday that the book was removed in error and is now available for sale. The company also reportedly told Reuters that its decision to approve its sale was not due to Musk. 

Musk has tweeted multiple times about the coronavirus pandemic, first, writing in March that "the coronavirus panic is dumb," and later speaking out against lockdown rules. The Tesla CEO was also involved in a public dispute with local officials over reopening the company's plant in Fremont, California.