FILE PHOTO: US Secretary of finance, and Steven Mnuchin attends a working session at the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting held in Chantilly, near Paris, France, on July 17, 2019 at the latest. Ian Langsdon/Pool via REUTERS
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – the U.S. Minister of finance, Steven Mnuchin, said on Wednesday that the online giant is Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN.(O) “destroyed the retail industry in the United States of america.”
Mnuchin said he was looking forward to hearing the results of a Justice Department probe, announced on Tuesday and the big AMERICAN tech companies engage in anti-competitive practices, in the strongest sign yet that He’s administration has been stepping up its scrutiny of Big Tech.
“If you look at Amazon, although they have some benefits, they have destroyed the retail industry in the United States of america,” Mnuchin said on CNBC. “I don’t have any other opinion than that, I think, is that it is the absolute right of the state attorney general is looking into these issues, and I’m looking forward to hearing his recommendations to the president.”
Amazon has defended itself, saying that over 90% of all sales take place in brick-and-mortar stores.
Today, independent agents, more than 58% of the physical, the gross merchandise sales on Amazon, their sales have grown twice as fast as ours, out of a total of $160 billion in 2018,” a spokesman for Amazon said.
A Justice spokesman, declined to say on Tuesday, the companies would have to investigate under the anti-trust probe, but said the review would consider concerns raised about the & quot; search, social media, retail, and services-on-line” – a clear reference to Google, Amazon, Facebook Inc (FB.(O), and possibly Apple Inc (AAPL.D).
Mnuchin said, too, that the small amount of work that Google has with the Chinese government did not ask for, in spite of the President when He calls the week leading up to the administration to investigate the issue.
“The president did look into that as well as I do,” Mnuchin said. “Google is a Us company that wants to help US.”
Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Leslie Adler