Is Amazon the most powerful company in America?
Amazon has fast become one of the world’s most ubiquitous technology titans, with a market cap well-over half a trillion dollars and a firm footing in some of the fastest-growing industries on the planet. But Amazon’s power extends beyond the marketplace. According to analysis from Bloomberg News, Amazon is the tech world’s most active government lobbyist – a fact that may help protect it from the “painful transition” that the tech sector is undergoing now that “Big tech’s long honeymoon of public goodwill is over.”
Amazon’s lobbying spending grows faster than Apple, Facebook, Airbnb, Oracle, Microsoft, and Google
Gene Kimmelman, the president of policy group Public Knowledge says that Amazon is experiencing a wave of backlash over their impact on the labour market. He told the press that “they are getting smacked right and left with questions about whether they are undermining sectors, harming local business opportunities, actually undercutting innovation, destroying jobs and harming democracy.”
Some of this public opinion is felt in the all-caps tweets from America’s current Commander in Chief, Donald Trump. He has claimed that Amazon should be paying “MUCH MORE!” to the U.S. Postal Service for delivering its packages, and heavily criticized CEO Jeff Bezos’ other big-name company, The Washington Post. Amazon’s 400% increase in lobbying spend over the last five years should give it some protection from sentiments like these.
Amazon’s share price has risen by 70% over the past 12 months
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
Jeff Bezos is one of the most impressive businessmen in the technology sector. The empire he has built, and the innovations it took to get there, is proof of that, and his annual shareholder letter has fast become as influential amongst tech-heads as Warren Buffett’s is amongst investors. But his genius extends beyond business and technology, and into the political sphere.
Amazon has become a presence in Washington, spending more, lobbying on more issues, and integrating more closely (Bezos literally moved his personal home to Washington) than its rivals. The company describes its recent shift to a bigger, more upmarket, headquarters in the city thusly:
“As one of the biggest job creators in the country, we’ve expanded our team in Washington, D.C. to ensure we are able to cover the rowing range of topics that are important to policymakers, our employees, and our customers.”
If and when the hard times come, Amazon’s going to be in a better position to weather them than most of its competitors.
Dominion holds Amazon in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.
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