US Secretary of State Steven Mnuchin said he supported the Justice Department's attempt to look closer to Amazon because the tech giant has "destroyed the retail."
"I think if you look at Amazon, although there are certain benefits to it, they have destroyed the retail trade across the United States, so there is no doubt that they have limited competition," Mnuchin said during an interview at CNBC . "There are areas where they really hurt small businesses."
(Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, owns The Washington Post .)
Mnuchin commented one day after the Justice Department announced that it opened a comprehensive antitrust review of "market-leading online platforms ", an unparalleled query that can boost the demands that Amazon, Facebook and Google were broken up.
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Amazon spokeswoman Jodi Seth said the company's retail revenues account for less than 4 percent of US retail and less than 1
"Small and medium-sized businesses thrive on Amazon," she said in an email. "Today, independent sellers make up more than 58 percent of physical gross sales on Amazon, and their sales have grown twice as fast as our own, totaling $ 160 billion ($ 239 billion) in 2018."
The company added that "the vast majority of retail sales – 90 percent – still occur in mortar and mortar stores according to the US Census Bureau."
Mnuchin is one of several former board members who are sued by the American retailer Sears for allegedly stripped the billion-dollar dealer while spiraling into bankruptcy. Sears, the more than one hundred-year-old American icon, filed for bankruptcy last year, with huge losses under private equity.
Mnuchin's role in the boards of Sears and the hedge fund ESL Investments has been under political scrutiny in recent months. Earlier this year, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, both Democrats, said they were "deeply concerned about the economic construction" that happened while Mnuchin was operating in the retailer's regime.
Congress members have asked Mnuchin to provide more information about his role in the company and its retirement plans. Representatives of the Ministry of Finance did not respond to requests for comment.
On Wednesday, Mnuchin told CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin that he was eager to hear the State Prosecutor's recommendations for Amazon. Asked if Amazon's market dominance was comparable to Walmarts a decade ago, Mnuchin said the issues were different.
"In a way it's the same and in a way it's different," he added. "People were worried about Walmart. As you can see, Walmart developed a business where small businesses could continue to compete with them. And, Walmart has seen much of the Amazon retail."
Amazon reported $ 232.9b in sales last year, up 31 percent from the previous year. Walmart had $ 514.4 billion in annual revenues this year, an increase of 2.8 per cent from the previous year.