And the main shark in those waters could be the government. The FTC is probing a complaint from advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, Reutersreported. The complaint looked at about 1,000 products on Amazon's website last month and found that of the 46% of those products that the tech giant listed reference prices for, more than 61% showed reference prices higher than over the 90 days prior, suggesting the price-discounting model may be misleading.
For years, Amazon has mostly been able to sidestep the heavy hand of the government -- see the internet tax issue, which was only recently addressed. The company has been able to grow, grow, grow and put companies of all kinds out of business -- and yet be viewed as some form of corporate do-gooder. But, with the Whole Foods (WFM) deal front and center, the government is going to get its chance to really drill down into the company. And they will continue to get that opportunity as Amazon likely tries to make more deals in the years ahead.
The risk to Amazon is that the government may not like what they see, which could lead to god knows what on the regulatory front. Government risk to Amazon is an issue that TheStreet's Doug Kass expertly brought up recently -- it's one that all Amazon fanboys need to carefully consider.
Amazon shares fell 0.9% to $1,019.57 on Friday morning.
What's Hot On TheStreet
Trump, Trump, Trump: As TheStreet reports, civil asset forfeiture is the latest dangerous thing from the Trump administration. A new rule announced by the Justice Department won't just expand the practice, it's designed specifically to defeat protections passed at the state level. It will almost certainly lead to abuse.
Watch your wallet.
Sorry, Amazon: KeyBanc analysts said Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report will dethrone Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report Web Services to become the "king of the cloud" this quarter, TheStreetreports.
Analysts reiterated an "overweight" rating and increased their price target for the software giant to $82 from $78. The new target implies a 10% upside from Thursday's closing stock price.
Microsoft's commercial cloud revenue increased 56% year over year, which exceeded KeyBanc's estimates by about $2 billion. Analysts noted: "The sheer size and accelerating pace of cloud growth increases our confidence in the bull-case scenario that Microsoft Cloud can quickly scale north of a $50 billion segment by 2021."
Take that, Bezos.
One of the biggest risks for Apple: Remember when Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report was going to bring back billions of dollars in cash from overseas over the next two years thanks to a Trump tax holiday? That is looking very unlikely, and it's something I was reminded of in TheStreet's Stephen Guilfoyle's morning column.
Makes you wonder if some of the hot air has to be let out of Apple's valuation.
More of What's Trending on TheStreet:
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- Best Buy's Geek Squad Is a Mess, According to Customer Reviews, Opening the Door for Amazon's Entry
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(This column originally appeared at 9:00 a.m. ET on Real Money, our premium site for active traders. Click here to get great columns like this from Brian Sozzi and other writers even earlier in the trading day.)
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