Amazon.com is the subject of increased scrutiny from U.S. antitrust regulators as enforcers look beyond the e-commerce giant's retail operations to include the company's Amazon Web Services cloud computing business, according to Bloomberg sources.
The Federal Trade Commission has been talking to software companies about practices around AWS, which suggests that the scrutiny of one of the world’s largest companies is broadening past its core retail business. This increased scrutiny doesn't necessarily mean that further action will be taken, but it could represent a potential large headwind for the tech giant.
An interesting backdrop of the increased scrutiny by the Trump administration’s antitrust watchdogs is the personal feud that has been simmering between President Donald Trump, the leader of the world’s largest economy, and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and the world’s richest man with a net worth of $109 billion.
President Trump criticized Bezos in 2015 while he still just a Republican presidential candidate for his ownership of The Washington Post, which Bezos responded to by offering to send Trump on a trip to space via Bezos’ Blue Origin space travel company.
Since then Amazon has legally challenged the Pentagon’s decision to award rival cloud-computing operation Microsoft Azure with the lucrative $10 billion JEDI contract, alleging that the decision was made against Amazon due to political pressure from Trump.
"Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias -- and it's important that these matters be examined and rectified,” an Amazon spokesperson previously told TheStreet.