Trump Implicitly Suggests That His DOJ Would Take Down Amazon For Antitrust

from the oh-boy dept

There was a fair bit of coverage on Monday of the news that the Donald Trump campaign had removed the press credentials from the Washington Post because the campaign was upset with the Washington Post’s coverage of the campaign. While it got a lot of attention, it was quickly pointed out that Trump has revoked or barred at least six other news outlets from receiving press passes, including Politico, the Huffington Post, the National Review, Buzzfeed and the Daily Beast. This issue is being discussed in lots of media circles. But what interested me much more was buried deeper in the full two paragraph statement that the Trump campaign later released. It included a weird and basically confused attack on Jeff Bezos, that again raises some serious questions about how Trump may use the Presidency to “settle scores.”

The Washington Post unfortunately covers Mr. Trump very inaccurately. Today’s headline, “Donald Trump Suggests President Obama Was Involved With Orlando Shooting” is a perfect example. We no longer feel compelled to work with a publication which has put its need for “clicks” above journalistic integrity.

They have no journalistic integrity and write falsely about Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump does not mind a bad story, but it has to be honest. The fact is, The Washington Post is being used by the owners of Amazon as their political lobbyist so that they don’t have to pay taxes and don’t get sued for monopolistic tendencies that have led to the destruction of department stores and the retail industry.

There are all sorts of issues with that statement, beyond the simple fact that there appears to be basically zero evidence to support it. Yes, Jeff Bezos runs Amazon and also owns the Washington Post. But I’ve seen basically no evidence that the Washington Post has done any stories that are somehow lobbying for Amazon’s interests (for what it’s worth, Amazon tends to stay far, far away from all sorts of policy fights). Perhaps I’ve missed it, but I don’t recall any WaPo editorials advocating for letting Amazon avoid taxes.

But it’s really the end of that last paragraph that’s the most concerning. Claiming that Amazon has “monopolistic tendencies” and the ridiculous claim that it’s “led to the destruction of department stores and the retail industry,” is somewhat concerning. This is not the first time Trump has attacked Bezos. In fact, his original infamous statements about how he was going to “open up libel laws” were actually directed at Bezos. He first went on a tirade about Bezos owning the Washington Post, followed by:

If I become President, oh, are they going to have problems. They’re going to have such problems.

Lots of people pointed out that Trump perhaps couldn’t do too much to libel laws (the Supreme Court and the First Amendment has that covered), but he absolutely could have the DOJ or even the FTC go after Amazon for claimed anti-trust or anti-consumer behavior. And it seems pretty clear that he would gleefully do so. And not because of any actual evidence of problems, but because he doesn’t like the coverage in the Washington Post which just happens to be owned by Bezos. Settling personal scores with the press by attacking a service that many in the public find extremely useful and convenient doesn’t seem particularly presidential, does it?

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Comments on “Trump Implicitly Suggests That His DOJ Would Take Down Amazon For Antitrust”

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108 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Yep...

Anti-Trust is not meant to only be actioned if someone one DID engage in unfair practices but to also be used to prevent such a union from taking place.

This is why regulation is bad and Anti-Monoploy/Anti-Trust laws are superior as protectors against the negatives of Capitalism and Free Market.

Regulation is Oligarchy supported by the clueless socialists that can be easily taken advantage of with mere table scraps and lip service.

There should be a law stating that a single individual should only be able to ever own/control 1 business. NEVER a second! Allowing a single person to gain so much wealth and power that they can forcibly alter the economic landscape is never good!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Yep...

Regulation in general can mean anything, it is an unrefined term.

Government telling a business they can only sell 16 oz. soda is a regulation, but is NOT anti-trust.

Government telling a business that they cannot sign a contract with Coca-Cola to exclusively sell their 16 oz. soda is {true} a regulation but specifically Anti-Trust.

You are actually the first person to intelligently engage this conversation. There is a very important distinction between just regulation and Anti-Trust/Anti-Monopoly law. The devil is in the details, cars, planes, boats, and trucks are all vehicles. I am just saying I do not want any vehicle, I want specific vehicles! Regulation just says give us anything even if it is the wrong one without discrimination. Asking someone to only give you a truck specifically precludes all other forms of vehicles right?

Which is why I say no to regulation because that just allows businesses to BUY THE MARKET, there is no real control which is the very thing that the others calling me a troll ‘claim’ to wish to prevent, but still agree too all at the same time.

I say yes to Anti-Trust law, because it is refined in such a way to limit governments corrupt and makes it more difficult for businesses to BUY THE MARKET. It really is very easy for businesses to buy regulations that stifle competition and allow monopolies. As proven by the FCC and its vast history of doing just that! It is difficult for businesses to buy anti-trust regulation to benefit them in any way!

The people here still holding on to the idea that the FCC is not corrupt, are not students of history and will only repeat its failures.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Yep...

The difference is in the detail.

An oligarchic organisation like FCC will easily be corruptable.

On the other hands anti-trust has to rely on clear laws and you know how laws work? They erode and are circumvented…

So corruption and inconsistency or erosion and circumvention. Pick your poison…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Yep...

There will always a poison to pick, there is no escape from that fact.

The FCC was an Oligarchy before Wheeler got in. The new rules sadly make it possible for it become an even worse one now.

The FCC needs to be sunset. Yes the telco’s might go insane from it and do their worst but it will also create a new backlash that might bring them back under heel. Doubt it but we already know that the FCC path is going to be nothing but corruption proven by its history.

In fact all regulatory agencies should be sunset from time to time if for nothing else than to force a return and complete rewrite of the laws. Right now we have so many laws on the books that it is nearly impossible NOT be a criminal. Hell a of them contradict each other!

https://cei.org/blog/contradictory-financial-regulations-cause-problems

Here is a good example.

Seriously, a changing of the filthy as diaper that is congress AND the regulatory agencies is a necessity!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Yep...

The Sherman Antitrust Act – “..prohibits certain business activities that federal government regulators deem to be anti-competitive”.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Antitrust_Act

So, yes … it is regulation by a government entity.

I do not recall anyone here posting the claim to which you refer – namely that the FCC is not corrupt. Perhaps I just missed that post. The sad truth is that most all human activity is subject to the pressures of corruption, politics more so than most others. It would be a surprise to find any governing body to free of corruption, simply getting rid of regulation will not address this – at all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Yep...

To clarify, everyone is asking for regulation. This is bad.

No one is asking for Anti-Trust regulation. There may be a lot of peeps about about, but NEVER what comes out of committee.
Additionally no one is trying to prevent other regulations that are NOT anti-trust. In fact business are wanting regulation so they can use them to stifle competition instead.

So what do you get when when the people call for regulation? Regulation that only results in an outcome worse than no regulation? America in 2016, the FCC, AMA, the FTC… all of these agencies are wearing the emperors new cloths!!!

People need to start saying no to Regulation because the term allows ALL the corruption, but to instead say yes to Anti-Trust, and tie each agencies budget to successful anti-trust investigations. Once a lot of it all has been wiped out, we can look at the economy, and sunset the agency that has served us. Yes, the corruption will come back, but that is just the circle of life! So we resurrect the agency again and go to town.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Yep...

People need to start saying no to Regulation because the term allows ALL the corruption, but to instead say yes to Anti-Trust

So you’re fine with getting rid of all the safety and environmental regulations, and let the corporations do whatever they want to anybody, as long as they’re not colluding? No thanks.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Yep...

I believe he’s the same AC who kept claiming to want to keep government out of it entirely and only depend on such laws. He seems to have switched to simply whining about regulation after being unable to answer the repeatedly asked simple question of how you enforce laws without government involvement.

He’s the kind of person whose reaction to Nixon creating the EPA in order stop companies literally polluting so much that rivers were on fire, is to whine that the regulation getting in the way of capitalism. Somehow anything done in advancement of profit OK as long as the consumer has the illusion of choice.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Yep...

Someone is using their brain for a change!

Since we allow any kind of regulation then yes, Trump might be able to do just that! And even though any attempt he made might be noticeable, there is likely going to be little challenge from the Trump supports when he does corrupt shit, because the supporters of Obama let him do corrupt shit as well. Sadly a lot of people are going to behave that way in spite or just take it as a leftist attack on Trump. When it comes to party politics you cannot find enough sane people to have proper discourse. They side can just do no wrong!

If we only allowed Anti-Trust/Anti-Monopoly laws then it would be very difficult for Trump to do this.

This is the reason that if there is going to be regulation, it must ONLY be Anti-Monopoly or Anti-Trust. A free market cannot survive any more regulation than that. So yes, America is effectively no longer a free market. It is an Oligarchy fomented by socialists in pure ignorance and delusional love of any and all regulation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Yep...

It is not just the prez one needs to be concerned with – Congress does this routinely, and they brag about it.

Insider trading? No prob Congress Critter, you are allowed to do that.
Conflict of Interest? Do not worry Congress, you are covered.
Hand out bribery checks on the Congressional floor just prior to taking a vote? Not a problem – nothing wrong with that.

Beware peasants … you are not allowed to do any of the above because it is illegal for you, now get back to work you worthless wage slave.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Yep...

yep, but where the congress critters are involved, people become very surprisingly supportive of corruption.

A lot of people LIKE their own congress critters but they hate all of the other ones. Why do they like their own but hate all of the others? Because their own guys corruption gets them stuff!

Congress is like the final proof that Regulation is bad and only Anti-Trust or Anti-Monopoly law will work to any degree.

And yes, you do bring up an excellent point, businesses are allowed to do a lot of things that would be illegal for a citizen to do.

AJ says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Yep...

“yep, but where the congress critters are involved, people become very surprisingly supportive of corruption.”

How so?

“A lot of people LIKE their own congress critters but they hate all of the other ones. Why do they like their own but hate all of the others? Because their own guys corruption gets them stuff!”

Only slightly more like than dislike, and that gap is closing according to gallup. Some, including Gallup, indicate the difference could be simply because the people know who their Representative is in their own states, but have no idea who the rest of congress is. According to Gallop, that simple name recognition could be skewing the results. I couldn’t find any references to indicate free stuff = more favorable view.. not to say that’s not the case.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/162362/americans-down-congress-own-representative.aspx

“Congress is like the final proof that Regulation is bad and only Anti-Trust or Anti-Monopoly law will work to any degree.”

But are they not the same thing? Antitrust laws are a form of regulation by definition.

https://www.google.com/#q=regulation
https://www.google.com/#q=is+anti+trust+regulation

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Yep...

I am not 100% against mergers, but I can say that most mergers & acquisitions should be struck down.

Lets take the merger with TWC and Charter. Can anyone specify how this promote any competition?

How about China buying up American Movie Theaters?
How about Jack Ma buying up French vineyards?

What does any of this benefit the world at large? Nothing that is what. It does give singular individuals the power to make sweeping and destructive changes to entire economies however. Something we should actively prevent from being possible.

That is why we should not even allow the possibility of any large mergers or acquisitions from taking place. They only move more profits up to the super rich and adds to the backs of the poor.

Did you see how much global economic power is residing in the Bilderberg conference? If the World was sane, it would arrest every one of them moment they all gathered as a monolithic corruption! So much power in so few individuals hands only breeds evil.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: SINGLE REGULATION

Persecuting 1 company IS NOT FAIR..

Just because 1 company is SMARTER then another, does NOT mean a company has an UNFAIR advantage..

Look at the OLD stores..
NOT upgraded,
no longer compete..
MOST are groups of Stores, all owned by 1 company..(macy’s to TJ Max)
GET OUT of the high COST areas..move to the Lower cost sections of towns..
DONT sit next to your competition IN THE MALL.
GET OUT of the DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM IN THE USA..GO DIRECT..
(running products threw 2-3 companies BEFORE it gets to a store ONLY ADD’s COST)(ask walmart)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: SINGLE REGULATION

Or flea markets, bazaars, trades-days, or any other market like them.

There is still a lot of business handled at these places. I was just at a Farmers market last weekend to avoid giving the Big Retailers money in an effort to support my local economy and not some board member in God knows what country!

DannyB (profile) says:

Opening up libel laws

Lots of people pointed out that Trump perhaps couldn’t do too much to libel laws (the Supreme Court and the First Amendment has that covered)

Not if Trump removes and restocks the supreme court justices.

If congress doesn’t like it, he could just dissolve congress because it acts as an inconvenient impediment to his administration’s agenda. A mandate which he received when everyone voted for him to be president. After all, everyone just loves Trump. And anyone who doesn’t is just a loser. And if some people don’t want a Trump administration, then he’ll make it longer — and he’ll make them pay for it. His will be the most bestest classiest administration ever. Believe Trump, when he says he knows administrations. Everyone will just love his presidency. And loving it won’t just be the right thing to do, it will be the law.

(I hope I did not need a sarcasm tag here.)

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Opening up libel laws

I’m 61% joking. But one way is like how in Babylon 5, the EarthGov president Clark simply dissolved the senate and put Earth under martial law.

All you need is someone who is completely self centered, on a power trip, has no grasp of, nor respect for the law or even what is right for any other person outside of him/her self.

Don’t think it couldn’t happen here. I don’t mean to invoke godwin, but I’m sure people had no idea what was going to happen.

We read right here every day about a world that seems to be going insane.

Every time I come up with what I think is a sarcastic, cynical paranoid raving, reality turns out worse.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Opening up libel laws

We used to laugh at countries where the politicians act like Donald Trump; we called them non-democratic or pseudo-democratic regimes — corrupt, backward, 3rd-world nations, where the political leaders could spout any self-serving nonsense they pleased without fear of ridicule or paying any price, and where the law is an instrument of the authorities’ personal aggrandizement — nations which no one took seriously (unless they had some valuable resource that more advanced countries wanted to extract, or were unfortunate enough to be a neighbour).

We laughed and sneered (rightfully) because we believed that it couldn’t happen here, believed (perhaps wrongly) that we had grown beyond that kind of ignorant, narrow-minded, self-centred, and harmful, backwardness.

But now Der Trump is the official semi-finalist for the contest over the American presidency, and the only ones laughing are Trump and his supporters.

Latrina Cohen (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Opening up libel laws

So are you going to tell me with a straight face that before Trump, people here didn’t believe that the law was abused for partisan political purposes? That you seriously believe that crap like extrajudicial killings directed from the White House, abuse of government organisations to target opposition groups, extralegal surveillance of political figures and government seizure of financial assets held by innocent citizens could never happen in the USA, and that it is only with the rise of the evil Trump that they’ll start?

As for the people worrying about how the President doesn’t have the authority to do a lot of the shit that Trump’s promising, you might want to read a book and look at just how much Obama expanded the power and reach of the executive. Trump wouldn’t even have to sign a single executive order and he’d already have the authority and capability to launch a drone-strike on every registered democrat in the country or indefinitely detain them.

Finally, Jeff Bezos has a deeply vested interest in making sure that Trump stays out of office. Amazon wants to keep the cost of labor as low as possible, and Trump’s restrictions on immigration and enforcement of laws against employing illegal immigrants would cause big problems for them – not to mention the issue of tariffs.

Wendy Cockcroft (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Opening up libel laws

Latrina… lovin’ the name.

07940 569 059

So are you going to tell me with a straight face that before Trump, people here didn’t believe that the law was abused for partisan political purposes? …That it is only with the rise of the evil Trump that they’ll start?

I doubt that Saint Donald of Trump will put an end to that. We haven’t seen or heard him say so, nor have any statements been released by the Trump campaign to indicate an end to these abuses. Please correct me if I’m wrong with links to where these assertions have been made by Trump himself or by one of his campaign staffers.

As for the people worrying about how the President doesn’t have the authority to do a lot of the shit that Trump’s promising, you might want to read a book and look at just how much Obama expanded the power and reach of the executive. Trump wouldn’t even have to sign a single executive order and he’d already have the authority and capability to launch a drone-strike on every registered democrat in the country or indefinitely detain them.

He would probably start with Mr. Bezos. Seriously, I hate the idea of that kind of power being vested in any individual. I’ve got enough problems with them being in the hands of Mr. Witty and Urbane Obama. Looking good and sounding smart doesn’t make his administration any less scary.

Finally, Jeff Bezos has a deeply vested interest in making sure that Trump stays out of office. Amazon wants to keep the cost of labor as low as possible, and Trump’s restrictions on immigration and enforcement of laws against employing illegal immigrants would cause big problems for them – not to mention the issue of tariffs.

Imagine Trump’s consternation when he realises he is restricted in what he can unilaterally do by international obligations, by which I mean NAFTA. If that means he’ll pull out of NAFTA, there’s a host of union leaders and members, not to mention American businessmen, who will heartily thank him for it. However, I can’t see Wall St. being in favour of this, and you may find that many of the members of Congress are in hock to them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Opening up libel laws

FDR was discussing doubling the size of the supreme court and appointing all the new judges, since the supreme court were blocking his reforms. The supreme court then changed course and approved his reforms (Social Security, etc). The threat seemed to be enough to get the court to do what he wanted.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Opening up libel laws

Where does it say that the prez sets the number of judges on the SCOTUS?

US Constitution, article II, section 2, clause 2. The president appoints judges to the supreme court, with no limit set on the number of judges. Naturally if a president tried to pack a court these days the opposite party would stonewall in the Senate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Opening up libel laws

I don’t think supreme court is his primary concern. First he declares martial law in the whole country as soon as he gets the opportunity. Then he can follow the line of purging traitors (historically it is by far the easiest way to solidify power), which incidentally will be his “enemies”. Afterwards, he will start to make “america great again”.

Democracy is fragile. The holes for getting out of it are there for anyone daring to use it.

David says:

Know what's worrying?

But what interested me much more was buried deeper in the full two paragraph statement that the Trump campaign later released.

This is released by the Trump campaign rather than being a personal statement by Trump. Obviously, they feel sort of endorsed for this writeup, or got briefed for doing it. And then were able to synch to it.

Which means we are not dealing with a single raving lunatic but rather a cell of them that felt confident converging to a single themed rant.

Now if this does not bring up memories of — can somebody please show Mr Godwin the door? I find his incessant smirking irritating.

Thank you. Where was I?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

constant state of emergency since 2001, a list of emergency regulations that can only be invoked during a state of emergency, which is redundant with how the last few petty tyrants have been running America. The power to declare war while ignoring congress.

pretty sure that’s dictatorial precedent right there.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The FBI is limited to national investigations involving capital crimes or crimes of over $10,000.

The CIA is limited to international investigations.

War must be declared by Congress, not the POTUS.

The list of such statements goes on and on. The response seems to be “Oh yeah, and which oversight body is going to stop us?”

The truth is, a charismatic leader can do whatever everyone else will let him/her do, either through active support or apathy. Ref: Godwin.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: pushing the DOJ and the FTC?

He has all the power he needs. The DOJ has not been allowed to go after any of the corrupt people in Obama’s administration. They will most likely head off the investigation into Clinton’s email as well; just wait and see. It is the fox guarding the hen house.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: pushing the DOJ and the FTC?

Not really.

The Executive should be right where they are.

The problem is that Congress is out to lunch or cannot do anything because of partisan politics. This is just another reason why political parties are bad. Everyone, including Obama’s own party should be willing to see his arse fry for abusing his power, but that is not going to happen.

DannyB (profile) says:

Destruction of department stores

Hey, Big Box stores. Here’s a thought.

Don’t just complain like the horse and buggy vs the newfangled, unreliable, noisy, smelly, difficult to start automobile that more and more people are buying.

Adjust your business model.

Is big bad Amazon building a local distribution center making you cry? You could have been ahead of the game on this if you have any vision.

Maybe you should get into the technology game.

Build a big web site that makes it easy to shop online. Integrate the site with your stores’ inventory systems. After all, your retail store fronts are also — ta da! — local fast delivery warehouses as well! Your site would know exactly what and how many you have in stock, and the nearest location to deliver it from.

You could build a software delivery planning system that offered over night delivery. Or possibly same day delivery if you order before noon.

This item qualifies for low cost same day delivery if you order in the next HH:MM minutes!

Maybe you could find a mutually beneficial arrangement with local delivery companies, such as, oh, say, UPS, FedEx, or even (gasp!) the USPS.

Or, maybe not. Maybe you can get a law passed or something. A past way of doing something is being destroyed! We need a law! Or a president that will abuse power to fix this!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Destruction of department stores

The only problem with this is that most of the big stores have tried this and failed.

In Canada, the original competition was online book sales: Amazon vs. Chapters/Indigo. Chapters/Indigo also had box stores, and they attempted to leverage this by having Starbucks shops inside the stores and having reading areas. The result? A lot of people were going to a store, pulling a book/magazine off the shelf, reading it, and then leaving without buying anything outside the Starbucks. Amazon did a better job with the software delivery chain, and was unencumbered by tying local delivery into the system — they used one pipe to process everything, which is significantly more efficient.

Result? Goodbye Chapters/Indigo (stores closing, online presence hanging on by a thread while Amazon.ca grows).

Let’s then turn to Sears Canada, which is a slightly different beast than Sears USA. They’ve been mail order plus storefront for generations. Amazon got into the clothing/perfume/housewares/hardware business and suddenly their model tanked; it was just once again less efficient than the single pipe model. Result? Goodbye Sears Canada (same state as Chapters).

Target had the same situation, although they also had the unfortunate problem of rolling into Canada right when the security breach happened. Target coming in destroyed Zellers, and then Target pulled out, Amazon already having the foothold in their target market.

Who HAS been able to compete?

Home Depot (lots of their stuff is just too big to do via Amazon’s format, but they already have a great distribution chain set up, and their website dovetails into that)

Costco Canada (Food gets people in the door, and then they’re there for everything else that people might want)

Wal Mart Canada (their predatory supplier practices work just as well in Canada as in the US; they are also to blame for killing off all the smaller suppliers who just couldn’t compete).

Due to the fact that there are significantly more people in the US than Canada, this doesn’t affect the US markets as much. But it’s not as simple as you make it out to be. Amazon outcompetes everyone else on the delivery chain because it got there first. Wal Mart and Costco outcompete everyone on the supply chain because they went to bulk purchasing via preferred suppliers on licked in contracts first. Breaking in to either of those markets is difficult (although Ali Baba is succeeding against Amazon because it gets in further up the supply chain, right from the international manufacturers selling off-label items).

Just like the horse drawn carriage industry, (and radio-> Internet, TV-> Internet newspapers->Facebook etc) there’s not much the box stores can do to adapt; they’d have to change their core business, and then they’d be new entries into an already saturated market, where they’d be likely to fail faster than they are in the traditional market they helped define.

Anonymous Coward says:

Bezos & WaPo: Thiel, with 10x the money?

While IMO Bezos’ purchase of the WaPo was motivated primarily by his desire to keep the DoD money flowing to him (DoD spends far more on AWS than Bezos did to buy the WaPo), it’s also possible that a side benefit for Bezos is being able to carry out Thiel-style vendettas – and on a much larger scale.

Of course, those two objectives intersect when Clinton would spend far more on killing than Trump.

Median Wilfred says:

Amazon < Oracle < Microsoft as far as monopolistic tendencies

Will President Trump prioritize taking apart corporations with monopolistic tendencies? Because there’s a bunch that are worse than Amazon. If Amazon is bad because it destroys department stores, then Microsoft is really really bad because it bent the spine of personal computing such that it never recovered. Between “Word” and the x86 architecture, the world has wasted TRILLIONS of dollars in working around bad designs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The Washington Post has changed.

Yup, but it’s a free country. He doesn’t have to feed stuff to their reporters, although pettily keeping them in the dark probably doesn’t help with the WaPo – Trump relations.

Apple has pulled the same stunt in the past, and so have many other corporations. We just haven’t seen this to the same degree in politics before — but Trump is corporate first, politician second, so it seems an obvious move.

I don’t really see an issue, as the more press groups he blocks, the less publicity he gets. If he revokes every major outlet other than Fox, he’ll just be preaching to the choir, which is fine by me.

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t agree with Trump’s reasoning. But I would absolutely agree with Amazon having monopolistic tendencies. The excessive exclusive deals, the no-margin retail model subsidized by other services, the massive bullying of states with online sales tax…. They go well beyond being competitive. To say nothing of how little they pay their overly hard worked warehouse workers who work in non-air conditioned warehouses and the treatment of those workers. It’s worth noting they pay considerably less than Walmart pays their warehouse workers.

Amazon does need to be investigated and it is likely they will be found guilty.

Anonymous Coward says:

Turnabout is fair play?

I guess if Obama can turn the IRS loose against conservative groups a conservative President, and I use that term loosely with Trump, can use the DOJ to go after liberals.

Maybe when we all decide that neither group should be allowed to target the other for these very reasons this won’t happen. As it is, the left excused Obama so the right will probably excuse Trump.

Whatever says:

Businessman

Trump is a businessman who can look at a given situation and see which way it is headed. Amazon’s situation is pretty powerful, and they have cornered a significant part of the US retail marketplace. They are also becoming the front door for hundreds and thousands of small businesses, thus they have influence over an even bigger part of the market.

WalMart emptied out many small and midsize town’s mainstreets. Amazon is doing that plus taking away retail sale tax revenue for the States, making it very hard for local stores to compete.

Essentially, Amazon does in many ways gut the local economy, and their use of out of international tax avoidance schemes has deprived the US (and many other countries) of billions of tax revenue. They have perhaps reached a point where they are no longer a positive for the US economy.

(submitted this post on the 14th, probably will get approced around the 16th or so… Techdirt loves censorship!)

David says:

Re: Re: Businessman

He got others to carry the brunt of his bankruptcies and came out ahead. For better or worse, this is not even unusual in the building industry. Strategic bankruptcies allow you to win bidding wars while later shirking long-term liabilities.

Finances will just be one nightmare among others using Trump’s approaches since his approaches don’t scale without a larger system to exploit.

There is no way to sustain an elephant-size leech.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Businessman

“Trump is a businessman who can look at a given situation and see which way it is headed”

…and drives his businesses into the ground before entering bankruptcy, leaving himself some profit and the taxpayer to deal with the wreckage.

“(submitted this post on the 14th, probably will get approced around the 16th or so… Techdirt loves censorship!)”

Aww did the poor baby get correctly fingered as a troll again? Your ability to predict is as accurate as your “facts”, what a surprise.

Whatever says:

Re: Re: Businessman

Hi Paul, nice to see you are still a twat.

“Aww did the poor baby get correctly fingered as a troll again? Your ability to predict is as accurate as your “facts”, what a surprise.”

Actually, mentioning the date like generally gets them to post it early, because they want to make me look bad. Most of my posts from 6th of june, example, didn’t show up until the 10th. Others have had similar delay. However, since Techdirt doesn’t change the date when they approve them, there is no simple way to show this.

You know that, but being a twat….

As for “fingered as a troll” I don’t think so. It has much more to do with my exit IP, I suspect, as it recently has been changing (beyond my control). Mike’s minions have my account on virtual lockdown most of the time, last time they did this it lasted almost a year. They love censorship, and they love being dicks about it. It’s pretty funny to watch a bastion of free speech blocking or delaying posts strictly because they don’t like the content. Sort of like an anti-gay politician getting caught in a men’s only “sauna” with his pants down. Hypocrisy is always most amusing to observe.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Businessman

“because they want to make me look bad”

Right, because clearly it’s not the incessant whining, support for farmhouse onomatopoeia you trolls consider insightful discourse, or the changing of your IP to spam the site like you said you would, or any of the other antisocial behavior you’ve exhibited thus far that make you look like an ass.

A quote from this comment thread bears stating:

The problem in question is Survivorship Bias. You will never see the absolutely terrible things that moderators have removed. You will never see the reports that are sent in. Honestly speaking, things that should be reported far more often aren’t and are usually caught with the aid of automated tools or mods finding them incidentally while patrolling a beat. There are plenty of reasons that most abuse goes unreported, but often enough I think it’s just the bystander effect. Everyone assumes that something egregious has already been reported so nobody takes responsibility.

Abusers count on the survivorship bias to cover their tracks. They’ll say nine things that aren’t objectionable and go on the attack on the tenth. Ban them for repeated violations and they’ll try to start a campaign to vindicate their behavior. Remove those attempts and they return to claim you’re censoring them unfairly.

Your post history speaks for itself, really. Who knows how much junk you really try to fit in. It’s like when out_of_the_blue was flooding the site with posts claiming how many attempts it took for him to spam it.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Businessman

“Hi Paul, nice to see you are still a twat.”

Straight to the sweary little child phase again, but trying to claim to be an adult at the same time. Welcome back, I was getting tired of genuine honest conversation.

“You know that”

No I don’t, and neither do you. Do you have any proof of your claims, or are you pulling assumptions out of your arse and pretending it’s truth again?

Anyway, what I do know is this – repeated posts from someone who keeps getting flagged as troll will get redirected to a spam filter. That filter is manually checked, and it’s not the top priority for anyone here. So, delayed posts will get approved, but may not show up immediately and may take days if you spewed just before the weekend.

The cure for that is, of course, not to be such a lying, disingenuous, abrasive, obnoxious little adolescent troll that every single one of your posts gets flagged and held for moderation. People who are truthful, polite and don’t throw toddler tantrums don’t have your problem.

But, you did know that one, of course.

“It has much more to do with my exit IP, I suspect, as it recently has been changing (beyond my control)”

I doubt that matters with a logged in account. I certainly don’t have problems posting, and I regularly do so from at least 3 different countries in a month. When I first started using this site, I occasionally had a problem if I was posting links and forgot to log in, but that’s to be expected. But then, to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never had a post flagged.

“Mike’s minions”

You’re being persecuted because you’re a tosser, not because there’s a conspiracy against you personally directed from on high. The community here simply don’t like you. You’re the drunk asshole showing up to a party then whining about being attacked because they asked you to stop throwing up on the buffet spread.

“Hypocrisy is always most amusing to observe.”

Yes it is. Delayed the posts of a proven troll, but never deleting the posts he made because they still count as genuine speech, is not censorship. There are many sites that would simple delete your comments or even your account, but your moronic rambling as still visible ad nauseum. Someone acting like a sweary little child while still claiming to be an adult, however, does count as hypocrisy.

Now, if only you could write this many words in pursuit of a genuine adult factual discussion rather than this kind of whining, you’d find your situation

Whatever says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Businessman

“Straight to the sweary little child phase again”

Just trying to keep the conversation at a level you generally work at.

“No I don’t, and neither do you. Do you have any proof of your claims, or are you pulling assumptions out of your arse and pretending it’s truth again?”

I have experience with it. Call my view “observational”, a basic step in determining how a system works. Perhaps you can have your (childish) comments locked out for a few months to see how it goes.

“You’re being persecuted because you’re a tosser, not because there’s a conspiracy against you personally directed from on high. “

Back to the childish name calling. Can’t help yourself, can you?

“Yes it is. Delayed the posts of a proven troll, but never deleting the posts he made because they still count as genuine speech, is not censorship. “

So you are saying that prior restraint is not censorship? Making it harder for someone’s speech to be viewed, or to limit it in a manner that it’s no longer part of the discussion isn’t censorship in your world?

Wow. You really are a piece of work.

“Now, if only you could write this many words in pursuit of a genuine adult factual discussion rather than this kind of whining, you’d find your situation”

I might find the end of your sentence. Ran out of gas? The only thing not adult here is your endless personal attacks. Get a life, old man.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Businessman

“Just trying to keep the conversation at a level you generally work at.”

Oh, “I know you are but what am I”? Really?

“I have experience with it.”

So, pulled from your arse. Got it. Your “observations” tend to be rather faulty when compared with reality.

“Back to the childish name calling. Can’t help yourself, can you?”

Well, to continue on your kindergarten theme – you started it. If you don’t like it, join the adults here rather than calling someone names then whining that you got called one back. Plus, as ever, you spend a lot of time whining about minor points, while never addressing any of the facts and major points raised. Almost as if you’re more interested in a silly argument than a true discussion of facts.

“So you are saying that prior restraint is not censorship?”

I’m saying that an automated spam filter isn’t the same as the vast conspiracy you whine about. I’m also saying that if it counts as censorship, it’s the weakest form of censorship used on this kind of site. There are other forums that would have deleted your comments and banned you long ago for your trolling, but this site leaves your moronic rants for everyone to see if they wish.

“Get a life, old man.”

I’d love to find out how old you think I am, because you’ve attacked many different strawman versions of me. Like most of the things you post here, it’s either deliberate lies or delusion with no regard for reality. I just hope that your fantasies about me only extend as far as deliberately making up lies about my professional life.

Dirkmaster (profile) says:

“Settling personal scores with the press by attacking a service that many in the public find extremely useful and convenient doesn’t seem particularly presidential, does it?”

I don’t see him doing ANYTHING that is even vaguely presidential, unless you REALLY lower that bar, even lower than the last 5 or 6 have already pushed it.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:

Carter has been a great ex-president. Obama was an impressive president-to-be.

President in office, though… Eisenhower had brains and guts. Sending the army to desegragate the Southern schools: that was taking the Constitution rather serious. And his parting speech, pointing out the danger of the military-industrial complex and its increasing power grab, was also rather compassionate about what the U.S. should be standing for.

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