U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that Amazon “destroyed the retail industry across the United States” and that it’s appropriate for the attorney general to investigate the company alongside other tech giants in the sweeping antitrust review that the Justice Department announced yesterday. “There’s no question they’ve limited competition,” Mnuchin told CNBC’s Squawk Box. From the report: Mnuchin said that “although there’s certain benefits” to Amazon’s success, the company has “really hurt small businesses” in the process. “I think it’s absolutely right that the attorney general is looking into these issues,” he said this morning. The Justice Department said yesterday that it would begin a review into whether major online platforms have “reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers.” While Amazon was not mentioned by name, the assumption is that the DOJ will be looking at it alongside other tech giants, like Facebook and Google, that also vastly dominate their fields.
Amazon responded to Mnuchin’s remarks with a comment saying that its platform helps small businesses and that physical stores still dominate retail sales. “Small and medium-sized businesses are thriving with Amazon,” a spokesperson said. They said that Amazon represents “less than 4 percent of U.S. retail,” and that 90 percent of retail sales “still occur in brick-and-mortar stores according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”