New York (CNN Business)Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he supports the Justice Department’s formal antitrust review of the country’s largest tech companies, particularly Amazon, which he said has ruined retail.
The wide-ranging review could examine numerous firms that have been targets of criticism for having anti-competitive behavior. No specific companies were named in the release, but the Justice Department said it was looking into “market-leading online platforms,” which could include Amazon(AMZN), Apple(AAPL), Facebook(FB) and Google(GOOG).
“The Department’s review will consider the widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online,” it said in the press release.
Mnuchin said Amazon’s dominance is different from Walmart(WMT) because the latter company has “developed a business where small businesses could continue to compete with them.”
In response to Mnuchin’s comment, Amazon said small and medium-sized businesses are “thriving” on the platform.
“Today, independent sellers make up more than 58% of physical gross merchandise sales on Amazon, and their sales have grown twice as fast as our own, totaling $160 billion in 2018,” Amazon said a in statement to CNN Business.
It added: “Amazon’s retail business competes in the worldwide market for retail sales and represents less than 1% of global retail and less than 4% of U.S. retail. And the vast majority of retail sales — 90% — still occur in brick-and-mortar stores according to the US Census Bureau.”
Several aspects of Amazon’s business have attracted the attention of politicians.