Elon Musk blasted Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, on Twitter Thursday, telling the company that "monopolies are wrong".
Musk’s criticism of the company comes after it rejected an e-book submission written by former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson.
Titled “Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns,” the e-book questions much of the reporting related to the coronavirus pandemic while also debating how deadly the virus actually is. In response to the rejection of Berenson’s book, Musk also called for Amazon to be broken up.
“This is insane @JeffBezos,” Musk initially tweeted in response to a tweet by Berenson announcing his book questioning the coronavirus had been censored by the tech giant. Musk has repeatedly questioned the severity of the coronavirus while also criticizing the government for what he’s deemed to be an overzealous response.
Shortly after Musk’s criticism, an Amazon spokeswoman claimed the book had been removed from Amazon’s Kindle platform in error and would soon be reinstated.
Before this announcement, the company claimed the decision to reject “Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns” was based on its policies surrounding content containing disease-related information.
The Amazon spokeswoman didn’t, however, address a later tweet from Musk, stating, “Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!”
Musk’s monopoly comment comes at a time when regulators and politicians alike have questioned Amazon’s business practices. Last year, the Justice Department opened an antitrust review of multiple tech companies, Amazon included. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission is exploring Amazon’s acquisitions as part of a larger probe of the tech industry.
Musk isn’t the only one calling for Amazon to be broken up either. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders have also called for Amazon to be broken up due to its size and dominance in the e-commerce industry.
When considering its value, Amazon is now the third-largest public company. When it comes to books specifically, Amazon controls about 50% of all new-book sales in the US and nearly 75% of e-book sales, according to research gathered by The Wall Street Journal and research firm Codex Group.
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