Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) stopped working with the biggest lobbying firm in Washington and instead brought on new advisers after the Trump administration passed the tax overhaul bill last year which according to the company, comes with new challenges.
These changes were effected last Friday, just a week before Trump’s Twitter attack on the world’s biggest online retailer. Following the attack, the company’s stock went tumbling for some time. The tweet, Trump said the company is not paying enough in state and local sales taxes, gets an unfair edge on the back of the U.S. Postal Service and is hurting many other retailers.
Amazon called off its engagements with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, the law firm which is known for attracting more lobbying revenue compared to any other K Street operation, and Squire Patton Boggs. This is according to a source familiar with the decisions. Some of Amazon’s lobbyists at Squire Patton Boggs included former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.
In the place of the dropped firms, Amazon has hired Josh Holly of Holly Strategies Inc and Paul Brathwaite of Federal Street Strategies LLC according to the source. Both firms have in the past worked as lobbyists for Oracle Corp and Airbnb Inc at the defunct Podesta Group. Podesta Group was once referred to as the “King of K Street,” before it became entangled in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s possible meddling in the 2016 election.
For many years, the online retailer has been hard working to improve its image from a cut-throat internet company causing havoc on Main Street to a job creation machine which invests billions in new offices and warehouses, hires thousands of people and assists small businesses grow by allowing them sell products on its online platform.
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For some months now, the company has been having difficult times in Washington. Trump has been releasing repeated Twitter attacks aimed at the company’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which has been a major critic of the Trump administration. The attacks by Trump have come handy with increasing calls for scrutiny into Amazon. Many are of the view that the company has become too big and violating anti-competitive practices.