Amazon’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, said on Tuesday (April 24) that large companies should expect to face scrutiny and be examined by regulators.
Reuters reported that when speaking in Berlin, Bezos responded to a question about President Donald Trump’s criticism of the eCommerce giant. “All large institutions should be scrutinized or examined,” Bezos said. “It is not personal. We have a duty on behalf of society to help educate any regulators without cynicism or skepticism. We will work with any set of regulations that we are given … we will follow those rules and find a new way to delight customers.”
In recent weeks, Trump has been ratcheting up his criticism of Amazon, wondering aloud if the government could go after the company on anti-competition grounds. The president also called The Washington Post newspaper, which is owned by Bezos, a lobbying arm of the company. Trump has even ordered a review of the United States Postal Service to ensure that the government-backed mail delivery service is charging adequate rates.
“We humans, especially in the western world, especially inside democracies, are wired to be mindful of big institutions … it doesn’t mean you don’t trust them or they are evil or bad,” Bezos said. As for criticism that Amazon pays workers a low rate, he said he is “very proud” of the working conditions at Amazon and the wages the company pays. “We don’t believe we need a union to be an intermediary between ourselves and our workers,” Bezos said.
As for The Washington Post, the Amazon executive said the need to examine big companies is why the paper’s work is so important, and that he has no issues with publishing critical stories on the company. Bezos also stated that he never gets involved in the coverage or what’s going on in the newsroom.
“I would be humiliated to interfere. I would turn bright red. I don’t want to. It would feel icky; it would feel gross. Why would I? I want that paper to be independent,” he said. Bezos, who is now the richest person in the world after amassing a fortune of more than $100 billion, said he wasn’t looking to buy another newspaper, even though he gets monthly requests to bail out media organizations. He does plan to continue to sell about $1 billion in Amazon stock each year to bankroll his Blue Origin rocket company, which is trying to bring people to space.