Weeks after openly siding with conservatives about reopening the U.S. economy, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk is showing his progressive side.
On Thursday, Musk called for regulators to forcibly break up online retailer Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN).
Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!
One week he is aligning with Ivanka Trump. The next, he is rooting for policies associated with Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren!
Talk about flexibility.
The Tesla CEO’s tweet came after reports emerged that Amazon had initially declined to publish a controversial ebook. The online retailer later buckled under pressure.
Amazon has a foothold in a number of industries, and its market position varies from sector to sector. But when it comes to the controversy that led Elon Musk to demand that Amazon get the Ma Bell treatment, the Tesla CEO was right on the money.
Amazon isn’t just the leading U.S. bookseller; it completely dominates the market. The online retail behemoth accounts for 83% of all ebook purchases in the U.S.
But if you believe that Musk is siding with the likes of Bernie Sanders to protect helpless authors from the heavy-handed Amazon regime, I have a bridge to sell you.
This has nothing to with censorship – and even less to do with book sales.
The two billionaires started out in starkly different fields, but they have begun to encroach on each other’s turf.
In the electric vehicle space, Amazon has been making forays that could threaten Tesla’s dominance. Last year, Amazon invested in electric carmaker Rivian. The online retail behemoth also ordered 100,000 delivery vans from the budding Tesla rival, giving Rivian a head start that Musk never had.
Amazon has simultaneously made inroads in the self-driving space. This is an area where Tesla claims to have the most advanced technology.
In 2019, Amazon led an investment round in self-driving tech startup Aurora Innovation. And late last month, reports emerged that Amazon was considering acquiring autonomous driving unicorn Zoox.
Nor is the rivalry confined to this planet. Each billionaire heads a private space company, and their approaches to exploring the final frontier couldn’t be more different.
For example, Musk and SpaceX envision the human race establishing a colony on Mars to stave off extinction, while Bezos and Blue Origin see the red planet as uninhabitable.
And Bezos’ space firm is also securing more government financing, at least recently.
Less than two months ago, NASA picked three private space firms to spearhead lunar lander development. SpaceX received $135 million, while Blue Origin got a whopping $579 million.
This was on the grounds that Blue Origin was closer to achieving NASA’s goals than SpaceX, a fact that must have peeved Musk.
There’s obviously a personal rivalry at play here. The two billionaires are not overly fond of each other, as we’ve observed on multiple occasions.
Last year while Jeff Bezos was engulfed in a cheating scandal, Elon Musk branded the Amazon founder and CEO “Blue Balls.”
Suffice to say that if Jeff Bezos ever cries for help on a crowded street, Musk probably won’t be the first person to come running.
But just like it’s not a sign that he has suddenly become the world’s richest Bernie Bro, Musk’s call to break up Amazon has nothing to do with his feelings towards one of the few people who are even wealthier than him.
Disclaimer: This article represents the author’s opinion and should not be considered investment or trading advice from CCN.com. Unless otherwise noted, the author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.
Last modified: June 5, 2020 2:27 PM UTC