Bezos unfazed by antitrust concerns on Amazon

Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos said Thursday he was not worried about the potential for anti-trust scrutiny of the company as it becomes an important economic force.

Speaking at a Washington business gathering, Bezos said it was normal to draw scrutiny but he did not anticipate any actions that would prevent the from innovating and growing.

"We are so inventive that whatever regulations are promulgated, that will not stop us from serving customers," Bezos said in a question-and-answer session at a dinner hosted by the Economic Club of Washington.

"Customers are still going to want low prices. They're still going to want fast delivery. They're still going to want a big selection."

Bezos said it was unsurprising and even normal to face questions when a company like Amazon becomes so big.

"All big institutions of any kind are going to be and should be examined, scrutinized and inspected," he said.

"We want to live in a society where people are worried about big institutions. That's OK."

But Bezos said he did not see Amazon—which briefly hit $1 trillion in market value—as a monopoly, arguing that online sales still represent a small fraction of overall retail.

"Eighty-five percent of sales is still in the physical world. So that's where we face competition," Bezos said.

His comments came as US regulators opened hearings on whether to revamp anti-trust enforcement to consider the dominance of digital giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Bezos also said no decision had been made on Amazon's second North American headquarters, known as HQ2, for which 20 cities have been selected as finalists, and that the choice would be made as scheduled before the end of the year.

He said "we have made tremendous progress" in the search but offered no clues, despite reports that Amazon board members had visited locations in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Virginia.

© 2018 AFP

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