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  • Your most prominent critic at the moment

  • is the president of the United States.

  • People are even saying that he may be willing

  • to prepare initiatives to break up Amazon

  • because it's too big, it's too successful,

  • it's too dominant in too many sectors,

  • or for varied other reasons.

  • First of all, is this scenario of a break up something

  • that you take seriously, or you think it's just a fantasy?

  • - For me, again this is one those things where

  • you know, I focus on, and ask our teams

  • to focus on what we can control.

  • And, I expect, whether it's the current US administration

  • or any other government agency anywhere in the world,

  • Amazon is now a large corporation,

  • and I expect us to be scrutinized.

  • We should be scrutinized.

  • I think all large institutions should be scrutinized

  • and examined.

  • It's reasonable.

  • And, what's, you know, one thing to note about us

  • is that we have, we have gotten big in absolute terms

  • only very recently, so we've always been growing fast

  • in percentage terms, but in 2010, just eight years ago,

  • we had 30,000 employees.

  • So, in the last eight years we've gone from 30,000 employees

  • to 560,000 employees.

  • So for us, you know, in my mind, I'm still delivering

  • the packages to the post office myself.

  • You see what I'm saying?

  • I still have all the memories of, you know,

  • hoping one day we could afford a forklift.

  • And, obviously that's, my intellectual brain knows

  • that's just not the case anymore.

  • We have 560,000 employees all over the world

  • and I know we should be scrutinized,

  • and I think it's true, a big government institution

  • should be scrutinized, a big non profit institution

  • should be scrutinized, big universities should

  • be scrutinized, it just makes sense.

  • And that, by the way, is why the work

  • that The Washington Post and other great newspapers

  • around the world do is so important,

  • because they are often the ones doing

  • that initial scrutiny even before the government agencies do

  • But in a way the general sentiment towards

  • the big, innovative tech companies has changed.

  • I mean, Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon,

  • they used to be seen as the nice guys in T shirts

  • that are saving the world, and now they are

  • sometimes portrayed as the kind of evil of the world.

  • And the debate about the big four or the big five,

  • if The Economist is suggesting a split up

  • other powerful people like George Soros

  • are giving speeches in Davos,

  • the EU Commission is taking pretty tough positions here.

  • Do you think that there is a change

  • in mindset in the society?

  • And what should the big tech companies,

  • what should Amazon learn from that or do with that?

  • I think, I do sense, I mean, I think again,

  • I think it's a natural instinct,

  • I think we humans, especially in the Western world

  • and especially inside democracies,

  • are wired to be skeptical and mindful of large institutions

  • of any kind, we're skeptical, I'm sure,

  • we're skeptical of our government

  • always in the United States, state governments,

  • local governments, I assume it's similar in Germany.

  • It's healthy, because they're big, powerful institutions.

  • You know, the police, the military, whatever it is,

  • it doesn't mean that you don't trust them

  • or that they're bad or evil or anything like that,

  • they're just, they have a lot of power and control

  • and so you want to inspect them.

  • Maybe that's a better word.

  • You kinda wanna always be inspecting them.

  • And I think if you look at the big tech companies,

  • they have gotten large enough that they need,

  • they're going to be inspected.

  • And by the way, it's not personal.

  • I think where some of the, where you can go astray on this

  • if you're the founder of a company,

  • one of these big tech companies

  • or any other big institution, if you go astray on this,

  • you might start to take it personally,

  • like what why are you inspecting me?

  • And I wish that people would just say yes, it's fine.

Your most prominent critic at the moment

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Jeff Bezos On Breaking Up And Regulating Amazon

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    Samuel posted on 2018/05/05
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