Welcome to the Trust Busting issue of M&A Daily
Donald Trump accused Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) of using the Washington Post as a "tax shelter." The presumptive Republican nominee also accused the company of a "huge antitrust problem," according to Donald Trump who added that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos "thinks I would go after him for antitrust." Paul Farhi, writing in the Washington Post, reported on the accusations saying,
He presented no evidence for his assertion.
He presumably saved the sentence for future use. The tax shelter charge is easy to refute: Amazon does not own the newspaper; it is separately owned by Amazon's CEO.
The antitrust charge requires a bit longer treatment. Since the word "antitrust" already means something, it is no longer available for its usage above meaning "stuff politicians can threaten businessmen with." That being said, the current Justice Department has been almost as free with what constitutes antitrust violations. Nothing is currently in the works, but they could take a close look at Amazon's refusal to sell Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) video streaming devices that compete with Amazon Fire. According to Amazon, these Apple and Google products are incompatible with Amazon Prime. More likely, helping out two big competitors is incompatible with Amazon's interests. But Amazon has no duty to help Apple and Google, both of whom are perfectly capable of selling their wares elsewhere (in an Apple store, for one example).
Would a President Trump be a great trust buster in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt? Is this giving him a lot of credit for serious thinking about this public policy issue?
Yesterday, Monsanto management dismissed takeover talk as "wild speculation."
KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) increased dividends for the quarter to $0.085 per share from $0.075.
New York REIT
WW Investors expressed its dissatisfaction that New York REIT (NYSE:NYRT) did not reply to a proposal made on May 4th from an interested party, and instead let the May 11th response deadline pass. More to come in future editions of M&A Daily…
Elsewhere on Seeking Alpha
- Donald Trump Warns Of Dangerous Financial Bubble (NASDAQ:SVVC)
- >10% Off Sears Real Estate & Stuff (NASDAQ:SHLD) (NYSE:SRG)
- Warren Buffett's Bucket List - From Apple To Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO)
- Buffett's Bucket List Part I: Apple (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B)
- Warren Buffett's Bucket List Part II: Yahoo!
- Better Off Dead? (NYSEMKT:FTF) (NYSE:BEN)
Beyond Seeking Alpha
- Beyoncé Does More For The World's Poor Than You Ever Will
- Nanocap merger arbitrage in Nanosphere (NASDAQ:LMNX) (NASDAQ:NSPH)
Disclosure: I am/we are long MON, SVVC, SRG, BRK.A, BRK.B, YHOO, FTF.
I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: Chris DeMuth Jr and Andrew Walker are portfolio managers at Rangeley Capital. We invest with a margin of safety by buying securities at discounts to their intrinsic value and unlocking that value through corporate events. To maximize returns for our investors, we reserve the right to make investment decisions regarding any security without notification except where notification is required by law. We manage diversified portfolios with a multi-year time horizon. Positions disclosed in articles may vary in sizing, hedges, and place within the capital structure. Disclosed ideas are related to a specific price, value, and time. If any of these attributes change, then the position might change (and probably will).
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