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Amazon tax boycott

A few weeks ago a senior Google spokesperson was asked about the tax affairs of Google. By funnelling money through Bermuda the multinational was able to significantly reduce their corporation tax bill. His reply was something along the lines of  ‘well that’s Capitalism. If we can avoid paying tax, why shouldn’t we?” To the pros and cons of capitalism, maybe we should add off shore tax avoidance. But, if Capitalism enables firms to avoid paying tax, the other side of the coin is there’s nothing to stop consumer groups boycotting…

The monopoly power of Amazon

The monopoly power of Amazon

In the late nineteenth century the firms with great monopoly power were the US railroads and oil companies. These days we have a new set of monopolies, companies like Google, Amazon.  For example, Amazon have over 30% of the online retail of books and DVDs.  Also a firm with monopoly selling power like Amazon can often create monopsony buying power. Iff you are an author, there are only a limited number of forms who will take your e-book and sell it for you. Given the little choice of…

Would People Boycott Google and Amazon over Tax?

Would People Boycott Google and Amazon over Tax?

Following on from a recent post about companies who avoid paying tax. It’s interesting to try and understand why some companies have been much more vulnerable to protest about the issue – but some companies seem almost insulated from protest. For examples, Starbucks has been hit by high profile boycott. Protesters from UK Uncut have been making their voice heard both outside and inside Starbucks across the country. (It has proved good news for Costa, who have recorded a record jump in sales over recent weeks – Costa…

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Impact of tax avoidance by Amazon

Directors of big multinationals such as Amazon, Google and Starbucks received a challenging investigation by MPs annoyed that big multinationals are avoiding paying corporation tax. An Amazon director was described as being ‘deliberately evasive’ and being unacceptably ignorant of who owned the Luxembourg based Amazon company – used to avoid UK tax. According to Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke, last year Amazon’s UK sales amounted to £3.9bn but the company paid just £1.9m in tax – the equivalent of just 2.5p%of its estimated profits, based on its global operating margin. Amazon…