Amazon, Walmart trade barbs on taxes, wages

Amazon's Jeff Bezos throws down the gauntlet to rival retailers to boost wages

The move comes after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos issued a challenge to other retailers without naming them, about matching Amazon's pay and benefits.

Bezos said the company has raised its minimum wage to $15-an-hour which has benefited more than 250,000 Amazon employees, as well as over 100,000 seasonal employees.

"Last year, we improved Alexa's ability to understand requests and answer questions by more than 20%, while adding billions of facts to make Alexa more knowledgeable than ever", Bezos said.

Shares of eBay fall 5% on Thursday, after Jeff Bezos snubs the rival e-commerce giant in his annual letter to shareholders.

"Do it! Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us". As for Amazon's competitors, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has a minimum wage of $11 per hour and Target Stores Inc. pays $12, soon to be increased to $13. That pay hike was not universally praised by all workers, who said the company cut two employee benefits as well: monthly bonuses and the chance to own some of Amazon's sky-rocketing stock.

Shares of eBay fell almost 5% on Thursday, after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos snubbed the rival e-commerce giant in his annual letter to shareholders. Walmart's Dan Bartlett tweeted.

Noting that Amazon pays all taxes required to pay in the USA and every country it operates, the spokesperson said it paid $2.6 billion in corporate tax and had $3.4 billion in tax expense in the last three years.

And it appears that Amazon, well-known for giving low priority to the short-term growth interests of Wall Street, will continue taking big risks if it sees a potential pay-off in the long run. While the Fire phone was a failure, we were able to take our learnings (as well as the developers) and accelerate our efforts building Echo and Alexa.

Walmart has more than 1.5 million workers in the United States compared with just 350,000 at Amazon, so boosting wages would have more of an impact on the bottom line. Last year, Bezos said the wage hike came after he "listened to our critics".

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