Amazon.com Inc. cut ties with Washington’s biggest lobbying firm and brought on new advisers following passage of the tax overhaul bill last year and in the face of new challenges in the age of President Donald Trump, Bloomberg informed.
The shakeup occurred last Friday, a week before Trump briefly sent Amazon’s stock tumbling with a Twitter attack on the world’s largest online retailer. Trump charged that Amazon doesn’t pay enough in state and local sales taxes, hurts retailers and gets an unfair edge on the back of the U.S. Postal Service.
Amazon cut its ties with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, the law firm that attracts more lobbying revenue than any other K Street operation, and Squire Patton Boggs last Friday, according to a person that knows the decisions. At the latter firm, Amazon’s lobbyists included former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.
In their place, Amazon hired Paul Brathwaite of Federal Street Strategies LLC and Josh Holly of Holly Strategies Inc., according to the person. Both were formerly outside lobbyists for Airbnb Inc. and Oracle Corp. at the defunct Podesta Group, which was once named the “King of K Street,” before becoming intertwined in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Amazon refused to give any comments.
For years, Amazon has been working to steer its image from that of a cut-throat internet giant wreaking havoc on Main Street to that of a job-creation machine that invests billions in new warehouses and offices, hires people by the thousands and helps small businesses grow by letting them sell products on its popular web store.