House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Amazon CEO Andy Jassy to focus on making good products and turning a profit while staying out of sensitive political issues, according to a report.
The meeting took place last fall just weeks after Jassy’s predecessor, Jeff Bezos, announced that he was stepping down as CEO.
Republicans have been angered by Fortune 500 companies becoming more vocal about political issues to appease their largely liberal workforce.
The Walt Disney Co. drew the ire of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the GOP-dominated state legislature in Tallahassee for its opposition to the newly passed legislation that critics dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Last month, Amazon workers demanded that the company take a more forceful stand against the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, but management declined.
Amazon and other firms have pledged to cover health care costs including travel-related expenses incurred by employees who need to go far in order to have an abortion.
Jassy met with McCarthy (R-Calif.) as well as several top Democrats on Capitol Hill, the New York Times reported.
He traveled to Washington to lobby lawmakers against passing anti-trust legislation targeting large tech companies such as Amazon Meta, and Alphabet Inc.
Amazon has also come under fire for its efforts to oppose unionization efforts in some of its warehouses.
Since Jassy assumed the chief executive role a year ago, he has traveled to the capital a total of three times, according to the Times.
Jassy has met with top Democrats including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and White House chief of staff Ron Klain.
Schumer has been accused of dragging his feet in bringing anti-trust legislation to the Senate floor.
Anti-trust advocates point out that Schumer’s daughter, Jessica Schumer, is a registered lobbyist at Amazon. The Post was first to report the news.
Schumer’s other daughter, Alison Schumer, works as a product marketing manager at Meta-owned Facebook, another company that has been accused of amassing and abusing monopolistic power.
There are two major pending antitrust bills that would rein in anti-competitive practices by companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google.
One of the bills — the American Innovation and Choice Online Act — passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January in a 16-6 vote. The bill was supported by all of the panel’s Democrats and five Republicans.
A related bill, the Open App Markets Act, is expected to be considered at the same time.
Most bills in the Senate need 60 votes to proceed. However, advocates note that many Republicans are sponsors, suggesting they might be able to pass.
A spokesperson for Schumer has insisted that the senator supports the legislation.
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