Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday called for Jeff Bezos’s retail giant Amazon to be broken up, after the latter refused to sell on its platform a book about the coronavirus pandemic written by Alex Berenson, a former New York Times journalist.
“This is insane @JeffBezos,” Musk tweeted, tagging the CEO of the technology company. “Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!” the billionaire added in a followup tweet.
Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 4, 2020
Musk’s tweet came in response to a tweet by Berenson, in which he complained that Amazon had blocked his book for allegedly violating its publishing policies.
“Your book does not comply with our guidelines. As a result we are not offering your book for sale,” the company told the author in an e-mail. “Due to the rapidly changing nature of information around the COVID-19 virus, we are referring customers to official sources for health information about the virus”.
Oh fuck me. I can’t believe it. They censored it. pic.twitter.com/GfPEr7OiV2— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) June 4, 2020
Shortly following Berenson’s protest on Twitter and the comment by Musk, who have both been critical of coronavirus-related business shutdowns, Amazon approved the book’s sale.
Later in the day, Berenson tweeted his thanks to the Tesla billionaire for help in getting the book available on Amazon’s platform.
“IT'S LIVE! Again, thanks to @elonmusk and everyone who helped,” the journalist tweeted.
IT'S LIVE! Again, thanks to @elonmusk and everyone who helped.https://t.co/UDdRlQ4wYL— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) June 4, 2020
Amazon said that the book’s availability had nothing to do with Musk's tweet, however. The online retail behemoth argued that the publication was blocked because of an “error”, according to Fox News.
Musk has recently spoken out against the lockdowns caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), saying it goes against freedoms written into the US constitution and characterizing the health measures as “fascist”.