Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has accused the National Enquirer and its publisher, American Media Inc., of blackmail and extortion.
In a blog post published Thursday that included copies of his email correspondence, he wrote that AMI threatened to make public compromising photographs of him. AMI called those images newsworthy because, he wrote, they would "show Amazon shareholders that my business judgment is terrible."
In a statement Friday, AMI maintained it did nothing illegal but said it would begin an internal investigation.
CNBC's Jim Cramer has warned investors, "If you're selling Amazon off this, you're really stupid."
Other analysts agree. "I don't think the allegations have a direct line into the fundamentals of Amazon," said Anthony DiClemente, an internet analyst at Evercore ISI. "Certainly from a public relations standpoint, I don't think it's ideal. When you look at the fundamentals, it's hard to imagine it will have a negative impact."
Amazon shares were down 2 percent in early trading Friday. Still, if you had invested $1,000 in Amazon in February 2009, your initial outlay would be worth more than $23,600 as of February 2019, according to CNBC calculations. That's an increase of more than 2,000 percent.