5 Home Judiciary Committee members are urging Amazon to make clear its enterprise practices amid stories that the corporate could have lied to Congress about boosting its personal product traces—a apply that lawmakers are aiming to cease with a brand new invoice to stop Massive Tech from favoring its manufacturers.
In a Sunday letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, the committee members accused the corporate of probably mendacity throughout earlier congressional testimonies about taking steps to favor its personal private-label product traces over others on the platform.
The letter got here after a Reuters investigation final week discovered that the corporate had carried out a marketing campaign of copying merchandise and rigging search outcomes to spice up gross sales of Amazon merchandise in India, in keeping with the information outlet.
The letter says there’s “credible reporting” within the Reuters story and from different information shops that “instantly contradicts the sworn testimony and representations of Amazon’s high executives — together with former CEO Jeffrey Bezos.”
“At greatest, this reporting confirms that Amazon’s representatives misled the Committee. At worst, it demonstrates that they might have lied to Congress in attainable violation of federal felony legislation,” the letter says, in keeping with Reuters.
Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testified final 12 months earlier than the Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, saying that the corporate doesn’t permit its staff to make use of vendor knowledge to spice up the gross sales of its personal product traces, Reuters reported. In a separate listening to in 2019, Amazon Affiliate Common Counsel Nate Sutton mentioned the corporate doesn’t use such knowledge to bias its search outcomes.
The lawmakers’ letter on Sunday mentioned Amazon now has “a ultimate alternative” to supply proof to make clear its enterprise practices and help its declare that it doesn’t favor its personal merchandise. It offers Jassy till November 1 to supply a sworn response to make clear “how Amazon makes use of private particular person vendor knowledge to develop and market its personal line of merchandise.”
“We strongly encourage you to utilize this chance to appropriate the document and supply the Committee with sworn, truthful, and correct responses to this request as we think about whether or not a referral of this matter to the Division of Justice for felony investigation is suitable,” the letter states, in keeping with Reuters.
In response, a spokesperson for Amazon informed Newsweek that “Amazon and its executives didn’t mislead the committee, and we’ve denied and sought to appropriate the document on the incorrect media articles in query.”
“As we’ve beforehand acknowledged, we’ve an inside coverage, which fits past that of another retailer’s coverage that we’re conscious of, that prohibits using particular person vendor knowledge to develop Amazon personal label merchandise. We examine any allegations that this coverage could have been violated and take applicable motion,” the assertion added.
Sunday’s letter was signed by a bipartisan group of legislators and included the committee’s Democratic chairman, Jerrold Nadler, and 4 members of the antitrust subcommittee: Democratic Chair David Cicilline, Democratic Vice Chair Pramila Jayapal, and Republicans Ken Buck and Matt Gaetz.
The letter comes simply days after a invoice was launched by Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar and Republican Senator Chuck Grassley. It goals to stop Massive Tech platforms from requiring distributors on their websites to buy their items or providers, or from biasing their search outcomes to favor their very own merchandise.
“As dominant digital platforms—a number of the largest corporations our world has ever seen—more and more give desire to their very own services, we should put insurance policies in place to make sure small companies and entrepreneurs nonetheless have the chance to achieve the digital market,” Klobuchar mentioned in a press release.