Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos
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5 members of the Home Judiciary Committee despatched a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy questioning whether or not the corporate’s high executives misled Congress or lied underneath oath as a part of a broad investigation into aggressive practices at massive tech corporations.
Reps. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., David Cicilline, D-R.I., Ken Buck, R-Colo., Pramila Jayapal, D-Calif., and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., on Sunday requested Amazon present “exculpatory proof” to corroborate earlier testimony and statements supplied by then-CEO Jeff Bezos and different executives to the committee in 2019 and 2020. The lawmakers mentioned Jassy should reply by Nov. 1.
The lawmakers pointed to “latest, credible reporting,” from Reuters, the Markup, the Wall Road Journal, and others, on Amazon’s private-label practices and its assortment of third-party vendor information that instantly contradict testimony from Bezos and Amazon executives.
“At greatest, this reporting confirms that Amazon’s representatives misled the committee,” the lawmakers wrote. “At worst, it demonstrates that they could have lied to Congress in potential violation of federal legal legislation.”
The lawmakers mentioned they’re additionally contemplating whether or not they are going to refer the matter to the Division of Justice for legal investigation.
An Amazon spokesperson denied that the corporate and its executives misled the committee. The spokesperson added that the corporate has “denied and sought to appropriate the file on the wrong media articles in query.”
The spokesperson mentioned Amazon has inner insurance policies prohibiting using particular person vendor information to develop private-label merchandise and it does not favor private-label merchandise in search outcomes.
The Home Judiciary Committee in 2019 opened an investigation into the aggressive practices of Amazon, Apple, Fb and Google. As a part of its probe into Amazon, the committee has checked out how the corporate makes use of information from the third-party sellers on its platform and whether or not it unfairly favors its personal merchandise.
In a collection of hearings throughout the investigation, Amazon executives defended the corporate’s enterprise practices. Amazon affiliate common counsel Nate Sutton testified in July 2019 that Amazon doesn’t use particular person vendor information to tell its technique, however maintained that it does use aggregated information that would give it a way of how a product class is performing. Following the listening to, Amazon common counsel David Zapolsky reaffirmed a number of of Sutton’s claims.
When he testified in July 2020, Bezos mentioned Amazon has a coverage that safeguards vendor information from worker entry, noting that it prohibits using particular person vendor info for the aim of launching private-label merchandise.
“If we discovered somebody violated it, we’d take motion,” Bezos mentioned on the time.
The Journal reporting discovered Amazon staff used nonaggregated or simply identifiable information from third-party sellers to determine which merchandise to make. Amazon executives additionally developed workarounds to Amazon’s inner restrictions to achieve entry to particular person vendor information, as a part of a apply dubbed “going over the fence,” the Journal reported. Amazon mentioned on the time it did not consider the claims have been correct.
Cicilline and different lawmakers have beforehand questioned whether or not Sutton misled Congress throughout his testimony in 2019.
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