A group of members of Congress from the Republican and Democratic parties Department of Justice to launch an investigation into Amazon and its top executives into whether they lied or misled Congress about the company’s business practices in an effort to outwit their competitors.
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland dated Wednesday, five lawmakers on Judicial Council Antitrust Subcommittee He said the tech company engaged in a pattern of misleading behavior “to influence, obstruct or impede the commission’s investigation and inquiry.”
It was signed by Representatives Jerrold Nadler, DNY, David N. Cislin, Doctor I, Ken Buck, Republican Kolo, Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash, and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.
The question is whether E-Commerce Giant uses third-party seller data to create its own products and if it gives preference to its own products over those of its competitors in search results.
“Amazon lied,” he told Fox News. “They have provided documents and testimonials indicating that they did not copy the products of the third-party sellers and there is sufficient evidence that they did,” Buck told Fox News. ”
Buck noted that lying about its discriminatory business practices would backfire on Amazon because its alleged lies and congressional cover-ups can be brought against them every time the company faces a lawsuit.
In a statement to Fox News, an Amazon spokesperson said there was “no factual basis” for the lawmakers’ claims, “as evidenced by the sheer volume of information we have provided over several years of good faith cooperation with this investigation.”
In October, lawmakers asked Amazon CEO Andy Gacy to provide “exposure evidence” to confirm the commission’s previous testimony that Amazon did not use third-party seller data to develop its own products and that it preferred its own brands over others.
Amazon executives have denied the practice.
Lawmakers cited “credible investigative reports” from The Wall Street Journal and The Marcoup, which have published separate investigations on Amazon, arguing otherwise. The Journal article claimed that Amazon uses information it collects on its website from third-party sellers despite previous denials. The lawmakers cited interviews the magazine gave with 20 former Amazon employees.
She said the committee uncovered similar evidence from former and current Amazon employees, as well as past sellers.
In July 2020, Bezos, then-CEO of Amazon, testified before the committee at an antitrust hearing that the company had a policy against using seller data to make competing products, a practice he said he opposes. A subsequent Reuters report stated that the company pursued such tactics.
Markup’s story said Amazon put products from its in-house brands ahead of products from competitors. Despite what Amazon says, lawmakers have accused the company of failing to comply with its requests.
“After Amazon was caught in a lie and repeated misrepresentations, it impeded the commission’s efforts to uncover the truth,” the congressmen wrote. “Without providing any evidence to the contrary, Amazon has left what appears to be false and misleading statements to the Commission. It has refused to hand over business documents or communications that would either support its claims or correct the record.”
Last year, Cisline introduced the US Online Innovation and Choice Act, which will prevent giant online platforms from engaging in discriminatory behavior, such as giving preference to their own products. Buck said the proposal would give the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission another tool to follow up on “the self-preference behavior that we found with Amazon.”
A version of the bill was introduced in the Senate in October by Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
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