Jeff Bezos “may have lied to Congress” about Amazon’s business practices when he mentioned that the company doesn’t use information from third-party sellers to develop its personal merchandise, in accordance to a scathing letter from a bunch of bipartisan legislators.
The information comes after a Reuters investigation printed final Wednesday confirmed that Amazon tracked search and gross sales information from third-party sellers to assist develop its personal personal label merchandise in India — a follow that Bezos denied participating in when he testified to Congress below oath in 2020.
Citing the Reuters reporting, a bunch of Congresspeople together with Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Ken Buck (R-Colo) despatched a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy on Sunday threatening to ask the Department of Justice to open a felony probe.
“At best, this reporting confirms that Amazon’s representatives misled the Committee,” wrote the lawmakers in a replica of the letter shared with The Post. “At worst, it demonstrates that they may have lied to Congress in possible violation of federal criminal law.”
“We strongly encourage you to make use of this opportunity to correct the record and provide the Committee with sworn, truthful, and accurate responses to this request as we consider whether a referral of this matter to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation is appropriate,” added the legislators, which additionally included Reps. David Cicilline (D-RI), Pramila Jayapal (D-CA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
The lawmakers additionally cited reporting from the Wall Street Journal and the Markup about Amazon’s private-label business.
An Amazon spokesperson denied that Bezos lied to Congress and mentioned media stories on the matter have been inaccurate.
“Amazon and its executives did not mislead the committee, and we have denied and sought to correct the record on the inaccurate media articles in question,” the spokesperson mentioned in an e mail to The Post. “As we have previously stated, we have an internal policy, which goes beyond that of any other retailer’s policy that we’re aware of, that prohibits the use of individual seller data to develop Amazon private label products.”
In addition to bashing Bezos, the lawmakers’ letter additionally names Amazon’s affiliate normal counsel Nate Sutton, who testified in 2019 — in addition to normal counsel David Zapolsky and public coverage vp Brian Huseman.
Statements made by all 4 executives have been contradicted by latest media stories, the lawmakers mentioned.
When Bezos testified in Congress final year, he mentioned the e-commerce big has a rule prohibiting its staff from utilizing information on third-party sellers to assist its private-label business.
“If we found someone violated it, we would take action,” mentioned Bezos, who was Amazon CEO on the time however has since stepped down.
Amazon is at present squaring off towards antitrust regulators within the US, European Union and India, who’re all investigating the company for allegedly utilizing its measurement to squash competitors.
In the US, Federal Trade Commission chief Lina Khan wrote in a 2017 paper that Amazon’s private-brand business raises competitors considerations.
“It is third-party sellers who bear the initial costs and uncertainties when introducing new products; by merely spotting them, Amazon gets to sell products only once their success has been tested,” she wrote. “The anticompetitive implications here seem clear.”
Amazon, in the meantime, has known as on Khan to recuse herself from any investigations of the company as a result of she has written critically about it up to now.