WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers pressed Amazon’s chief govt on Monday to answer allegations that its executives supplied a congressional inquiry with false solutions to questions on its house-brand merchandise.
Amazon executives, together with its founder, Jeff Bezos, informed lawmakers that the corporate didn’t take a look at knowledge from single sellers on its website when it deliberate for and developed its personal merchandise. In addition they informed the Home Judiciary Committee that the corporate didn’t purposefully give its house-brand merchandise an edge in search outcomes.
Final week, Reuters reported that Amazon had strategically copied merchandise from third-party retailers whereas rising its enterprise in India. One other publication, The Markup, reported a day later that the corporate’s house-brand merchandise ranked larger than rivals bought by retailers, even when the third-party merchandise had higher rankings.
“At finest, this reporting confirms that Amazon’s representatives misled the committee,” stated the group of 5 lawmakers. “At worst, it demonstrates that they could have lied to Congress in doable violation of federal legal regulation.”
Within the letter, the lawmakers stated they had been contemplating referring the matter to the Justice Division for a possible legal investigation. Their exchanges with Amazon got here as a part of an extended investigation into the market energy of the nation’s largest tech corporations.
“Amazon and its executives didn’t mislead the committee, and now we have denied and sought to appropriate the file on the incorrect media articles in query,” stated Brooke Oberwetter, an Amazon spokeswoman.
She stated that the corporate had a coverage in opposition to utilizing knowledge from particular person retailers in constructing house-brand merchandise and that Amazon’s search outcomes characteristic “the objects clients will need to buy, no matter whether or not they’re provided by Amazon or considered one of our promoting companions.”