Following a series of allegations suggesting that Amazon used third-party seller data to plagiarize items while also boosting its own goods above others in search results, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has accused the firm of failing to disclose information correctly.
According to a number of reports, Amazon has engaged in a systematic strategy of developing knockoffs and manipulating search results to promote its own product lines in India, one of the company’s fastest-growing markets.
The members of Congress from both sides of the aisles said on Monday that Amazon’s testimonies to the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee are in conflict with the findings from these reports. Since 2019, the House Judiciary Committee has been conducting a bipartisan antitrust inquiry.
Amazon is being accused of misleading the US antitrust committee about its usage of marketplace data
In 2019 and 2020, Amazon executives appeared before the antitrust subcommittee and denied that they used any unique seller data to create their own private brand items. Founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos, along with other industry executives, testified that Amazon’s search rankings are not intended to advantage its own goods.
In a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, five Congress members who are in the antitrust committee said Amazon has misled the committee’s investigation into competition in digital markets.
“At best, this reporting confirms that Amazon’s representatives misled the Committee. At worst, it demonstrates that they may have lied to Congress in possible violation of federal criminal law,” the Congress members wrote in the letter… We strongly encourage you to make use of this opportunity to correct the record and provide the Committee with sworn, truthful, and accurate responses.”
The committee members have requested Amazon to verify the record and provide records, other evidence, and documentation to support its previous statements and testimonies before the committee in light of the conflicting accounts.
Amazon has until November 1 to provide these documents.
The senators wrote in the letter, “We are considering whether to request the Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation into Amazon’s allegedly deceptive testimonies.”
The letter was signed by a bipartisan group, including House Judiciary Committee chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and four members of the antitrust subcommittee. These members are the subcommittee’s chair David Cicilline (D-RI), vice-chair Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), ranking member Ken Buck (R-CO), and Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL).