WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers pressed Amazon’s chief govt on Monday to reply to 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, instructed lawmakers that the corporate didn’t have a look at knowledge from single sellers on its website when it deliberate for and developed its personal merchandise. Additionally they instructed 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 increased than rivals offered by retailers, even when the third-party merchandise had higher scores.
“At greatest, this reporting confirms that Amazon’s representatives misled the committee,” mentioned the group of 5 lawmakers. “At worst, it demonstrates that they might have lied to Congress in attainable violation of federal felony legislation.”
Within the letter, the lawmakers mentioned they have been contemplating referring the matter to the Justice Division for a possible felony 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 we have now denied and sought to right the file on the wrong media articles in query,” mentioned Brooke Oberwetter, an Amazon spokeswoman.
She mentioned 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 wish to buy, no matter whether or not they’re provided by Amazon or considered one of our promoting companions.”