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Lawmakers question whether Amazon’s top executives lied to Congress

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

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Five members of the House Judiciary Committee wrote to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy asking if the company’s CEO misunderstood Congress or swore as part of an extensive investigation into the competitive practices of major tech companies. Did.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler, DN.Y. , David Siciline, DR.I. , Ken Bach, R-Colorado, Pramila Jayapal, D-Caliph, Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. Evidence supports previous testimony and statements provided to the Commission by then-CEO Jeff Bezos and other executives in 2019 and 2020. Congressman said Jasie must respond by November 1.

Lawmakers collect “recent credible reports” from Reuters, Markup, The Wall Street Journal, and others to collect third-party seller data that directly contradicts Amazon’s own brand practices and testimony from Bezos and Amazon executives. Pointed out.

“At best, this report confirms that the Amazon representative misunderstood the committee,” the lawmaker wrote. “In the worst case, it indicates that you may have lied to Congress for potentially violating federal criminal law.”

Lawmakers said they were also considering whether to refer the matter to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation.

An Amazon spokesperson denied that the company and its executives misunderstood the committee. A spokeswoman added that the company “denied the inaccurate recording of media articles in question and tried to correct it.”

A spokeswoman said Amazon has an internal policy that prohibits the use of individual seller data to develop its own branded products and does not endorse its own branded products in search results.

The House Judiciary Committee in 2019 has launched an investigation into the competitive practices of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. As part of an investigation into Amazon, the committee investigated how the company uses data from third-party sellers on its platform and whether it unfairly supports its products. ..

During a series of hearings under investigation, Amazon executives defended the company’s business practices. Nate Sutton, Amazon’s Associate General Counselor, testified in July 2019 that Amazon will not use individual seller data to inform its strategy, but will use aggregated data that can capture the performance of product categories. I insisted that I was doing it. After the hearing, Amazon’s legal counsel, David Zaporsky, reaffirmed some of Sutton’s claims.

When Bezos testified in July 2020, he pointed out that Amazon prohibits the use of individual seller information for the purpose of launching its own branded products, selling from employee access. He said he has a policy to protect personal data.

“If we find someone violating it, we’ll take action,” Bezos said at the time.

According to a Journal report, Amazon employees used non-aggregated or easily identifiable data from third-party sellers to determine which product to create. Amazon executives also developed a workaround against Amazon’s internal restrictions to access individual seller data as part of a practice called “beyond the fence,” the journal reported. Amazon said it didn’t believe the claim was accurate at the time.

Siciline and other lawmakers had previously questioned whether Sutton misunderstood Congress during his 2019 testimony.

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Lawmakers question whether Amazon’s top executives lied to Congress

Source link Lawmakers question whether Amazon’s top executives lied to Congress

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