Skip to main content

House panel demands Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testify on antitrust claims

The House Judiciary Committee has asked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to testify before Congress over allegations that Amazon used third-party seller data to push its own products.

And the panel has threatened to subpoena Bezos if he refuses to testify.

Related Videos

A Wall Street Journal investigation found Amazon workers were using third-party data to launch its own competing products. If true, the behavior would contradict prior sworn testimony by Amazon executives in July, in which the company’s general counsel Nate Sutton said Amazon doesn’t use third-party data to inform its own strategies.

“If the reporting in the Wall Street Journal article is accurate, then statements Amazon made to the committee about the company’s business practices appear to be misleading, and possibly criminally false or perjurious,” the Judiciary Committee wrote.

The committee also said there were “significant gaps” in the documentation and communications provided by Amazon.

An Amazon spokesperson told Digital Trends: “As we told the Wall Street Journal and explained in our testimony, we strictly prohibit employees from using non-public, seller-specific data to determine which private label products to launch.”

“While we don’t believe these claims made in the Journal story are accurate, we take these allegations very seriously and have launched an internal investigation,” the spokesperson added

Pressure has been mounting on Amazon to answer to the allegations, with some — like GOP Sen. Josh Hawley (Missouri) — calling for a criminal antitrust investigation into the reported practices.

However, Republican lawmakers on the committee questioned the panel’s decision to call Bezos to testify.

“Of course, our members have questions for Amazon and want to get answers for the American people,” said Republican spokesman Russell Dye. “But we wonder what Judiciary Democrats’ true motivations are. Earlier this year, they said companies like Amazon should not exist and should be broken up simply because they are large, successful businesses.”

Editors' Recommendations

Amazon takes down another popular tech accessory company, following Aukey, Mpow
amazon removes another tech accessory brand store fake reviews rav power bank

A month removed from reports that Amazon had removed two extremely popular tech accessory brands -- Aukey and Mpow -- from its store due to involvement with a fraudulent reviews system, another huge name has disappeared. RAVPower, one of the key competitors to Aukey and Mpow, has received the same treatment: The company's products and store page have been wiped clean from Amazon. Amazon confirmed to The Verge that all three companies were removed intentionally.

Like the companies that fell before it, RAVPower had seemingly very popular products and many happy customers. I've personally used many RAVPower batteries and chargers, and generally found them to be solid products. But whether the products are actually good isn't what's at focus here; Amazon's apparently taking action on companies that are astroturfing their reviews and ratings.

Read more
Amazon says it blocked billions of counterfeit products in 2020
boston couple unwanted amazon deliveries package

Amazon is continuing to wage war against counterfeit products, with the problem so serious that the company spent $700 million on tackling the issue in 2020 alone.

Last year saw Amazon block a colossal 10 billion suspect listings before they were published on its sprawling e-commerce site. It also “seized and destroyed" more than two million items that it detected as fake before they had a chance to be shipped to customers.

Read more
Elon Musk sails past Jeff Bezos to become world’s richest person
Elon Musk.

Elon Musk has overtaken Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to become the richest person on the planet.

A jump in the stock value of Musk’s Tesla electric car company this week pushed the entrepreneur's worth to an eye-watering$195 billion, $10 billion more than Bezos’s current value, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Read more