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Congress Wants Jeff Bezos To Testify In Amazon Antitrust Probe

 |  May 1, 2020

Seven US Congress members have called on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to testify as part of a House of Representatives antitrust probe into Amazon and other tech giants. The demand follows a Wall Street Journal report that alleged Amazon employees accessed non-public information about the company’s third-party sellers to create competing brands. Amazon previously told Congress that internal policies prohibited those practices.

The House members — four Democrats and three Republicans — told Bezos in a May 1 letter that “we expect that you will testify on a voluntary basis,” but threatened to subpoena him if he does not comply with the request to appear.

“In light of our ongoing investigation, recent public reporting, and Amazon’s prior testimony before the Committee, we expect you, as Chief Executive Officer of Amazon, to testify before the Committee,” members of the House antitrust subcommittee wrote. “It is vital to the Committee, as part of its critical work investigating and understanding competition issues in the digital market, that Amazon respond to these and other critical questions concerning competition issues in digital markets.”

The Bezos demand comes a week after a report from the Wall Street Journal revealed Amazon employees have at times accessed data from individual marketplace sellers to help decide which products Amazon would create and sell under its own brand names, known as private-label brands. The report appears to contradict statements made under oath by a top Amazon lawyer, Nate Sutton, who stated at a congressional hearing led by the House antitrust subcommittee that Amazon does not use data from sellers to create its own products. In follow-up responses to Congress, Amazon clarified that it does not use data from individual sellers to inform the creation of its own brands, only aggregate data from multiple sellers.

Full Content: VOX

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