Amazon would not decide to placing Bezos earlier than antitrust committee

Amazon would not decide to placing Bezos earlier than antitrust committee


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in February throughout a go to to India.

Sajjad Hussain/Getty Photos

Amazon on Friday provided to ship considered one of its executives to talk earlier than a congressional antitrust committee, however it did not say whether or not CEO and founder Jeff Bezos would present.

The corporate was responding to US Home members, who on Could 1 known as on Bezos to testify earlier than them. Their request was prompted by a Wall Avenue Journal article that mentioned Amazon employees had repeatedly accessed the gross sales knowledge of particular person sellers on the e-commerce big’s web site when deciding what Amazon-branded merchandise ought to be launched. If the Journal’s report is correct, the apply may’ve given Amazon an unfair benefit over smaller retailers on its web site, elevating concern within the antitrust committee that the corporate might’ve abused its dominant place in web retail.

Amazon mentioned it has insurance policies in place towards accessing particular person vendor knowledge however famous that its private-label employees do analysis combination complete gross sales and search quantity knowledge. It mentioned it is investigating the assertions talked about within the Journal story and plans to report back to the committee what it finds out.

However whereas Amazon took pains to point out it has been cooperating with the committee, it did not say whether or not Bezos would seem earlier than the panel.

“We stay ready to make the suitable Amazon govt obtainable to the Committee to handle these essential points,” Brian Huseman, Amazon’s public coverage vice chairman, wrote in a three-page letter despatched Friday.

Rep. David Cicilline, the Democratic chairman of the Home Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Industrial and Administrative Regulation, on Friday reiterated his place that Bezos could be subpoenaed if crucial, tweeting: “Nobody is above the legislation, irrespective of how wealthy or highly effective.” He’d mentioned the identical final week in an interview with Politico.

In that interview, Cicilline mentioned he anticipated the CEOs of Apple, Fb and Google guardian Alphabet to look as nicely.

The back-and-forth reveals how antitrust issues concerning the nation’s greatest tech corporations proceed, even amid the coronavirus pandemic. Investigations by regulators and politicians into these corporations had been ramping up over the previous yr, elevating the potential of recent laws being positioned on these enormous organizations.

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In the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and months-long stay-at-home orders, although, these corporations have loved renewed enthusiasm from customers, with Fb providing methods for folks to attach, Apple offering technique of leisure and Amazon delivery deliveries of meals and primary items.

Nonetheless, the antitrust investigations are shifting ahead, with David Cicilline saying final week that he anticipated to return out with a report later this yr. Additionally, the Journal reported Friday that the Division of Justice and state attorneys common are planning to return ahead with an antitrust go well with towards Google this yr.

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