• Jeremiah D Folia

Amazon Under Fire for Lies to US Government

The U.S. Government has initiated an investigation into Amazon and the CEO of the company, Jeff Bezos. Already, the company faces some big accusations. Rumors of abuse of online market power, mistreatment of employees, and intentional harm to small businesses have surfaced. The government called Bezos to testify before congress once it is safe to do so.

Last summer, Amazon's associate general counsel Nate Sutton testified before congress about their business practices. He claimed the company allowed small businesses to sell their own products without accessing their sales data, claiming

“Our incentive is to help the seller succeed because we rely on them."

In the new investigation, researchers have found evidence that Amazon does access sales data from small businesses in Amazon's data tactics for creating private-label products. If a small business' sales are good, they then buy mass quantities and brand their own product to sell at a fraction of the price.

It appears Amazon lied, and they have been exploiting small businesses for years.

“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 committee wrote.

The chairman of the antitrust committee, David Cicilline (RI) made the accusation public on Twitter.

The committee expects Bezos to testify on a "voluntary basis" but they said they reserve the "right to compulsory process" if he does not show up.

An Amazon spokesperson released the following statement on the matter:

“It’s simply incorrect to say that Amazon was intentionally misleading in our testimony. 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 by the Wall Street Journal are accurate, we take these allegations very seriously and have launched an internal investigation.”

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