We missed this earlier: US lawmakers have alleged that Amazon might have lied to the US Congress about the methods it employs against competitors on its platform, reported Politico on April 23. The allegations were made on the basis of a Wall Street Journal report [paywalled] which said that Amazon employees have used data about independent to develop competing products, which goes against both the company’s policies and past promises made by its executives.
Congressman David Cicilline, chairman of the House Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee, has said Amazon appears to have “misrepresented key aspects to its business practices while omitting important details in response to pointed questioning”. “At worst, the witness Amazon sent to speak on its behalf may have lied to Congress.” Former presidential runner Elizabeth Warren said “we need to break-up big tech”.
At a hearing for antitrust concerns in July, Amazon’s Nate Sutton testified before the House Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee that the company does not “use individual seller data to directly compete with them”. Amazon has meanwhile reportedly said it prohibits employees from using seller-specific data to determine which private label products to launch. The company said it has launched an internal investigation.