A key group of bipartisan lawmakers say Amazon’s high brass could have misled them below oath throughout an antitrust probe — and are calling on the Division of Justice to open an investigation into the corporate and its executives.
Members of the Home Judiciary Committee stated in a Wednesday letter to Legal professional Normal Merrick Garland that Amazon engaged in “deceptive conduct” designed to “affect, impede, or impede” lawmakers’ investigation into whether or not the corporate used its e-commerce heft to squash competitors.
“All through the investigation and in follow-up inquiries, senior executives at Amazon engaged in a sample and observe of deceptive habits earlier than the Committee,” the group of lawmakers together with Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI) and Ken Buck (R-Colo.) stated in a joint statement. “That’s the reason we’re referring this matter to the Division of Justice to research whether or not Amazon obstructed Congress or violated different federal legal guidelines.”
The probe investigated accusations that Amazon used knowledge from third celebration sellers to assist develop its personal non-public label merchandise — a observe that Bezos stated was towards the corporate’s guidelines when he testified to Congress under oath in 2020 however that Reuters reported last year the company has engaged in.
Lawmakers additionally questioned whether or not Amazon gave its personal merchandise an unfair leg up in search outcomes.
“There’s no factual foundation for this, as demonstrated within the big quantity of knowledge we’ve supplied over a number of years of fine religion cooperation with this investigation,” an Amazon spokesperson stated.
The Wall Avenue Journal first reported the news. The corporate has beforehand stated that utilizing third celebration knowledge to develop its personal merchandise is forbidden and that the corporate investigates any potential misconduct.
The Justice Division didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
In October, the identical group of legislators from Home Judiciary Committee that signed Wednesday’s letter despatched a letter to Amazon threatening to to ask the Justice Division to research Beozs and Amazon.
“We strongly encourage you to utilize this chance to appropriate the document and supply the Committee with sworn, truthful, and correct responses to this request as we contemplate whether or not a referral of this matter to the Division of Justice for felony investigation is suitable,” wrote the legislators, who additionally included Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Calif.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).
However the lawmakers wrote on Wednesday that Amazon did not adjust to their requests.
“The Committee prolonged a number of alternatives for Amazon to make clear these misconceptions, but executives continued to thwart our efforts to uncover the reality about their enterprise practices,” the legislators stated. “Amazon and its executives have to be held accountable for this habits.”
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