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Jeff Bezos is being called to testify before Congress over ‘misleading’ statements from Amazon

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The Home Judiciary Committee known as on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Friday to testify earlier than the physique after Democratic chief accused firm officers of allegedly mendacity earlier than Congress final week.

In a letter addressed to Bezos, seven bipartisan members of the committee stated that latest reporting from The Wall Road Journal about Amazon’s knowledge techniques for creating non-public label merchandise calls into query earlier statements firm officers have made. Final week, the Journal reported that Amazon staff accessed third-party vendor knowledge to launch competing merchandise below the corporate’s personal non-public label manufacturers.

“If the reporting within the Wall Road Journal article is correct, then statements Amazon made to the Committee concerning the firm’s enterprise practices look like deceptive, and probably criminally false or perjurious,” the committee wrote.

During the last yr, the Home Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on antitrust has been engaged in a sweeping investigation of the tech sector over potential anti-competitive habits, together with firms like Fb, Google, and Amazon. As a part of this probe, Amazon’s associate general counsel Nate Sutton testified earlier than the physique final summer time. In his testimony, Sutton stated that Amazon doesn’t entry impartial vendor knowledge to develop its personal merchandise. “Our incentive is to assist the vendor succeed as a result of we depend on them,” Sutton stated.

In its letter, the committee calls into query Sutton’s statements, saying that they contradict latest reporting. “Amazon has had a number of probabilities to return clear about its enterprise practices. As a substitute, its executives have repeatedly misled the Committee and the general public. Sufficient,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), chairman of the antitrust subcommittee, wrote in a tweet Friday.

The committee didn’t give a particular date for the listening to, however stated that it expects Bezos to “testify on a voluntary foundation.” If not, it reserves “the precise to obligatory course of if needed.” Of the massive 4 tech firms, together with Amazon, Apple, Fb, and Google, Bezos is the one one to have by no means testified earlier than Congress.

Amazon didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark from The Verge, however the firm opened an inner investigation into the matter after the Journal’s report was first revealed.

“It’s merely incorrect to say that Amazon was deliberately deceptive in our testimony,” an organization spokesperson stated final week. “Whereas we don’t imagine these claims made by the Wall Road Journal are correct, we take these allegations very critically.”

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