May 23, 2022

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Amazon believes the investigation was obstructed when they said they did not misuse seller data

Amazon believes the investigation was obstructed when they said they did not misuse seller data

Amazon is one of the largest online stores in the world, while the company operates an online shopping platform for hundreds of thousands of other online stores, which are often competing.

Through this platform, Amazon is able to access large amounts of seller data about users. But although competition authorities in the European Union and the United States since 2019 have been investigating Amazon for abusing its dual role to gain an unfair advantage in competition with these online stores, Amazon has claimed that it has never used any of the seller data from the Amazon ruin platform. for competitors.

Even during a congressional hearing in July 2019, a senior Amazon executive under oath stated that the company did not use seller data to design its own products to outperform products sold by others on Amazon or ensure that Amazon products ranked higher. existing. By searching on the internet. It turned out to be a scandalous lie.

Investigation requests

In the spring of 2020, several media outlets, led by the Wall Street Journal, revealed that product developers at Amazon not only had access to data from other online retailers, but also routinely used the data. Managers requested data from select online retailers, and the use of the data was discussed publicly in meetings, and this emerged from internal documents and interviews with former employees.

The newspaper mentions, among other things, how Amazon advanced when they wanted to compete with the manufacturer of the luggage compartment organizer for cars, which sold the product on the Amazon platform. Amazon employees got access to data on a seller’s total sales, what the seller paid for marketing and shipping, and how much Amazon received in platform commission for each luggage compartment organizer sold. Then Amazon launched its similar product.

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has now The Congressional Judiciary Committee wrote a letter to the US Department of Justicewhere they are requesting that an investigation be launched to establish whether Amazon lied to congressional politicians during hearings in 2019 should be characterized as an illegal influence or obstruction of Congressional action, Ars Technica writes.



They knew they lied

The panel argues that not only did Amazon learn that what they said during the congressional hearing was incorrect, but the company rejected or simply ignored a number of congressional attempts to get Amazon to correct the misinterpretation or refute the data snooping allegations. The congressional committee also wrote in the letter to the Department of Justice that Amazon attempted to cover up its lies with ever-changing interpretations of its “company protection policy on seller data.”

Amazon denied it misused the data and said reports about this were inaccurate and full of misunderstanding and gross speculation.

Already in the summer of 2020, the Congressional Committee released a report on the monopolistic power of technology companies Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple, concluding that Amazon has the power to monopolize sellers on the Amazon platform, with a third of 2.3. A million e-commerce players use the Amazon platform, and they don’t sell their merchandise anywhere other than there.

No decisions have been made so far about the operations of Amazon and other tech giants as a result of investigations in the European Union and the United States of America.