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Amazon may have lied to Congress about its business practices, lawmakers say

Five members of the Congressional Committee have accused Amazon’s top executives of either misleading or blatantly lying to it about its business practices and said they are considering an investigation following publication of two damning reports last week.

Reuters and the Markup reported last week that Amazon uses the data of third-party sellers on its platform to inform and create its private-label products. Both the outlets also noted that Amazon then gives preference to its own portfolio over those of the rivals when customers look up for products.

In the letter, the lawmakers also said the committee is considering whether it would be appropriate to refer the Department of Justice to launch a criminal investigation into the subject.

“We strongly encourage you to make use of this opportunity to correct the record and provide the Committee with sworn, truthful, and accurate responses to this request as we consider whether a referral of this matter to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation is appropriate,” reads the letter.

In the letter signed by Pramila Jayapal, David Cicilline, Ken Buck, Jerrold Nadler and Matt Gaetz lawmakers have said that recent reporting in several outlets “directly contradicts the sworn testimony and representations of Amazon’s top executives including former CEO Jeffrey Bezos.”

Despite the company’s denials, too many people through their actions have suggested that they don’t believe the company. Last week, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren called for breaking up Amazon.

The Reuters report, which relies on thousands of internal Amazon documents, states that Amazon “ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own private brands in India.” The report adds that the move was part of a formal strategy at Amazon. “These investigations are consistent with prior reports,” the letter reads.

Source : Techcrunch

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