A key group of bipartisan lawmakers say Amazon’s top executives may have misled them under oath during an antitrust probe — and are urging the Justice Department to launch an investigation into the company and its executives.
Members of the House Judiciary Committee said in a Wednesday letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland that Amazon engaged in “deceptive conduct” to “influence, obstruct or impede” the lawmakers’ investigation into whether the company was expanding its e-commerce used heft to suppress competition.
“Throughout the investigation and in follow-up inquiries, Amazon executives have engaged in a pattern and practice of deceptive conduct before the committee,” said the group of lawmakers, including Reps Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), David Cicilline (D- RI ) and Ken Buck (R-Colo.) said in a Joint Statement. “Therefore, we are referring this matter to the Justice Department to investigate whether Amazon obstructed Congress or violated other federal laws.”
The investigation looked into allegations that Amazon used third-party data to help develop its own private label products — a practice Bezos said was against the company’s rules when he testified under oath before Congress in 2020, but was reported by Reuters last year reported that the company had engaged in.
Lawmakers also questioned whether Amazon gave its own products an unfair advantage in search results.
“There is no factual basis for this, as evidenced by the vast body of information that we have provided in good faith to this investigation over several years,” an Amazon spokesman said.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news. The company has previously stated that using third-party data to develop its own products is prohibited and that the company is investigating any possible wrongdoing.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In October, the same group of lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee that signed Wednesday’s letter sent a letter to Amazon threatening to ask the Justice Department to investigate Beozs and Amazon.
“We strongly encourage you to take this opportunity to correct the records and provide affidavit, truthful and accurate responses to this request to the committee while we consider the appropriate referral of this matter to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation.” ‘ wrote lawmakers, which also included Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Calif.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).
But lawmakers wrote on Wednesday that Amazon had not complied with their demands.
“The committee offered Amazon multiple avenues to clear up these misconceptions, yet executives continued to thwart our efforts to uncover the truth about their business practices,” lawmakers said. “Amazon and its leaders must be held accountable for this behavior.”
https://nypost.com/2022/03/09/house-judiciary-members-call-for-amazon-doj-probe/ Members of the House Judiciary are calling for an investigation into Amazon’s DOJ