US House of Representatives panel is referring Amazon to the Justice Department amid a competition investigation

FILE PHOTO: House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law hearing
FILE PHOTO: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Trade and Administrative Law during a hearing on “Online Platforms and Market Power” at the Rayburn House office building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 29 July 2, 2020 from Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

March 9, 2022

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Five members of the US House Judiciary Committee have asked the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Inc for “potentially criminal conduct” by the company and some of its officers.

In a letter to the United States Attorney General, the bipartisan group of lawmakers said Amazon engaged in a “pattern and practice of deceptive conduct that suggests” it acted for an improper purpose, to support the panel’s investigation into the… Influencing or impeding competition in digital markets.

“We have no choice but to refer this matter to the Department of Justice to investigate whether Amazon and its executives obstructed Congress in violation of applicable federal law,” the March 9 letter read.

In response, an Amazon spokesman told Reuters in an emailed statement: “There is no factual basis for this, as evidenced by the vast body of information we have provided over several years of trusting collaboration with this investigation.”

A DOJ spokesman said the department received the letter and will be reviewing it.

The referral to the DOJ follows an earlier warning by members of the US committee in October 2021 that accused Amazon’s top executives, including founder Jeff Bezos, of either misleading or potentially educating Congress about Amazon’s business practices lie to

That letter came days after a Reuters investigation showed that Amazon had carried out a systematic campaign of copying products and manipulating search results in India to boost sales of its own brands – practices Amazon has denied any involvement in to be.

Members had stated at the time that the Reuters story and recent articles in several other news outlets “directly contradict the affidavits and representations made by top Amazon executives — including former CEO Jeffrey Bezos.”

Amazon said at the time the company and its executives “did not mislead the committee and we have disputed the records of the inaccurate media articles in question and attempted to correct them.”

In Wednesday’s letter to the US Attorney General, US lawmakers cited reports from various media outlets, including Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and Politico, on the American e-commerce giant’s business practices.

They added that Amazon has declined multiple opportunities to provide evidence that it made accurate and complete representations to the panel during its investigation.

The Reuters investigation in October, based on a review of thousands of internal Amazon documents, showed that Amazon, at least in India, had a formal, secretive policy of manipulating search results to favor Amazon’s own products and copy other sellers’ -Ware – and that at least two senior company executives had reviewed it.

Citing the Reuters story, the US lawmaker’s most recent letter published a Nov. 1 letter from Amazon telling five committee members that the company was “investigating the allegations in the Reuters article,” adding that “this will take time.” Time.”

Amazon also told the US panel that “creating private labels that are similar or even identical to existing brands is a common retail practice.”

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi, Steve Stecklow in London, Susan Heavey and David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Nick Zieminski) US House of Representatives panel is referring Amazon to the Justice Department amid a competition investigation


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