What you need to know
- The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is accusing Amazon of lying to Congress.
- Committee members say that the company lied about product discrimination on its platform.
- The committee has given Amazon until November 1 to provide proof to corroborate its testimony.
Amazon has two weeks to prove that it does not discriminate against other products sold on its online platform, a deadline imposed by the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee.
A letter addressed to Amazon on Monday suspects the company of misleading the committee and lying to Congress when it said that it does not promote its own products more than others and that it does not use seller data to create competing products.
The letter directly cites investigations from Reuters and The Markup, which claim that Amazon "ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own product lines in India, one of the company's largest growth markets." It was also alleged that Amazon promoted its own competing products over those from other brands.
The committee says that it is giving Amazon one last chance to prove that it wasn't lying about its practices or face an investigation.
Amazon, however, maintains that it did not mislead the committee. An Amazon spokesperson told Android Central that it continues to deny allegations, reiterating statements made by former CEO Jeff Bezos that the company prohibits using seller data to develop's Amazon's own products and internally investigates any bad actors that may have violated this policy.
Meanwhile, Amazon is also facing new bipartisan legislation aimed at curbing its market dominance and putting an end to these alleged practices.
The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Chuck Grassley, seeks to promote competition by prohibiting dominant platforms from "favoring their own products or services," while setting the groundwork for enforcement that would hold companies accountable for anticompetitive behavior.
However, Brian Huseman, Amazon's vice president of public policy, says in a statement that the bill would negatively impact businesses that operate on its platform and says that it unfairly singles out the company.
Amazon has until November 1 to submit documents proving that it does not use seller data to create competing products nor provide self-preferential treatment for its products.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.
Investigation? Maybe. Prosecution? Never.
Congress accusing an organization of lying. That's funny.
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