Amazon won’t commit to a testimony from CEO Jeff Bezos regarding allegations that the company is misusing the data of third-party sellers on its platform.
Instead, the e-commerce giant says an “appropriate” executive will testify when the time comes. It’s unclear what, exactly, the company means by “appropriate,” given that the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee specifically requested testimony from Bezos.
Congress is investigating Amazon following an April report from the Wall Street Journal indicating that Amazon uses data from third-party sellers. Specifically, Amazon is said to be leveraging this information to discover best-selling products that they would want to develop and sells for themselves.
This is in direct contrast to what Nate Sutton, Amazon’s associate general counsel, said under oath last July. At the time, Sutton denied that Amazon uses sensitive business information from independent sellers to determine which products it should compete against. Amazon has also noted that such practices would, in fact, be a violation of its policies.
Following the publication of the Wall Street Journal report, U.S. lawmakers sent Amazon a letter to Bezos, reading: “If the reporting in the Wall Street Journal article is accurate, then statements Amazon made to the committee about the company’s business practices appear to be misleading, and possibly criminally false or perjurious.”