Amazon Says ‘Appropriate’ Executive to Be Available as US Panel Calls on Jeff Bezos to Testify

Reuters
By Reuters
May 16, 2020Businessshare
Amazon Says ‘Appropriate’ Executive to Be Available as US Panel Calls on Jeff Bezos to Testify
Jeff Bezos speaks after receiving the 2019 International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Excellence in Industry Award during the the 70th International Astronautical Congress at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on October 22, 2019. (Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Amazon said on Friday it would make an “appropriate” executive available to the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee to testify amid an antitrust investigation involving allegations related to how the company uses third-party sellers’ data.

The panel had called on chief executive Jeff Bezos to testify. Amazon’s blog late on Friday did not commit to a specific person or consideration for who could eventually testify.

“We have been working with the Committee in good faith for nearly a year to provide answers and information, and we remain prepared to make the appropriate Amazon executive available to the Committee to address these issues,” Amazon said in the blog post.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the online retailer used data from its third-party sellers to create competing products.

logo of Amazon
The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France, on Nov. 5, 2019. (Pascal Rossignol/Reuters)

In a letter to Bezos this month signed by Democratic and Republican members of the panel, U.S. lawmakers referred to the April 23 WSJ report, saying, “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.”

At issue were statements by Amazon’s associate general counsel, Nate Sutton, who denied under oath last July that Amazon used sensitive business information from independent sellers on its platform to develop products for Amazon to sell.

The company has previously said any such practices would violate its policies.

Amazon sent a letter to the panel on Friday in response to the committee’s May 1 letter and reiterated that any allegations that there was such a policy breach would be investigated.

By Ismail Shakil and Kanishka Singh

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