It’s not so great to be the king.
Amazon is on top and making more money than ever even as its brick and mortar competitors struggle with supply chains and store closings. But the movement against it is gathering steam among both Republicans and Democrats. Even as the Trump admin is fighting Amazon, House Democrats have decided to expose its cannibalism of third party sellers.
And it’s one of those rare times they’re doing something good and useful.
The House Judiciary Committee today demanded that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testify on whether the company misled Congress about the data tactics it deploys against rivals, setting up a major potential fight with the company.
The committee’s Democratic leaders said last week that the company might have given lawmakers false information last year about whether it uses data collected from its own third-party sellers to launch competing products. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that Amazon employees have employed such tactics, despite the company’s denials.
“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,” committee leaders wrote in a letter today to Bezos.
Of course it does and it is.
Amazon is a platform, a retailer, and so many other things. And it’s begun launching its own store brands. And like other dot com platform giants, it uses data from third party sellers for competitive advantage. It also stupidly decided to lie about it.
The move marks the first time House Judiciary has publicly called for the CEO of one of the tech giants to testify before the committee, the greatest escalation to date in its antitrust probe of Silicon Valley. The letter has the backing of both Democratic and Republican House Judiciary members.
Now let’s see if it leads to some kind of action. And let’s see the Washington Post reporting on it.