The House Judiciary Committee is likely to question Amazon about its use of third-party seller data. In April, the Wall Street Journal published a report in which more than 20 former Amazon employees said the company had used proprietary seller data to help design and price some of its in-house products. The Wall Street Journal’s reporting appears to contradict statements the company gave in the past. Last July, one of Amazon’s lawyers told lawmakers, « we do not use any seller data to compete with [third-party sellers]. »
If Bezos ends up testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, it will be his first appearance before Congress. In May, it appeared Amazon was unwilling to make Bezos available to the House Judiciary Committee. At the time, the company said it would send « the appropriate executive » to answer questions. In this latest letter, the law firm representing Amazon tried to make the case that other executives were better suited to testify before Congress. However, Amazon may have had little choice but to comply; the committee had threatened to subpoena Bezos if he didn’t voluntarily agree to a hearing.
The July hearing with other big tech companies could be just the start of a high-pressure summer for Amazon. Last week, The Wall Street Journal said the European Commission plans to announce antitrust charges against Amazon sometime in the next week or two.