Amazon says CEO Jeff Bezos is willing to testify before Congress about potential violations of US antitrust law by big tech companies

  • Amazon said on Monday that its founder Jeff Bezos is willing to testify before Congress about potential violations of US antitrust law by big tech companies 
  • The company’s attorney sent a letter on Monday to members of the House Judiciary Committee 
  • Amazon had given the committee’s antitrust panel more than 225,000 pages of documents and notes saying they had cooperated with the probe so far
  • It said the company had given the committee’s antitrust panel more than 225,000 pages of documents and notes 
  • The big four tech platforms – Alphabet Inc’s Google, Apple Inc, Amazon and Facebook Inc – are under investigation by a House Judiciary Committee panel 

Amazon says billionaire founder Jeff Bezos is willing to testify before Congress about potential violations of US antitrust law by big tech companies. 

The company’s attorney sent a letter on Monday to members of the House Judiciary Committee, saying Amazon had cooperated with the probe being carried out by a congressional panel.   

‘This includes making Jeff Bezos available to testify at a hearing with the other CEOs this summer,’ said the letter from Robert Kelner of Covington and Burling LLP.

The big four tech platforms – Alphabet Inc’s Google, Apple Inc, Amazon and Facebook Inc – are under investigation by a House Judiciary Committee panel and the US Justice Department. 

Amazon says billionaire founder Jeff Bezos is willing to testify before Congress about potential violations of US antitrust law by big tech companies

The Federal Trade Commission is probing Facebook and Amazon and US state attorneys general are looking at Facebook and Google.

Representative David Cicilline, chair of the committee’s antitrust panel, said testimony from the CEOs was ‘essential to complete this bipartisan investigation into the state of competition in the digital marketplace’.

‘The Antitrust Subcommittee will continue to use the tools at our disposal to ensure we gather whatever information is necessary,’ he said in a statement.

Kelner’s letter said that Amazon and the committee would need to ‘resolve a number of questions regarding timing, format, and outstanding document production issues, all necessarily framed by the extraordinary demands of the global pandemic’. 

This would be the first time that Bezos has appeared before Congress, according to a source familiar with the company.

In early May, the committee demanded Bezos’ testimony in the wake of a report that the online retailer uses data from third-party sellers to create competing products.  

The big four tech platforms – Alphabet Inc’s Google, Apple Inc, Amazon and Facebook Inc – are under investigation by a House Judiciary Committee panel and the US Justice Department

Amazon’s associate general counsel, Nate Sutton, had denied under oath last July that Amazon used sensitive information from independent sellers to develop Amazon products.

The letter also noted that Amazon had given the committee’s antitrust panel more than 225,000 pages of documents and notes that the committee has not given a ‘binding commitment’ that they would be confidential.

It comes as state officials in California and Washington are reviewing Amazon’s business practices to determine whether the company is violating any laws with respect to the independent merchants that sell goods on its site.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that California is examining the retail giant’s business practices, focusing partly on how Amazon treats independent sellers on its platform. 

Also on Friday, The New York Times reported that state investigators in Washington are reviewing Amazon’s handling of third-party sellers on its site. 

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