CEO Bezos willing to testify before US Congress, says Amazon
WASHINGTON (Business) – Amazon.com Inc said on Monday its founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos was willing to testify to a congressional panel probing potential violations of US antitrust law by big technology companies.
The company’s attorney sent a letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee, saying Amazon had cooperated with the investigation. “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. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating 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 CEOs’ testimony 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. Amazon’s associate general counsel, Nate Sutton, had denied last July that the firm used sensitive information from independent sellers to develop Amazon products.
The letter also mentioned 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.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field