Press Releases

Nadler, Cicilline Condemn Amazon's Apparent Lack of Candor in Response to Bombshell News Report

Washington, April 23, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Today, in response to a Wall Street Journal report that Amazon used sensitive business information from third-party sellers on its platform to develop competing products---contradicting its sworn testimony to Congress---House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) released the following statements:

“If true, this report raises deep concerns about Amazon’s apparent lack of candor before the Committee regarding an issue that is central to our investigation,” Nadler said. “Amazon has had opportunities to correct the record on its business practices. It is deeply concerning that, beginning with the hearing last year, they may have misled Congress rather than be fully forthcoming on this matter, notwithstanding our repeated requests in this regard. As part of its Digital Markets Investigation, the Committee has asked Amazon for information related to its use of third-party seller data to develop competing products. We plan to seek clarification from Amazon in short order, in light of this troubling report. While we acknowledge and are appreciative of Amazon’s ongoing work to support Americans during the COVID-19 crisis, we still need to understand the business practices existing prior to the pandemic that resulted in Amazon becoming the primary provider of goods online to millions of Americans.”

“This is yet another example of the sworn testimony of Amazon’s witness being directly contradicted by investigative reporting,” Cicilline said. “First, Amazon said it does not favor its own products, which extensive reporting later revealed to be untrue. Second, Amazon said it does not use individual seller data to create competing private label products. According to this report, the company used individual marketplace sellers’ sensitive commercial data for its own benefit to enter markets, reverse engineer products, and compete directly with these sellers that rely on Amazon’s platform. At best, Amazon’s witness appears to have misrepresented key aspects of Amazon’s business practices while omitting important details in response to pointed questioning. At worst, the witness Amazon sent to speak on its behalf may have lied to Congress.”