Amazon Faces Criminal Investigation

Retail technology giant Amazon could be facing a criminal investigation. U.S. House lawmakers are threatening to seek a criminal investigation of Amazon, saying the tech giant has one “final chance” to correct previous testimony by executives on its competition practices.

They sent a letter Monday to Amazon President and CEO Andy Jassy, marking an escalation in a bipartisan battle against Amazon by the House Judiciary Committee panel that has investigated the market dominance of Big Tech. The lawmakers are giving Amazon until Nov. 1 to “correct the record” and provide new documents and evidence.

The letter said the antitrust subcommittee was considering referring the case to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, as it accused Amazon of at least misleading Congress and possibly outright lying. The letter cites recent media reports detailing Amazon’s alleged practice of undercutting the businesses that sell on its platform by making “knock-offs,” or very similar products, and boosting their presence on the site.

The reports directly contradict sworn testimony of Amazon executives and other statements to Congress, the letter says. It was signed by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and the Democratic and Republican leaders of the antitrust panel.

“We strongly encourage you to make use of this opportunity to correct the record and provide the Committee with sworn, truthful and accurate responses to this request as we consider whether a referral of this matter to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation is appropriate,” the letter said.

Jassy took over the top position at Seattle-based Amazon from founder Jeff Bezos in July.

Amazon denied that its executives had misled the panel in their testimony.
Read the full report at PBS Newshour.

For more New York City Technology news and culture, follow us on Instagram, Twitter @NYCWired, and sign up for our Newsletter below. 

nycwired

nycwired

Written by the editors, staff, partners and interns of New York City Wired. A site dedicated to technology business news and culture in and around New York City.