News: House antitrust subcommittee demands Jeff Bezos testify

The House antitrust subcommittee introduced Friday it’s investigating Amazon for antitrust violations and demanded CEO Jeff Bezos testify at a listening to or face a subpoena.

“Amazon exploited its role as the largest online marketplace in the U.S. to appropriate the sensitive commercial data of individual marketplace sellers and then used that data to compete directly with those sellers,” lawmakers from both parties on the panel said in a letter to Bezos on Friday.

The allegation relies on findings from the committee’s antitrust investigation into Amazon and an April Wall Road Journal report that Amazon used delicate enterprise data from third-party sellers on its platform to develop competing products.

“Amazon has had multiple chances to come clean about its business practices,” Rep. David Cicilline, the subcommittee chairman, said on Friday. “Instead, its executives have repeatedly misled the Committee and the public. Enough.”

“As CEO and founder of the company, Jeff Bezos must be accountable for Amazon’s record of dishonesty before Congress. Together with six of my colleagues, I am calling on him to testify,” the Rhode Island Democrat mentioned. “Powerful companies are not above the law.”

The letter from the antitrust panel additionally mentioned that, though the panel expects Bezos to testify on a “voluntary basis,” the committee “reserves the right to resort to compulsory process if necessary.”

Amazon has not commented on the House request.