House Judiciary demands Jeff Bezos testify on Amazon's alleged misuse of third-party seller data is facing an antitrust investigation.

The House Judiciary Committee on Friday informed Jeff Bezos he needs to agree to testify at a hearing on Amazon's alleged misuse of third-party seller data, or the CEO faces a potential subpoena if he declines.


From the Washington Post:

The dramatic escalation between members of Congress and the e-commerce giant follows reports that Amazon employees tapped data from third-party sellers in its marketplace to make decisions about launching its own competing products, despite initially telling Democrats and Republicans it did not engage in such practices.

Lawmakers on the House's top competition-focused panel specifically pointed to statements that Amazon made starting last July, when officials explicitly told Congress that "we do not use any seller data to compete with them." Lawmakers raised the potential that Amazon might have committed perjury during its earlier testimony on Capitol Hill.

"In light of our ongoing investigation, recent public reporting, and Amazon's prior testimony before the Committee, we expect you, as chief executive officer of Amazon, to testify before the committee," said Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.), the chairman of the antitrust subcommittee. He was joined by Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the House Judiciary Committee's Democratic chairman, and F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.), the second most senior member of the House, indicating the early, wide support such a hearing has garnered in Congress.

"Although we expect that you will testify on a voluntary basis," lawmakers continued, "we reserve the right to resort to compulsory process if necessary."

In the tweet below, Cicilline later said he is "considering whether a perjury referral is warranted," pointing to federal law makes knowingly falsifying evidence to Congress a crime.

"Powerful companies are not above the law."

Read more:
House lawmakers demand Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testify in antitrust probe, threatening potential subpoena

Tweets from the Committee follow.

[WaPo, reporting by Tony Romm and Jay Greene, May 1, 2020]