The Judicial Committee of the United States House of Representatives called this Friday to declare the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, before the allegations that appeared in the press that the company used data from third parties that sell on its platform for their own benefit. .
"If the allegations are true, Amazon exploited its position as the largest online marketplace in the United States to appropriate critical business data from private sellers, and then used that data to compete directly with those same sellers," the US Congress said in a letter. signed by both Republicans and Democrats.
On April 23, The Wall Street Journal published the results of an investigation according to which Amazon uses data from companies that sell on the platform to create and launch their own products, contrary to what is publicly supported by the company and which would constitute a violation of antitrust laws.
The newspaper's investigation, which was based on interviews with 20 former employees and internal Amazon documents, found that the firm uses data on sales, marketing costs and shipping costs for products that other manufacturers sell through the platform for their own products. .
Thus, the company headed by Jeff Bezos has, before deciding whether or not to create a new product, a free and highly detailed market study based on data from the competition that would be very difficult or almost impossible for any other company to obtain. .
In case you decide to go ahead with the product in question, Amazon also uses this information to make critical decisions for the future success of the launch, such as what is the best price, what specific audience should the marketing be directed to, what design elements should you copy , etc.
The Wall Street Journal gave the real example of a manufacturer of fabric boxes with compartments to keep the trunk of the car tidy, which was very successful on Amazon and the company used sales, marketing and shipping cost information to create and put selling a very similar product.
This revelation highlights the dual nature of Amazon as an e-commerce platform open to third parties and as a manufacturer of its own products, which are also sold on the online portal and, therefore, are in direct competition with those of the rest of sellers.
Thus, the company is both the "boss" of the market and one of the shopkeepers, which raises constant suspicions of monopolistic practices and has led to multiple investigations by both Europe and the United States for alleged violations of free competition.
As the queen of electronic commerce, Amazon is experiencing a time of enormous growth as a result of the global pandemic of COVID-19 and the consequent orders of confinement and closings of physical stores, although in turn it has placed itself in the public eye for not provide sufficient security measures to its workers and for abusing their dominance in the market.