US Senator Warren urges Amazon breakup, retailer seeks investigation after Reuters story

The report, which reviewed thousands of internal Amazon documents, found that the US company carried out a systematic campaign to create knockoffs and manipulate search results to promote its private brands in India.

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US Senator Elizabeth Warren called for Amazon.com Inc to be disbanded and Indian retailers called for a government probe into the company after a Reuters investigation into the e-commerce giant. Copied products and rigged search results in India.

The report, which reviewed thousands of internal Amazon documents, found that the US company carried out a systematic campaign of knocking and manipulating search results to promote its private brands in India, one of the company’s biggest growth markets. Is.

An October 13 report showed that, at least in India, manipulating search results in favor of Amazon’s products, as well as copying goods from other sellers, was part of Amazon’s formal strategy, and at least It was reviewed by at least two senior officials.

The Reuters investigation drew bipartisan criticism of Amazon from US lawmakers.

Connecting to the story on Twitter, Facebook, Ms. Warren, a longtime critic of Amazon, said: “These documents show what we feared about Amazon’s monopoly power—that the company was using its platform to benefit its bottom line. ready and capable. Hardening small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

“It’s one of the many reasons we need to break it down,” she said.

Ms Warren, a prominent Democrat, advocated for the breakup of Amazon and other tech giants in 2019, when she was running for president. Since then, as a senator from Massachusetts, he has continued to put pressure on companies like Amazon.

Ken Buck, a Republican on the House of Representatives antitrust subcommittee, also shared the story on social media, saying, “These documents prove that Amazon engages in anti-competitive practices such as rigging search results and self-imposing its products on competitors.” expressing preference.”

“More concerning, this is contrary to what Jeff Bezos told Congress,” said the Colorado lawmaker. “Amazon and Mr. Bezos must be held accountable.”

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment on responses to the report.

In response to questions from the October 13 report, Amazon said “we believe these claims are factually incorrect and baseless”. The company did not elaborate. It added that Amazon “displays search results based on the relevance of a customer’s search query, whether or not such products contain private brands offered by sellers.”

Retailers, Related Start-ups

In a swearing-in before the subcommittee last year, Amazon founder Mr. Bezos said the company prohibits its employees from using data on individual sellers to help their private-label business. Another Amazon executive testified in 2019 that the company does not use such data to create its own private-label products or to alter its search results in their favor.

Amazon documents reviewed by Reuters show how the company’s private-brand team in India secretly exploited its Indian entity’s internal data to copy products sold by other companies, then used them on its platform. Presented on

The company promoted sales of its private brands such as Amazon Basics by manipulating search results on its platform in India to make its products appear, as a 2016 strategy report said, “the first 2 or three … in the results.”

A group representing millions of brick-and-mortar retailers said on October 14 that the country’s government should launch an investigation into Amazon.

“Amazon is hurting small manufacturers a lot. They are eating a cake that doesn’t belong to them,” Praveen Khandelwal of the Confederation of All India Traders told Reuters. The group says it represents 80 million retail stores in the country.

Retailers say foreign e-commerce businesses such as Amazon and Walmart Inc’s Flipkart indulge in unfair trade practices that hurt smaller firms, allegations the companies deny.

The Alliance of Digital India Foundation, a non-profit that represents some of India’s biggest startups, said the practices detailed in the Reuters report were “extremely reprehensible”, adding that “Amazon as a good faith operator in the Indian startup ecosystem”. questioning its credibility”.

In a blog post, the group urged the Indian government to take action against “Amazon’s predatory playbook of copying, misappropriating and killing Indian brands”.

A top official of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s economic wing, the ideological guardian of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, urged consumers to stay away from the company on October 14.

Swadeshi Jagran Manch co-convenor Ashwini Mahajan said on Twitter, “I call upon the people of this country to #boycottAmazon.”

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