A House Committee is urging the Department of Justice to investigate Amazon over what lawmakers contend is potentially criminal obstruction of Congress.
In a letter sent Wednesday and addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, a bipartisan group of lawmakers alleged that Amazon repeatedly misled the House Judiciary Committee throughout its probe into the competitive practices of Big Tech companies.
In particular, lawmakers have zeroed in on Amazon’s private-label practices and its collection of third-party seller data. Lawmakers claim Amazon has made false and misleading statements to the House Committee about its practices, then refused to turn over evidence that would “either corroborate its claims or correct the record.”
“It appears to have done so to conceal the truth about its use of third-party sellers’ data to advantage its private-label business and its preferencing of private-label products in search results — subjects of the Committee’s investigation,” according to the letter, which was signed by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., House Antitrust Subcommittee chair David Cicilline, D-R.I., and committee members Reps. Ken Buck, R-Colo., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.
“As a result, we have no choice but to refer this matter to the Department of Justice to investigate whether Amazon and its executives obstructed Congress in violation of applicable federal law,” the letter continued.
Representatives from Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.