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Amazon Accused Of Meeting With Start-Ups And Stealing Ideas

Nearly four years ago Amazon.com invested in DefinedCrowd Corp, which uses machine learning technology and human intelligence to enrich training data. Now, Amazon Web Services has launched A2I, a direct competitor to one of DefinedCrowd Corp’s main products.

Daniela Braga, Founder and Chief Executive of DefinedCrowd, told the Wall Street Journal that when Amazon.com invested in DefinedCrowd Corp it gained access to the technology start-up’s finances and other confidential information.

After A2I was announced DefinedCrowd moved to limit the Amazon fund’s access to the company’s data and also diluted its stake by 90% by raising more capital.

The Wall Street Journal interviewed more than 20 entrepreneurs, investors and deal advisers that had similar stories to tell, where Amazon had appeared to use the investment and deal-making process to develop competing products.

In a number of cases this had devastated the start-ups that Amazon met with.

An Amazon spokesperson denied that the company uses confidential information that companies share with it to build competing products.

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