Amazon Under Fire For Shady Marketplace Practices
E-commerce giant, Amazon, is reportedly facing heavy scrutiny from US politicians following allegations of ‘predatory data practices’ on its Marketplace platform, which some local commentators suggest may be happening down under too.
The news follows a recent WSJ report that several Amazon employees were tasked with gathering data intelligence from top-selling third-party marketplace sellers, before launching competing Amazon-branded/private-label goods.
Amazon has continued to rebuff these allegations, asserting it’s a violation of their policies.
Reported by the New York Post, Senator Josh Hawley is now calling on the US Justice Department to launch a criminal probe of the e-tailer’s ‘predatory data practices.’
Senator Hawley is calling for a criminal antitrust investigation of Amazon to be opened, following reports of “predatory and exclusionary data practises” used to “build and maintain a monopoly.”
The news comes as brands continue to grapple with rising in-store and online competition, with many questioning the validity of registering on Amazon’s marketplace if proprietary sales data will be harvested to launch competing products by the e-commerce giant.
A statement provided to the New York Post from an Amazon spokesperson states it has launched an internal investigation, however, asserts they do not believe the WSJ’s claims are “accurate.”
Some local suppliers state Amazon has been soliciting brands to list on its Marketplace platform, however, are uncertain amid rumblings of competing products launching in a private seller’s niche after launch.
Senator Hawley states the allegations are particularly concerning for many smaller brands, who are becoming reliant on online sales amid a drop in foot traffic.
The US Justice Department has reportedly received Senator Hawley’s letter.