US Senator Elizabeth Warren urges Amazon breakup; India retailers need probe after Reuters story



U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren referred to as for breaking apart Inc and Indian retailers demanded a authorities probe of the corporate after a Reuters investigation confirmed the e-commerce big had copied merchandise and rigged search ends in India.

The Reuters report, reviewing 1000’s of inner Amazon paperwork, discovered that the U.S. firm ran a scientific marketing campaign of making knockoffs and manipulating search outcomes to spice up its personal personal manufacturers in India, one of many firm’s largest development markets.

Wednesday’s report confirmed that, no less than in India, manipulating search outcomes to favour Amazon’s merchandise, in addition to copying different sellers’ items, have been a part of a proper technique at Amazon – and that no less than two senior executives had reviewed it.

The Reuters investigation drew bipartisan criticism of Amazon from U.S. lawmakers.

Linking to the story on Twitter and Fb, Warren, a long-time critic of Amazon, mentioned “these paperwork present what we feared about Amazon’s monopoly energy – that the corporate is prepared and capable of rig its platform to learn its backside line whereas stiffing small companies and entrepreneurs.”

“This is likely one of the many causes we have to break it up,” she mentioned.

Warren, a distinguished Democrat, advocated the breakup of Amazon and different tech giants in 2019 when she was operating for president. Since then, as a senator from Massachusetts, she has continued to use strain on firms like Amazon.

Ken Buck, a Republican on the Home of Representatives antitrust subcommittee, additionally shared the story on social media, saying, “These paperwork show Amazon engages in anticompetitive practices comparable to rigging search outcomes and self-preferencing their very own merchandise over rivals.”

“Extra regarding, it contradicts what Jeff Bezos advised Congress,” the Colorado lawmaker mentioned. “Amazon and Bezos should be held accountable.”

Requested for touch upon the reactions, Amazon issued a press release much like one it offered for the Reuters investigation.

“These allegations are incorrect and unsubstantiated,” it mentioned. “We show search outcomes based mostly on relevance to the purchasers, no matter whether or not such merchandise are personal manufacturers provided by sellers or not.”

Amazon mentioned it “strictly prohibits the use or sharing of private, seller-specific information with sellers, together with with sellers of personal manufacturers,” and investigates studies of its staff performing opposite to that coverage.

The corporate didn’t touch upon the criticisms by U.S. lawmakers or Indian retailers.


In sworn testimony earlier than the subcommittee final yr, Amazon founder Bezos mentioned the corporate prohibits its staff from utilizing information on particular person sellers to assist its private-label enterprise. In 2019 one other Amazon government testified that the corporate doesn’t use such information to create its personal private-label merchandise or alter its search outcomes to favour them.

The Amazon paperwork reviewed by Reuters confirmed how the corporate’s private-brands group in India secretly exploited inner information from its India unit to repeat merchandise offered by different firms, then provided them on its platform.

The corporate promoted gross sales of its personal manufacturers like AmazonBasics by rigging search outcomes on its platform in India in order that its merchandise would seem, as one 2016 technique report put it, “within the first 2 or three … search outcomes.”

A gaggle representing thousands and thousands of India’s brick-and-mortar retailers mentioned on Thursday the nation’s authorities should launch an investigation into Amazon.

“Amazon is inflicting an important drawback to the small producers. They’re consuming the cake that’s not meant for them,” Praveen Khandelwal of the Confederation of All India Traders advised Reuters. The group says it represents 80 million retail shops within the nation.

Indian retailers say international e-commerce companies like Amazon and Walmart Inc’s Flipkart bask in unfair enterprise practices that harm smaller companies, allegations the businesses deny.

The Alliance of Digital India Basis, a nonprofit representing a few of India’s greatest startups, mentioned the practices detailed within the Reuters report have been “extremely deplorable”, calling into query “the credibility of Amazon as religion operator within the Indian startup ecosystem”.

In a weblog put up, the group urged the Indian authorities to take motion towards “Amazon’s predatory playbook of copying, rigging and killing Indian manufacturers”.

A high official within the financial wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological father or mother of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling celebration, urged shoppers to shun the corporate on Thursday.

“I name upon individuals of this nation to #boycottAmazon,” Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, mentioned on Twitter

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi and Steve Stecklow in London; Modifying by William Mallard)




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