Jeff Bezos might have to testify before Congress
Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has agreed to testify to a congressional panel currently investigating potential violations of US antitrust law by the country’s tech giants.
The company’s attorney, Robert Kelner of Covington and Burling LLP, sent a letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee in which he explained that Bezos would be made available to testify at a hearing, saying:
“We are committed to cooperating with your inquiry and will make the appropriate executive available to testify. This includes making Jeff Bezos available to testify at a hearing with the other CEOs this summer. Of course, we will need to resolve a number of questions regarding timing, format, and outstanding document production issues, all necessarily framed by the extraordinary demands of the global pandemic. In addition, we think it bears emphasizing that other senior executives now run the businesses that are the actual subject of the Committee’s investigation.”
In addition to Amazon, Alphabet’s Google, Apple and Facebook are also being investigated by a House Judiciary Committee panel and the US Justice Department. At the same time, the Federal Trade Commission is probing Facebook and Amazon while US state attorneys general are looking into Facebook and Google.
The chair of the committee’s antitrust panel, David Cicilline, beleives that testimony from the CEOs of Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook is “essential to complete this bipartisan investigation into the state of competition in the digital marketplace”.
While the CEOs of the other tech giants have appeared before Congress in the past, this would be Jeff Bezos’ first time doing so according to CNBC.
Back in May, the committee demanded his testimony following a report that the ecommerce giant uses data from third-party sellers to create competing products which are sold under its Amazon Essentials brand.
Amazon has provided the committee’s antitrust panel with over 225,000 pages of documents though the committee has not yet given a “binding commitment” that they would be confidential.