Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

U.S. Senator Warren urges Amazon breakup, India retailers want probe after Reuters story

Stock Markets18 hours ago (Oct 15, 2021 05:16AM ET)
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questions Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chairman Powell during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the CARES Act, at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, 2/3

By Aditya Kalra and Steve Stecklow

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren called for breaking up Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Indian retailers demanded a government probe of the company after a Reuters investigation showed the e-commerce giant had copied products and rigged search results in India.

The Reuters report https://t.co/PiVEqAgjY6, reviewing thousands of internal Amazon documents, found that the U.S. company ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own private brands in India, one of the company’s largest growth markets.

Wednesday's report showed that, at least in India, manipulating search results to favour Amazon’s products, as well as copying other sellers’ goods, were part of a formal strategy at Amazon – and that at least two senior executives had reviewed it.

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

Linking to the story on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) https://twitter.com/SenWarren/status/1448397325047566341 and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Warren, a long-time critic of Amazon, said "these documents show what we feared about Amazon’s monopoly power — that the company is willing and able to rig its platform to benefit its bottom line while stiffing small businesses and entrepreneurs."

"This is one of the many reasons we need to break it up," she said.

Warren, a prominent Democrat, advocated the breakup of Amazon and other tech giants in 2019 when she was running for president. Since then, as a senator from Massachusetts, she has continued to apply pressure on companies like Amazon.

Ken Buck, a Republican on the House of Representatives antitrust subcommittee, also shared the story on social media, saying https://twitter.com/RepKenBuck/status/1448304840640237571, "These documents prove Amazon engages in anticompetitive practices such as rigging search results and self-preferencing their own products over competitors."

"More concerning, it contradicts what Jeff Bezos told Congress," the Colorado lawmaker said. "Amazon and Bezos must be held accountable."

Asked for comment on the reactions, Amazon issued a statement similar to one it provided for the Reuters investigation.

"These allegations are incorrect and unsubstantiated," it said. "We display search results based on relevance to the customers, irrespective of whether such products are private brands offered by sellers or not."

Amazon said it "strictly prohibits the use or sharing of non-public, seller-specific data with sellers, including with sellers of private brands," and investigates reports of its employees acting contrary to that policy.

The company did not comment on the criticisms by U.S. lawmakers or Indian retailers.

INDIA RETAILERS, START-UPS CONCERNED

In sworn testimony before the subcommittee last year, Amazon founder Bezos said the company prohibits its employees from using data on individual sellers to help its private-label business. In 2019 another Amazon executive testified that the company does not use such data to create its own private-label products or alter its search results to favour them.

The Amazon documents reviewed by Reuters showed how the company's private-brands team in India secretly exploited internal data from its India unit to copy products sold by other companies, then offered them on its platform.

The company promoted sales of its private brands like AmazonBasics by rigging search results on its platform in India so that its products would appear, as one 2016 strategy report put it, “in the first 2 or three … search results.”

A group representing millions of India's brick-and-mortar retailers said on Thursday the country's government must launch an investigation into Amazon.

"Amazon is causing a great disadvantage to the small manufacturers. They are eating the cake that is not meant for them," Praveen Khandelwal of the Confederation of All India Traders told Reuters. The group says it represents 80 million retail stores in the country.

Indian retailers say foreign e-commerce businesses like Amazon and Walmart (NYSE:WMT) Inc's Flipkart indulge in unfair business practices that hurt smaller firms, allegations the companies deny.

The Alliance of Digital India Foundation, a nonprofit representing some of India’s biggest startups, said the practices detailed in the Reuters report were "highly deplorable", calling into question "the credibility of Amazon as a good faith operator in the Indian startup ecosystem".

In a blog post https://blog.adif.in/p/adif-amazon-reuters-ecommerce-fair-markets, the group urged the Indian government to take action against “Amazon’s predatory playbook of copying, rigging and killing Indian brands”.

A top official in the economic wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, urged consumers to shun the company on Thursday.

"I call upon people of this country to #boycottAmazon,” Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, said on Twitter https://twitter.com/ashwani_mahajan/status/1448525157476175879?s=20.

U.S. Senator Warren urges Amazon breakup, India retailers want probe after Reuters story
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (6)
Mirian Azuonwu
Mirian Azuonwu 10 hours ago
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
hello
Vi Ma
Vi Ma 19 hours ago
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
for a change, consumer are benefitting across the world coz of e commerce, and capitalists don't like that as it transfers the power from many middle class shops to one giant, getting stronger then rest of the elite capitalists put together. The middle class shop owners can work for these e-commerce giants and make more then their shop margins ! It's a win win for all
palmer gossett
palmer gossett Oct 14, 2021 4:15PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Elizabeth Warren = Man Hater
ZS Beck
ZS Beck Oct 14, 2021 3:56PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I urge Pocahontas to leave office immediately, nutjob.
Mark Lanez
Mark Lanez Oct 14, 2021 3:56PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
hello
Ur Daddy
Ur Daddy Oct 14, 2021 3:51PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
this no good B is loud
Rick Baier
Rick Baier Oct 14, 2021 9:00AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
So says the lady who should of retired 10 years ago at least. She has no problem milking the taxpayers money .
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email