S House of Representatives Judiciary Committee calls for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to testify whether an Amazon lawyer lied in his congressional testimony last year.
The committee sent out the request in a letter on Friday, warning that while they expect Bezos to appear on his own, they will exercise “the right to resort to compulsory process if necessary” if he did not show up to testify.
The letter also states, “If the reporting in the Wall Street Journal article is accurate, then statements Amazon made to the Committee about the company’s business practices appear to be misleading, and possibly criminally false or perjurious.”
The House committee has been investigating into Amazon’s alleged practice to collect data from independent sellers, and use it to develop competing products, after Wall Street Journal claims to have reviewed documents detailing the practice and confirming the information with “more than 20 former employees.”
The report contradicts previous testimony by Amazon’s associate general counsel Nate Sutton when he appeared in front of the House Antitrust Subcommittee July last year.
Sutton said at the hearing that the company does not use individual seller data to determine its strategy – an act that can be considered as anti-competitive.
House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline and one of the seven signatories of the letter, said that the report could prove that Amazon “may have lied to Congress”.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, also a signatory of the letter, remarks that if the report is true, it “raises deep concerns about Amazon’s apparent lack of candor before the Committee regarding an issue that is central to our investigation.”
Apart from the House Antitrust Subcommittee investigation, Amazon is also facing a probe by the Federal Trade Commission.
Amazon has not yet issued a comment, but a spokesperson previously stated, “It’s simply incorrect to suggest that Amazon was intentionally misleading in our testimony.”