Amazon Inc. is using its website search engine to direct consumers to the products that are more profitable for the company, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

This change to the search engine's algorithm had been contested internally within the company and was implemented in late 2018. In addition to showing customers the best-selling and most-relevant products on the site, it also shows the customers which products would profit Amazon, which could include Amazon's own products over competitors.

Amazon's retail businesses in Seattle supported the change, the Journal says, while the company's search team was against it. Some lawyers at the company also scrutinized the suggestion, as they believe it would draw attention from anti-trust regulators.

Amazon's website had previously been scrutinized over its algorithms, along with how the company determines which products receive the Amazon's Choice label.

A report by Buzzfeed News this summer suggested that Amazon's Choice products sometimes have defects or are of poor quality. This has caused controversy about how Amazon's Choice products are given the label.

A 2016 report by investigative media outlet ProPublica claims that Amazon's algorithms prioritize sellers who are partners of the company over sellers that might offer a better deal for the consumer.

These allegations runs contrary to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' mantra that Amazon is the "Earth's most consumer-centric company" with the company allegedly showing consumers products that are the most profitable for Amazon, over whether they are the best deal for the buyer.

Bezos has stressed that Amazon's website uses "very objective customer-centered algorithms."

Amazon is the largest e-retailer in the world, and how products are featured on the site could have big implications for that item's profitability. Although Amazon has allowed consumers to have a wide variety of products to choose from with quick delivery, critics have frequently criticized the company for its workplace conditions and its impact on the environment.