According to a Reuters investigation, Amazon.com in India passed off sellers’ products as its own and purposefully rigged search results in favor of its own products. This practice directly contradicts Amazon’s previous messaging about how the company does business.

According to CNBC, this is not the first time Amazon has faced these accusations. The company is under investigation in the U.S., Europe, and India for anti-competitive business practices.

In 2020, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos appeared at a congressional subcommittee hearing where he addressed concerns about its business practices. He expressed that the company has policies that safeguard user data from employee access. He said if someone violated Amazon’s policies on the matter, the company “would take action.”

Reuters also named two Amazon executives in the report: Diego Piacentini, a former senior vice president who has since left the company, and Russell Grandinetti, who runs Amazon’s internal consumer business. Piacentini reported directly to Bezos. Grandinetti is a part of a team of executives overseen by current CEO Andy Jassy.

Using internal Amazon documents, Reuters’ investigation revealed that “at least in India, manipulating search results to favor Amazon’s own products, as well as copying other seller’s goods, were part of a formal, clandestine strategy at Amazon.”

A 2016 document called “India Private Brands Program” obtained by Reuters revealed how Amazon’s private-label would review sales and customer reviews of certain products as a reference to replicate on their own. This contradicts Amazon’s own messaging about how they develop their private-label products.

When asked by Reuters to comment on the story, Amazon replied, “As Reuters hasn’t shared the documents or their provenance with us, we are unable to confirm the veracity or otherwise of the information and claims as stated. We believe these claims are factually incorrect and unsubstantiated.”

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