Matt Stoller: Amazon's Bezos likely lied under oath before Congress

Matt Stoller, an author and former advisor to the Senate Budget Committee, Amazon founder Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHealth risks of space tourism: Is it responsible to send humans to Mars? Michael Strahan headed for space aboard next Blue Origin flight Why science and religion come together when discussing extraterrestrial life MORE likely lied under oath before Congress during hearings in 2019 and 2020.

During sworn testimony before the House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee, Bezos and other Amazon executives denied that the company uses third-party sellers’ data to better position in-house brands in search results.

“It seems pretty obvious that they were lying,” Stoller, author of the 2019 book Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy, told Ryan Grim on Hill.TV’s Rising. 

A bipartisan group of five members of Congress sent a letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy on Oct. 17 asking for “exculpatory evidence” to substantiate Bezos’ testimony. 

The letter, signed by David CicillineDavid CicillineHouse votes to censure Gosar and boot him from committees House to vote Wednesday to censure Gosar, remove him from committees Gosar faces increasing odds of censure on House floor MORE (D-R.I.), Ken BuckKenneth (Ken) Robert BuckSununu exit underscores uncertain GOP path to gain Senate majority Matt Stoller: Amazon's Bezos likely lied under oath before Congress Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE (R-Colo.), Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalFive reasons for Biden, GOP to be thankful this season 91 House Dems call on Senate to expand immigration protections in Biden spending bill Democrats plow ahead as Manchin yo-yos MORE (D-Wash.), Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerUnrequited rage: The demand for mob justice in the Rittenhouse trial Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Democrats prepare to grill oil execs Merkley, Warren and Markey sound alarm over 'dirty' hydrogen provision in climate deal MORE (D-N.Y.) and Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzVigilantes are not patriots Greene: McCarthy 'doesn't have the full support to be Speaker' Marjorie Taylor Greene introduces bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to Rittenhouse MORE (R-Fla.), was first reported by the Wall Street Journal Oct. 18.

The letter said the committee is considering referring Bezos to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution for perjury. 

“It’s not particularly common to take people to court for perjuring themselves before Congress, so we’ll see what happens,” Stoller added. 

And Stoller added it’s unclear whether “self-preferencing,” the practice Bezos was pressed on, violates antitrust law.

“Right now, It’s an open question,” Stoller said. “Antitrust law, a lot of it has to do with consumer price. Amazon could say ‘Well self-preferencing is fine because we’re offering better products and services for a cheaper price.’”