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Amazon says it will pick 'the appropriate Amazon executive' in response to House threat to subpoena Bezos

Amazon says it will pick 'the appropriate Amazon executive' in response to House threat to subpoena Bezos
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Amazon said it will make an “appropriate” executive available to testify before Congress over concerns regarding its antitrust practices but notably did not commit to making CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHillicon Valley: High alert as new QAnon date approaches Thursday | Biden signals another reversal from Trump with national security guidance | Parler files a new case Senators question Bezos, Amazon about cameras placed in delivery vans GOP senators question Amazon on removal of book about 'transgender moment' MORE available to the chamber.

The battle over Bezos’s testimony has been the centerpiece of the showdown between the tech behemoth and the House Judiciary Committee, which has panned Amazon over reports that it used data obtained from sellers on its platform to launch competing products against those firms.

“We appreciate the opportunity to address questions about Amazon’s policy on seller data, which, like other retailers, we use to improve the customer experience in our stores,” Amazon wrote in a letter to the panel. “We disagree strongly with any suggestion that we have attempted to mislead the Committee or not been cooperative with the investigation.

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“While our teams remain heads down around the clock focused on protecting the health and safety of our employees while continuing to serve customers during the global pandemic, we remain prepared to make the appropriate Amazon executive available to the Committee to address these important issues," it added.

Bipartisan members of the Judiciary Committee have clamored for Bezos’s testimony over the reports, which would appear to contradict commitments made by his company that it would not use data it gleans from sellers to seek an advantage. Leaders of the panel have threatened to subpoena Bezos, and Rep. David CicillineDavid CicillineHouse passes sweeping protections for LGBTQ people The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - J&J A-OK, Tanden in Trouble Six ways to visualize a divided America MORE (D-R.I.), who chairs the panel's antitrust subcommittee, said he’s mulling a perjury referral for the company. 

“This is unacceptable. Members from both parties have serious questions about Amazon’s business practices and its honesty with the Committee. We will not permit stonewalling of our investigation, by Jeff Bezos or anyone,” Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerHouse sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill Jim Jordan calls for House Judiciary hearing on 'cancel culture' House Judiciary split on how to address domestic extremism MORE (D-N.Y.), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, tweeted. 

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“No one is above the law, no matter how rich or powerful,” Cicilline added. “We have asked Mr. Bezos to testify before the US Congress about Amazon's troubling business practices and false statements, and we expect him to do so. Whether he does so voluntarily or by subpoena is his choice.” 

The standoff comes at a time of heightened scrutiny over Amazon, which has faced criticism from lawmakers that it is not offering its warehouse workers enough virus protections in the midst of the pandemic even as its sales soar.