Amazon's Jeff Bezos open to testifying before Congress

Amazon's Jeff Bezos open to testifying before Congress
© Getty

Amazon CEO Jeff BezosJeffrey (Jeff) Preston BezosHillicon Valley: GOP lawmaker says 'no place in Congress' for QAnon after supporter's primary win | Uber CEO says app could temporarily shutdown in California if ruling upheld | Federal agency warns hackers targeting small business loan program Top Republican criticizes Twitter's briefing on massive hack To save the Postal Service, bring it online MORE will be available to testify in a House antitrust investigation into major tech companies, according to a letter from a lawyer representing the company obtained by The Hill on Monday.

The e-commerce giant had previously resisted making its CEO available for a House Judiciary Committee hearing, prompting threats of legal action by the lawmakers.

The letter, sent by Robert Kelner of the Covington & Burling law firm and provided to The Hill by a source familiar with the negotiations over the appearance, says that Amazon would make Bezos available to testify at a hearing "with the other CEOs this summer."

ADVERTISEMENT

Kelner said that the executive would only appear after some issues on timing, format and questions about the committee's request for internal documents are resolved.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the offer in the letter for Bezos to testify along with other CEOs this summer.

The House Judiciary Committee formally called on Bezos to testify in May related to reports suggesting that his deputies may have misled Congress in testimony about their use of data from third-party sellers. 

Concerns about Amazon potentially abusing its position as both the operator of the e-commerce platform and a seller of its own line of products have been raised in antitrust cases abroad and could be part of the committee's broader digital marketplace investigation.

House lawmakers have recently dialed up the pressure on the country's biggest tech companies — Amazon, Facebook, Facebook and Google's parent company Alphabet — to offer their CEOs to testify as part of the probe, Axios reported Sunday.
 
Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineNew report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium Five takeaways from Big Tech's blowout earnings What factors will shape Big Tech regulation? MORE (D-R.I.), the chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust who has been leading the investigation, said in a statement to The Hill that having the CEOs testify will be "essential to complete this bipartisan investigation into the state of competition in the digital."
 
"The Antitrust Subcommittee will continue to use the tools at our disposal to ensure we gather whatever information is necessary for our work," he added.
 
--This report was updated at 1:52 p.m.