(Natural News) An investigation into Amazon has uncovered evidence proving that the company ripped off the products listed on its website by its third-party sellers and then rigged the search results to favor those knockoffs.
Mainstream media outlet Reuters has examined thousands of pages of internal Amazon documents, including emails, strategy papers and business plans. All these documents show that Amazon ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoff versions of products listed on the website by third-party sellers and then manipulating search results to boost company-made versions of those products.
All of this occurred in India, one of Amazon’s largest growth markets. (Related: Amazon sellers harass customers who leave negative reviews.)
This rigging of Amazon’s online marketplace was done by the company’s private-brands team.
The private-brands team is also reportedly responsible for tampering with Amazon’s search results so that the products made by Amazon-owned brands would appear “in the first two or three search results,” according to the company’s internal documents.
Amazon didn’t just do this to random third-party sellers on its Indian store. It also ripped off products from some of the top brands in India including from the popular shirt brand John Miller, owned by a company whose CEO, Kishore Biyani, is known as India’s “retail king.”
The internal documents further show that Amazon employees studied proprietary data from other brands. Amazon illegally studied this confidential information to identify and target certain products that could be used as references for creating new knockoffs.
The investigation by Reuters confirms the suspicions many third-party sellers on Amazon have had for years that Amazon used its immense treasure trove of sales data to help decide which products to make under its labels.
Amazon executives, including founder Jeff Bezos, have repeatedly denied these accusations.
Bezos claims that it is against company policy to use data from third-party sellers to build future products. “If we found someone violated it, we would take action,” says Bezos during a congressional hearing where he testified under oath.
In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson denied all allegations made by the Reuters report.
“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,” says the spokesperson. “We believe these claims are factually incorrect and unsubstantiated.”
Senate submits bipartisan bill banning Big Tech from rigging search results
In response to Amazon’s rigging of search results, a bipartisan group of senators have introduced new legislation that would ban all Big Tech companies like Amazon from doing that.
The new bill, officially titled the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, is sponsored by the top Republican and Democrat senators on the antitrust committee. The bill would not only prevent Amazon from rigging its search results, but would also make it illegal for Google to do the same thing to prioritize its own products over rivals in search results.
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, the bill’s top Democratic sponsor and chair of the antitrust committee, says that the legislation is necessary to rein in Big Tech.
“As dominant digital platforms – some of the biggest companies our world has ever seen – increasingly give preference to their own products and services, we must put policies in place to ensure small businesses and entrepreneurs have the opportunity to succeed in the digital marketplace,” says Klobuchar in a statement.
The bill’s top Republican sponsor is Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. Its other sponsors include Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, John Kennedy of Louisiana and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming. Its other Democratic sponsors include Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Cory Booker of New Jersey.
The Chamber of Progress, a trade group heavily sponsored by Big Tech, has strongly criticized the proposed legislation.
“The bill takes a hammer to tech products that consumers love,” writes the group’s CEO and former Google executive Adam Kovacevich in an email to news outlets. He claims without evidence that the bill would prevent Amazon from selling any of its Amazon-branded products altogether.
Learn more about how Big Tech is manipulating the market to push out any competition by reading the latest articles at TechGiants.news.