by Ailan Evans
Bipartisan members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday requesting an investigation into Amazon for alleged criminal obstruction of the committee’s probe into the tech giant.
The letter, sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland, alleged Amazon misled committee members and engaged in “potentially criminal conduct” during a 15-month investigation into competition in digital markets. The letter was signed by House Judiciary Committee Chair Democratic New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, Democratic Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, Republican Colorado Rep. Ken Buck, Democratic Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.
“Without producing any evidence to the contrary, Amazon has left standing what appear to be false and misleading statements to the Committee,” the lawmakers wrote. “It has refused to turn over business documents or communications that would either corroborate its claims or correct the record.”
“As a result, we have no choice but to refer this matter to the Department of Justice to investigate whether Amazon and its executives obstructed Congress in violation of applicable federal law,” the lawmakers said.
In particular, the lawmakers alleged Amazon lied to members of Congress regarding its practice of collecting data on competitors using its platform in order to create imitations of their products. The lawmakers also alleged Amazon misled members of Congress about its manipulation of search results.
In addition to the alleged lies, the lawmakers also accused Amazon of failing to provide documents and information sought during the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee’s investigation into competition in digital markets.
“There’s no factual basis for this, as demonstrated in the huge volume of information we’ve provided over several years of good faith cooperation with this investigation,” an Amazon spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation when reached for comment on the referral.
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Ailan Evans is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Background Photo “Amazon Warehouse” by Maryland GovPics. CC BY 2.0.