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U.S. Senator Warren urges Amazon breakup, India retailers want probe after Reuters story

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  • U.S. Democrat, Republican blast Amazon after Reuters story
  • Indian retailers urge New Delhi to research Amazon
  • Reuters story confirmed Amazon copied merchandise, rigged searches

NEW DELHI, Oct 14 (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren referred to as for breaking apart Amazon.com Inc and Indian retailers demanded a authorities probe of the corporate after a Reuters investigation confirmed the e-commerce big had copied merchandise and rigged search leads to India.

The Reuters , reviewing hundreds of inner Amazon paperwork, discovered that the U.S. firm ran a scientific marketing campaign of making knockoffs and manipulating search outcomes to spice up its personal personal manufacturers in India, one of many firm’s largest development markets.

Wednesday’s report confirmed that, a minimum of in India, manipulating search outcomes to favour Amazon’s merchandise, in addition to copying different sellers’ items, have been a part of a proper technique at Amazon – and that a minimum of two senior executives had reviewed it.

The Reuters investigation drew bipartisan criticism of Amazon from U.S. lawmakers.

Linking to the story on and Fb, Warren, a long-time critic of Amazon, stated “these paperwork present what we feared about Amazon’s monopoly energy — that the corporate is prepared and in a position to rig its platform to profit its backside line whereas stiffing small companies and entrepreneurs.”

“This is among the many causes we have to break it up,” she stated.

Warren, a distinguished Democrat, advocated the breakup of Amazon and different tech giants in 2019 when she was working for president. Since then, as a senator from Massachusetts, she has continued to use stress on firms like Amazon.

Ken Buck, a Republican on the Home of Representatives antitrust subcommittee, additionally shared the story on social media, , “These paperwork show Amazon engages in anticompetitive practices equivalent to rigging search outcomes and self-preferencing their very own merchandise over rivals.”

“Extra regarding, it contradicts what Jeff Bezos informed Congress,” the Colorado lawmaker stated. “Amazon and Bezos have to be held accountable.”

Amazon didn’t reply to a request for touch upon reactions to the report.

In response to questions for Wednesday’s report, Amazon stated, “We imagine these claims are factually incorrect and unsubstantiated”. The corporate didn’t elaborate. It added that Amazon shows “search outcomes based mostly on relevance to the shopper’s search question, regardless of whether or not such merchandise have personal manufacturers supplied by sellers or not.”

INDIA RETAILERS, START-UPS CONCERNED

In sworn testimony earlier than the subcommittee final 12 months, Amazon founder Bezos stated the corporate prohibits its staff from utilizing knowledge on particular person sellers to assist its private-label enterprise. In 2019 one other Amazon govt testified that the corporate doesn’t use such knowledge to create its personal private-label merchandise or alter its search outcomes to favour them.

The Amazon paperwork reviewed by Reuters confirmed how the corporate’s private-brands staff in India secretly exploited inner knowledge from its India unit to repeat merchandise offered by different firms, then supplied them on its platform.

The corporate promoted gross sales of its personal manufacturers like AmazonBasics by rigging search outcomes on its platform in India in order that its merchandise would seem, as one 2016 technique report put it, “within the first 2 or three … search outcomes.”

A bunch representing thousands and thousands of India’s brick-and-mortar retailers stated on Thursday the nation’s authorities should launch an investigation into Amazon.

“Amazon is inflicting an excellent drawback to the small producers. They’re consuming the cake that isn’t meant for them,” Praveen Khandelwal of the Confederation of All India Merchants informed Reuters. The group says it represents 80 million retail shops within the nation.

Indian retailers say international e-commerce companies like Amazon and Walmart Inc’s Flipkart bask in unfair enterprise practices that damage smaller corporations, allegations the businesses deny.

The Alliance of Digital India Basis, a nonprofit representing a few of India’s largest startups, stated the practices detailed within the Reuters report have been “extremely deplorable”, calling into query “the credibility of Amazon as a very good religion operator within the Indian startup ecosystem”.

In a , the group urged the Indian authorities to take motion in opposition to “Amazon’s predatory playbook of copying, rigging and killing Indian manufacturers”.

A high official within the financial wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological dad or mum of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling get together, urged shoppers to shun the corporate on Thursday.

“I name upon folks of this nation to #boycottAmazon,” Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, stated on .

Reporting by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi and Steve Stecklow in London; Modifying by William Mallard

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