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Amazon's Bezos Open to Appearing Before Congress With Other Tech Executives

By Donna Fuscaldo – Jun 15, 2020 at 3:29PM

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The House Judiciary Committee is looking into competition in the technology market.

Amazon (AMZN 4.50%) CEO Jeff Bezos is open to discussing the e-commerce giant's business practices before Congress, reported The Wall Street Journal

Attorneys for Bezos sent a letter to lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee expressing his willingness to testify along with other heads of technology companies. The letter, which was sent from attorney Robert Kelner of the law firm Covington & Burling and seen by the WSJ states that Amazon is "committed to cooperating" and will make the appropriate executives available including Bezos. The letter doesn't make it clear whether Bezos would be willing to testify alone. 

U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C.


The letter responded to a request from the House Judiciary Committee, which is seeking testimony from Facebook, Alphabet's Google, Apple, and Amazon about competition in the tech markets. According to the WSJ, the lawmakers have warned that their committee can "compel" the tech executives to testify if it has to. The paper noted that Amazon was the only tech stock to receive a letter calling for the CEO to appear before the committee. 

The inquiry into tech companies' dominance and the impact it will have on competition comes at a time when Amazon is facing antitrust allegations into how it handles and uses third-party merchant's data. In late April Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican and longtime critic of big tech, called on the U.S. Department of Justice to launch a criminal inquiry into Amazon. Hawley was reacting to a WSJ report in which some Amazon employees told the paper they used data from independent sellers to develop their own private label products. 

Meanwhile, last week the WSJ reported the European Union is gearing up to charge Amazon with antitrust violations over its treatment of independent sellers on its platform. Those charges could come this week or next, noted the report. 

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Donna Fuscaldo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple, and Facebook and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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