A House committee asked the Justice Department to investigate Amazon for criminal obstruction of a congressional investigation.

Background: In 2019, the House Judiciary Committee opened an investigation into Amazon.

The investigation by the House panel’s antitrust subcommittee focused on whether Amazon used customer data to increase sales of its own products as opposed to other third-party vendors.

The lawmakers said Amazon executives, including a lawyer who testified before the committee, repeatedly denied that the company used customer data to harm competition.

It was later reported that former employees and internal documents showed that the company had in-face used data to give Amazon products a boost over competitors.

What Happened: Members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, accusing Amazon of obstructing its 16-month antitrust investigation by refusing to turn over information.

In the letter, the bipartisan committee also accused Amazon of lying about how it treated third-party sellers on its platform.

What the Committee Says: “Throughout the investigation and in follow-up inquiries, senior executives at Amazon engaged in a pattern and practice of misleading behavior before the committee,” the Committee said in the letter to the Justice Department. “Amazon and its executives must be held accountable for this behavior.” (per The New York Times)

What Amazon Says: An Amazon spokeswoman pushed against the House Committee’s claims, calling them unfounded.

“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,” she said. (per The New York Times)

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