Amazon has refused to commit its chief executive Jeff Bezos to testify despite demands from the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.
In early May the committee ordered Bezos to testify before them over allegations that the retailer may have misled and potentially even lied to congress.
However, on Friday Amazon said in a blog post that it was “prepared to make the appropriate Amazon executive available”, failing to commit its chief executive.
The statements in question, made by Amazon’s associate general counsel Nate Sutton last July, alleged that Amazon did not use data of individual sellers to inform its strategy on own-brand products.
Sutton may have at best “misrepresented key aspects of Amazon’s business practices while omitting important details in response to pointed questioning”, and at worst lied in both his testimony and written answers submitted later on, according to The House Antitrust Subcommittee chairman David Cicilline
The accusations come after a Wall Street Journal investigation, which included interviews with over 20 former Amazon employees, found that employees said they had used non-aggregated or easily identifiable data from sellers to inform its strategy.
These statements appear to be in direct contrast with Sutton’s statement, which admitted to using aggregated data but categorically denied using “specific seller data” in which individual sellers could be identified.
Earlier this month, seven committee members penned a letter to Bezos demanding his testimony and stating that: “Although we expect that you will testify on a voluntary basis, we reserve the right to resort to compulsory process if necessary”.
This suggests that the committee could yet issue a subpoena to the world’s richest man.