Services & Software

Amazon Faces Potential Justice Department Investigation, Report Says

Lawmakers allege the e-commerce giant lied about its use of data from third-party sellers.

Angela Lang/CNET

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers on Wednesday asked the Justice Department to investigate Amazon over a potentially criminal obstruction of Congress, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited the politicians' letter.

The letter reportedly accuses Amazon of refusing to provide the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust group with information as it investigated the e-commerce giant's competitive practices, in an alleged attempt to cover up suspected lies.

The company has told lawmakers it doesn't use data from individual third-party sellers in developing its own products, nor does it give its own brands preferential treatment in its search results, according to press reports. Reporting from the Journal and other outlets suggests otherwise, in addition to lawmakers' interviews with employees, the letter reportedly says.

Amazon apparently failed to provide lawmakers with the results of its internal investigation into the matter.

"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 said in a statement emailed to CNET. 

The Justice Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.