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Amazon reportedly used data from sellers to develop competing products

The alleged practice would conflict with statements by the company that it doesn't use information from third-party sellers for private-label products.

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Abrar Al-Heeti Video producer / CNET
Abrar Al-Heeti is a video host and producer for CNET, with an interest in internet trends, entertainment, pop culture and digital accessibility. Before joining the video team, she was a writer for CNET's culture team. She graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Though Illinois is home, she now loves San Francisco -- steep inclines and all.
Expertise Abrar has spent her career at CNET breaking down the latest trends on TikTok, Twitter and Instagram, while also reporting on diversity and inclusion initiatives in Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Credentials
  • Named a Tech Media Trailblazer by the Consumer Technology Association in 2019, a winner of SPJ NorCal's Excellence in Journalism Awards in 2022 and has twice been a finalist in the LA Press Club's National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.
Abrar Al-Heeti
Amazon

Amazon reportedly pulled data from third-party sellers to create private-label products. 

Getty Images

Amazon employees used data on independent sellers on its platform to launch competing products, according to a Thursday report by The Wall Street Journal. The practice conflicts with statements by the e-commerce giant that it doesn't use information collected from third-party sellers when developing its own products, the Journal said.  

The information collected by Amazon can reportedly help the company determine pricing, which features to replicate or whether to get involved in a product category. The Journal said it spoke with more than 20 former employees of the company's private-label business and accessed documents outlining the practice. 

Examples of the practice reportedly include Amazon employees accessing data about a top selling trunk organizer from a third-party vendor, including total sales and the amount Amazon made on every sale. The company's private-label business then rolled out its own trunk organizers. 

An Amazon representative denied the assertions made in the Journal report but said the company "take[s] these allegations very seriously" and has launched an internal investigation. 

"We strictly prohibit employees from using non-public, seller-specific data to determine which private label products to launch," the representative said in a statement.