Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Will Soon Appear Before Congress For The First Time
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who has been hailed as the wealthiest man on the planet, has agreed to appear before a House committee sometime this summer to answer questions regarding an antitrust investigation. Bezos’ appearance would mark the first time that the billionaire has appeared before Congress.
According to The New York Times, it is believed that Bezos finally agreed to talk with lawmakers — after months of avoiding a face-to-face — following threats of a legal mandate for his appearance.
Nevertheless, a letter sent from his legal team claimed that Bezos was “committed to cooperating with your inquiry and will make the appropriate executive available to testify.”
“This includes making Jeff Bezos available to testify at a hearing with the other C.E.O.s this summer,” the statement added.
Over the past year, lawmakers have voiced concerns about accusations that Amazon has stifled small businesses from competing with the e-commerce giant, launching an antitrust investigation into the company.
However, a potential monopoly is not the only issue that will likely be discussed.
Another serious worry is how Amazon allegedly “abuses its power” and mistreats workers at its warehouses. The coronavirus pandemic has brought such criticisms to the forefront once again, after many employees claimed that the company was dismissive of health and safety measures. At least seven employees died from COVID-19.
In addition, Bezos has landed in hot water after an Amazon lawyer appeared to lie during the course of the investigation by Congress last year. Though the attorney claimed that Amazon did not sell data from its outside sellers to inform its own product decisions, a report from The Wall Street Journal suggested otherwise.
Amazon is not the only tech giant facing heat from Congress. It has been reported that the Department of Justice is planning on bringing an antitrust case against Google within the next few months. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission has allegedly launched an inquiry into Facebook’s numerous acquisitions of “nascent competitors.”
However, CEOs for both companies have already faced lawmakers before, unlike Bezos.
A date and time for the hearing has not yet been set, but The New York Times reported that counsel for the billionaire have stated that his “availability was dependent on first resolving several issues, including timing, format and questions about the committee’s request for internal documents.”
Recently, Bezos made headlines yet again after his girlfriend’s brother, Michael Sanchez, demanded an apology be printed in the Bezos-owned Washington Post, as was previously covered by The Inquisitr.