Amazon Said to Be Under Scrutiny in 2 States for Abuse of Power

SEATTLE — State investigators in California and Washington have been trying into whether or not Amazon abuses its energy over sellers on the tech big’s web site, in accordance to folks concerned with the inquiry.

In the final a number of months, California has requested concerning the firm’s non-public label merchandise and whether or not it makes use of information from sellers to inform which merchandise it sells, in accordance to two folks, who spoke on situation of anonymity out of worry of retribution by the corporate.

The Washington lawyer normal’s workplace has additionally been in whether or not Amazon makes it tougher for sellers to record their merchandise on different web sites, in accordance to correspondence considered by The New York Times.

The folks mentioned that the inquiries didn’t seem to be in superior phases.

The curiosity in Amazon’s profitable market is a sign that scrutiny of the corporate is widening, together with criticism of the working situations in its warehouse and accusations that it packing containers out small enterprise and rivals. Liberal politicians have singled out the corporate and its founder, Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest particular person in the world, as examples of out-of-control company energy.

Sarah Lovenheim, a spokeswoman for California’s lawyer normal, Xavier Becerra, mentioned in an e mail that “it remains our policy not to comment on any pending or potential investigations — either to confirm or deny them — to protect the integrity of our work.”

Brionna Aho, a spokeswoman for the Washington lawyer normal, Bob Ferguson, mentioned the workplace didn’t verify or deny investigations.

Jack Evans, a spokesman for Amazon, declined to remark.

The California inquiry was earlier reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon is among several tech giants facing antitrust investigations into its market power. The Department of Justice is likely to bring an antitrust suit against Google later this year, and the Federal Trade Commission has been examining Facebook’s acquisition of rival services.

In the last year, state attorneys general have increasingly joined federal law enforcement in scrutinizing the companies. Texas is leading a multistate inquiry of Google and its sprawling business, while New York has helmed an investigation into Facebook.

But so far, Amazon has avoided the same level of scrutiny. An F.T.C. investigation into its practices has attracted far less attention and state officials have not publicly revealed their inquiries.

Amazon argues that it has empowered small sellers on its platform and has delivered results to consumers. And the company has said organizers are misrepresenting the conditions in its warehouses, which have born the brunt of a surge in purchases as Americans locked down at home.

Amazon — along with Facebook, Google and Apple — is also the subject of an investigation by the House Judiciary Committee. In recent months, Amazon has resisted the committee’s push to bring Mr. Bezos before the panel for public questioning. The committee has threatened to legally compel the chief executive to testify, but the matter remains unresolved.

Karen Weise reported from Seattle, and David McCabe from Washington.

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