Amazon copied goods and manipulate search results in India, according to a new report
According to a report from Reuters, Amazon's private-brands team in India ran 'a systematic campaign of creating knockoff goods and manipulating search results to boost its own product lines'.
According to Reuters, the employees copied products sold by other businesses on the platform in India using internal data, according to "thousands of pages of internal Amazon documents." They also allegedly altered search results so that the firm's private-brand products would appear in the first two or three product listings. According to Reuters, two Amazon executives reviewed the India strategy.
An Amazon spokesman said the company believes the allegations are "factually incorrect and unsupported," adding that Amazon prohibits the "use or sharing of non-public, seller-specific data for the benefit of any seller, including sellers of private labels." According to the spokesperson, Amazon displays search results based on customer relevance and doesn't favor its own private label products.
Amazon, on the other hand, has other ethical concerns, such as claims that it is copying goods from its own merchants. Counterfeit and banned goods have persisted on Amazon's marketplace, such as FDA-banned infant sleeping wedges that the government claims have caused suffocation deaths. Additionally, Amazon has banned several businesses for creating buzz by offering refunds to customers in exchange for positive reviews, in violation of the company's policies. The company has admitted that this problem is ongoing.
Amazon has previously denied accusations that it used data from third-party sellers to develop and sell its own products, which were detailed in an April 2020 Wall Street Journal article. In July 2020, then-Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told Congress that the business is prohibited from using seller-specific data to assist its private label business. Peak Design, a bagmaker, challenged Amazon in March of 2021 for copying its Everyday Sling product, previously sold on the e-commerce giant's website, with its own Amazon Basics' Everybody Sing bag.
if a bill introduced in June becomes law, the business faces increased regulation in this area. The American Choice and Innovation Online Act would allow an online shopping platform to use internal data from merchants to support its own offerings on a marketplace or to favor its products over those of another merchant competing on the same platform. The bill has passed the House Judiciary Committee, but it isn't yet scheduled for a vote from the entire House of Representatives.