WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday urged Amazon’s CEO to respond to allegations that his executives made a congressional request with incorrect answers to questions about his own-brand products.

Amazon executives, including its founder Jeff Bezos, told lawmakers the company did not consider data from individual sellers on its website when planning and developing its own products. They also advised the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee that the company had not purposely given its private label products an advantage in search results.

Last week, Reuters reported that Amazon strategically copied third-party products as it expanded its business in India. Another publication, The Markup, reported a day later that the company’s own-brand products ranked higher than those of competitors sold by retailers, even when the third-party products had better ratings.

“This coverage confirms at best that the representatives of Amazon have led the panel astray,” said the five-member group of MPs. “At worst, it shows that they may have lied to Congress in violation of federal criminal law.”

In the letter, the lawmaker said it was considering referring the matter to the Justice Department for a possible criminal investigation. Their exchange with Amazon was part of a lengthy study of the market power of the country’s largest tech companies.

“Amazon and its executives did not mislead the committee, and we have denied the records of the inaccurate media articles in question and tried to correct them,” said Brooke Oberwetter, an Amazon spokeswoman.

She said the company has a policy against using individual retailer data to develop private label products and that Amazon’s search results are “the items customers want to buy, regardless of whether they’re offered by Amazon or one of our channel partners . ”



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