FILE PHOTO: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos discusses his firm's new Hearth smartphone at a information convention in Seattle, Washington June 18, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Redmond
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. senators requested Amazon.com Inc Chief Govt Jeff Bezos on Monday how the “Amazon’s Selection” badge on sure merchandise is decided and whether or not the mark deceives shoppers into buying “merchandise of inferior high quality.”
“We’re involved the badge is assigned in an arbitrary method, or worse, primarily based on fraudulent product critiques,” Democratic Senators Bob Menendez and Richard Blumenthal stated within the letter to Bezos.
The “Amazon’s Selection” mark is a small badge that seems subsequent to sure gadgets, much like its “Greatest Vendor” mark.
Amazon sued in 2015 to dam firms that had been writing pretend critiques after which promoting them to retailers on the location trying to increase their merchandise’ gross sales.
The senators stated the ignorance on how Amazon determines which merchandise obtain the badge has led them to query whether or not Amazon is utilizing it to “promote its personal merchandise over opponents’ merchandise, probably disadvantaging smaller sellers on the platform.”
Amazon didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
The senators requested a “detailed clarification of the method” that Amazon makes use of to find out which merchandise are deemed as Amazon’s Selection and if the retailer makes use of an algorithm to take action. In addition they requested if Amazon workers personally overview the merchandise to “guarantee they meet a sure high quality threshold.”
Amazon has been criticized for its energy over third-party sellers on its web site, who should pay for promoting to compete towards first-party and private-label gross sales by Amazon’s personal manufacturers.
The U.S. Division of Justice introduced in July that it was investigating whether or not large expertise firms, together with “some retail companies on-line” had been participating in anticompetitive practices.
Reporting by Bryan Pietsch; enhancing by Jonathan Oatis