Regulators are looking into the way Amazon has disclosed some details of its business practices — including how it uses third-party seller data for private-label businesses, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday (April 6), citing unnamed sources.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking into how the tech giant has handled disclosures of its employees’ uses of data from sellers on the site. The enforcement division has been asking for emails and communications from several senior executives from the eCommerce giant.
In April of 2020, a WSJ investigation found that Amazon employees had regularly used individual third-party seller data to develop products for its own brands. A spokesperson for the company denied this and said the company doesn’t use individual data when taking into consideration launching private brands.
WSJ wrote that Amazon has since rolled out its own internal look into the private-label division, though the company did not provide a copy of its report.
Last month, members of the antitrust subcommittee in the House Judiciary Committee referred Amazon and some of its top execs to the Justice Department on charges of possibly obstructing Congress during the probe and its disclosure of how the private-label business works.
The congressional committee has proposed bills to try and rein in tech giants, with one of them targeting Amazon’s private-label business. That one would make it so it’s unlawful for the company to give its own products preference over those of competitors.
In related news, Amazon recently teamed with Target on environmentally-friendly store models, PYMNTS wrote last month.
Target had tested its first net-zero energy store in Vista, California, and Amazon Fresh’s store in Seattle is looking into its first Zero Carbon certification from the International Living Future Institute.
The Target store plans to generate more renewable energy than it needs per year, planning to test “multiple innovations” aimed at cutting down on emissions. The company also plans to generate renewable energy via 3,420 solar panels across its roof and new carport canopies.
Meanwhile, Amazon says the Seattle store will save up to 185 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.