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Amazon Exploits Data from Its Own Sellers to Launch Competing Products

Amazon appears hellbent on consolidating economic power here in the United States, and there is a very real possibility that this latest scandal is just the tip of the iceberg.

There have long been concerns over the business practices of the Amazon mega-corporation, particularly as it pertains to their perceived willingness to test the boundaries of the American anti-trust laws.

It seems that Jeff Bezos and crew are taking every single opportunity that they can in order to tighten their chokehold on the American economy, setting their sights on building an empire that could snuff out even retail giants such as Walmart and Sam’s Club.  In order to be successful, Amazon has been ruthless in how they collect their data.

Now, that data is being misappropriated in wild ways.

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Amazon employees have used data about the vast number of independent sellers on its platform to create competing products — in violation of its own policies and statements to Congress, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

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The retail giant, which has felt a surge of goodwill for providing essential goods nationwide amid the coronavirus pandemic and for planning to hire 175,000 new workers, has long claimed that it does not use proprietary data collected from the site’s third-party sellers in order to produce and sell its own products.

However, according to interviews with more than 20 former employees of the tech company’s private-label business and documents reviewed by the Journal, the company did do that. This type of information is very useful, as it can help Amazon figure out how to price something, what features of an item to copy or whether it’s worth entering a product segment based on consumer interest, sources explained to the Journal.

Just how dirty was Amazon playing?

The Journal cites one example of Amazon employees gaining access to documents and data about a bestselling car-trunk organizer sold by a third-party vendor. That data included total sales, how much the vendor paid Amazon for marketing and shipping, and how much Amazon made on each sale. Later on, Amazon’s private-label arm introduced its own car-trunk organizers.

Amazon appears hellbent on consolidating economic power here in the United States, and there is a very real possibility that this latest scandal is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

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