Jeff Bezos Could Testify Before House Antitrust Panel as Soon as This Summer

The congressional panel is one piece of a sweeping antitrust review of Big Tech's market power.
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Jeff Bezos is willing to appear at a Congressional hearing this summer to address Amazon's business practices, according to his lawyer. 

The Amazon CEO's attorney informed members of the House Judiciary Committee in a letter that Bezos will be available to testify as soon as this summer, pending details on timing, format and other issues. 

Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Report shares fell 0.76% on Monday to $2,525.61.

The letter, which was cited by the New York Times, said that Amazon would make the appropriate executives available for the hearing, including "making Jeff Bezos available to testify at a hearing with the other CEOs this summer.”

Apple  (AAPL) - Get Report CEO Tim Cook, Facebook  (FB) - Get Report CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Alphabet  (GOOGL) - Get Report CEO Sundar Pichai have also been asked to testify but it's unclear if they have agreed to appear. 

The antitrust hearing is one piece of a sweeping antitrust probe of Amazon, Alphabet , Apple and Facebook that involves a coalition of state attorneys general, the Department of Justice and the FTC. Bezos' appearance would mark the first time the Amazon chief has testified before a Congressional committee. 

Amazon is also set to face antitrust charges in the European Union. Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition chief, plans to unveil charges in the coming weeks that Amazon unfairly discriminated against third-party sellers in its marketplace. 

In the U.S., Amazon is facing scrutiny on multiple fronts. 

State investigators in California and Washington have been looking into whether Amazon's handling of third-party sellers versus its own private label products constitutes an abuse of market power.

Apart from antitrust concerns, Amazon is taking heat for its labor practices. 

New York's attorney general is reportedly investigating whether Amazon broke the law in firing or otherwise retaliating against workers who spoke out against conditions in its fulfillment centers. 

Eight Amazon workers have died after contracting COVID-19, according to media reports, and many more more have been infected across the U.S. In May, a group of state AGs sent Amazon and Whole Foods, its subsidiary, a letter asking for a state-by-state breakdown of COVID-19 infections and deaths among Amazon workers.

Amazon shares are up 33% year to date amid surging demand for its core e-commerce services.