A lot of tech companies may have been the focus of this week’s antitrust hearing but one of the most interesting speeches came from a much smaller outfit. Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) played testimony from a third-part textbook seller on Amazon, who believed the company had begun blocking their store as it grew more successful.
“I’m concerned this is a pattern of behavior,” McBath told Bezos. “What do brought you to have to say to the small businesses that are talking to Congress because you simply aren’t listening to them?”
“I do not think that’s systematically what’s going on,” Bezos said. “Third-party sellers in the aggregate are doing extremely well on Amazon.”
All of Amazon’s most regretful moments at this week’s haring somehow bounced back to Marketplace, Amazon’s platform for letting third-party sellers list goods on Amazon.com. The hearing also brought long-standing accusations that Amazon uses hints from the Marketplace to copy successful products and launch competitors.
Amazon employees reported spying on sales figures for a popular car trunk organizer, then deciding to launch a near-identical Amazon-branded competitor base on the product.