Amazon copied products and manipulated search results in India, report says – CNET


Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

Amazon’s private-brands team in India ran a “systematic campaign of creating knockoff goods and manipulating search results to boost its own product lines,” according to a report Wednesday from Reuters

The employees used internal data from Amazon.In, the retail giant’s website in India, to copy products sold by other companies on the platform, said Reuters, citing “thousands of pages of internal Amazon documents.” They also reportedly rigged search results so the company’s private-brand products would appear among the first two or three product listings. Two executives at Amazon reviewed the India strategy, according to Reuters. 

Amazon has previously denied accusations of using data from third-party sellers to develop and sell its own products. In July 2020, then-Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told Congress that the company prohibits using seller-specific data to aid its private label business. 

An Amazon spokesperson said the company believes the allegations are “factually incorrect and unsubstantiated,” adding that Amazon strictly prohibits the “use or sharing of non-public, seller-specific data for the benefit of any seller, including sellers of private brands.” The spokesperson also said Amazon displays search results based on relevance to a customer’s search query and doesn’t favor its own private brand products. 

More to come. 


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