Amazon: Bezos will testify in tech competition probe

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (Photo: Jason Redmond, AFP)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (Photo: Jason Redmond, AFP)

Amazon.com told congressional investigators examining the
market power of the largest technology companies that it would make Chief
Executive Officer Jeff Bezos available to testify this summer.

A lawyer for the e-commerce company sent the House Judiciary
Committee a letter on Sunday saying Amazon was “committed to cooperating
with your inquiry and will make the appropriate executive available to testify,”
according to the letter, a copy of which was seen by Bloomberg. “This
includes making Jeff Bezos available to testify at a hearing with the other
CEOs this summer,” the letter said.

The House Judiciary Committee has been investigating
competition in the technology sector, with a focus on how the largest companies
run their sprawling digital platforms.

Bezos had been in a stand-off with Representative David Cicilline, who is
leading the investigation and focused much of his ire on Amazon, over
testimony. The Rhode Island Democrat has sought appearances by top tech company
chiefs before wrapping the probe and recommending changes to antitrust law.

Amazon last month had resisted calls for Bezos to testify, saying only that
the company was prepared to make “the appropriate Amazon executive”
available.

Cicilline declined to comment.

The New York Times reported earlier on the letter. Jodi
Seth, an Amazon spokeswoman, confirmed that the company would make Bezos
available.

Amazon has “cooperated extensively” with
investigators, Robert Kelner, of the law firm Covington & Burling, wrote.
The letter went on to say Congress and the company would need to “resolve
a number of questions” about the timing and format of such a hearing and
outstanding document requests.

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