Amazon business practices examined by two U.S. states

(Reuters) – State investigators in California and Washington are examining Amazon's business practices, according to two newspapers, citing people familiar with the matter.

ARCHIVE PHOTO: The Amazon logo is seen in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, on April 22, 2020. REUTERS / Pascal Rossignol

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Investigations focus, at least in part, on how Amazon treats sellers in its online market, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported on Friday.

Amazon declined to comment on a California investigation report. It was not immediately available for comment outside normal market hours in the Washington review report.

The reports say the state of California is reviewing Amazon's practices in selling its own products in competition with third-party suppliers. Amazon said its domestic products account for only about 1% of its total annual retail sales.

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Washington State is also investigating whether Amazon makes it difficult for sellers to list their products on other websites, NYT reported. The investigations did not appear to be in advanced stages, added the NYT report, citing sources.

A spokeswoman for the Washington attorney general told the NYT that the office did not confirm or deny the investigations. The California attorney general's office told the NYT that it does not comment on any pending or potential investigation.

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Attorneys General of California and Washington were not immediately available when approached by Reuters for comment.

The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee last month asked CEO Jeff Bezos to testify about allegations that Amazon uses data from its own third-party vendors to create competing products.

Amazon is already being investigated by the European Commission for its dual role as a market and rival, following complaints from traders.

He may also face EU antitrust charges in the coming weeks for using data about traders with whom he competes on the platform, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing a source.

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Reporting by Ayanti Bera and Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Alexander Smith

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