David Cicilline threatened Friday to compel Jeff Bezos to appear before Congress after the Amazon CEO refused to say whether he would voluntarily testify about his business’ practices.
‘No one is above the law, no matter how rich or powerful,’ the chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee tweeted.
‘We have asked Mr. Bezos to testify before the US Congress about Amazon’s troubling business practices and false statements, and we expect him to do so,’ Cicilline asserted.
The Rhode Island congressman added: ‘Whether he does so voluntarily or by subpoena is his choice.’
The additional push from Cicilline comes after seven lawmakers sent a letter to Bezos on May 1 expressing they expect him to ‘testify on a voluntary basis’ in the House antitrust probe into Amazon and other tech giants.
‘In light of our ongoing investigation, recent public reporting, and Amazon’s prior testimony before the Committee, we expect you, as Chief Executive Officer of Amazon, to testify before the Committee,’ seven U.S. members of the House Antitrust Subcommittee wrote.
Chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee David Cicilline threatened Friday to subpoena Jeff Bezos to testify before Congress regarding his company’s practices
‘No one is above the law, no matter how rich or powerful,’ Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat, wrote on Twitter
The call comes after Bezos has still not said whether he would voluntarily testify before Congress over Amazon potentially violating antitrust laws more than two weeks after receiving a letter requesting his presence before the House Antitrust Subcommittee
The potential of a subpoena comes as reports indicate Bezos could become the world’s first billionaire as Amazon stocks soar in the midst coronavirus pandemic
A Wall Street Journal report from last month alleged that Amazon employees accessed non-public information regarding third-party sellers and subsequently created competing brands to further increase the company’s profitability.
The four Democrats and three Republicans who authored the letter to Bezos threatened to subpoena the CEO, who also owns The Washington Post, if he did not voluntarily appear to testify.
After more than two weeks, however, the world’s richest man has still not responded to the letter on whether he will testify before Congress.
Amazon previously asserted to Congress that internal policies prohibited such antitrust practices as it is being accused.
‘If the reporting in the Wall Street Journal article is accurate, then statements Amazon made to the Committee about the company’s business practices appear to be misleading, and possibly criminally false or perjurious,’ the letter to Bezos states.
‘It is vital to the Committee, as part of its critical work investigating and understanding competition issues in the digital market, that Amazon respond to these and other critical questions concerning competition issues in digital markets,’ the letter to Bezos continued.
Bezos has become the center of some media attention after reports emerged indicating he could become the world’s first trillionaire as the demand fueled by the coronavirus pandemic have sent Amazon’s stock soaring.
That tidbit garnered attention on social media and soon ‘Bezos trillionaire’ was trending on Twitter.
The tech giant is also facing other issues, including accusations that they have dramatically increased the amount of warehouse workers during the time of the coronavirus outbreak.
Workers at the Indianapolis plant have described that cleaning at the facility is ‘uneven’ and expressed concern toward certain policies set in place by Amazon to handle the pandemic.
‘Before we had the unlimited UPT [unpaid time off] so if people didn’t feel safe, they didn’t have to come to work,’ said a worker at this specific Indiana warehouse. ‘When that went away, we went from having one hundred twenty five people back to four to five hundred people per shift. It’s really crowded.’
Amazon has also faced backlash for not accurately reporting the number of cases and deaths at its warehouses and other plants and facilities
Amazon has also come under fire for not accurately reporting the amount of workers who have either been diagnosed with coronavirus or died after contracting the disease.
The unofficial death count of Amazon employees reached seven, a report just now revealed on Friday – even though the Indianapolis warehouse worker died at the end of April.
Many of the workers at the Indianapolis, Indiana plant first learned of the death through the rumor mill, slamming management for only notifying employees after they were criticized for not telling staff.
‘They weren’t going to say anything if it wasn’t for people asking questions,’ an employee, who wishes to remain anonymous, explained.
Three different state attorneys have requested the Amazon provide data on the actual number of coronavirus cases and deaths as it has been hard to get a clear idea from the company.