Important hearing in the US is looking into anti-competitive practices by tech giants.
Excerpts from Data Centre Dynamics article…
A wide-ranging US antitrust hearing this Wednesday saw CEOs of the nation’s largest tech companies answer questions about market dominance.
Among them, Amazon head Jeff Bezos fielded queries about his business’s approach to competition, and whether Amazon used confidential information to crush rivals.
“Over the course of our investigation, we have heard directly from startups that rely on Amazon’s services… with respect to concerns about the way in which Amazon uses confidential information,” Democratic Congressman Joe Neguse said.
“But we’ve also heard that not just with respect to the Marketplace, but with Amazon’s cloud computing arm, AWS. The notion [is] that the computing arm essentially identifies startups’ best technologies and rolls out replica products and services. So, Mr Bezos, does Amazon use confidential information that companies share via AWS to build competing services?”
Bezos initially gave a simple answer: “No sir, not that I’m aware of,” he said, under oath.
Neguse, however, followed up: “Last week, one of Amazon’s former engineers posted online that he and his team proactively identified growing businesses on AWS, that they built competing products, and that they targeted those products to those business’s customers.”
His comment appears to be in reference to a Hacker News post from an alleged former AWS employee. The individual claimed that “in the past, AWS proactively looked at [the] traction of products hosted on its platform, built competing products, and then scraped & targeted [a] customer list of those hosted products. In fact, I was on a team in AWS that did exactly that.” DCD has not been able to independently confirm the employment claims made.
“There’s [also] been public reporting on that strategy,” Neguse continued. “I guess I’m wondering if you could comment on how you would account for those statements.”
Here Bezos faltered, providing a vague reply open to interpretation: “I think there may be, uh, categories, uh, databases of different kinds where we see it’s an important product for customers and we make our own product offering in that arena.”