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Amazon Investigates Report That Employees Leaked Data for Bribes

  • Merchants used data to raise placement in searches, WSJ says
  • Practice creates unlevel playing field for sellers on the site
Amazon At $1 Trillion Pushes Bezos's 2018 Gain To $67 Billion
Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

Amazon.com Inc. is conducting an investigation into employees that are said to offer sellers on its e-commerce program with an advantage by providing confidential internal data and other services in exchange for a fee.

Employees are allegedly selling information on sales and searches to the independent merchants that operate on the site and providing a way to delete negative reviews, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. These practices may help sellers’ products appear higher in search results, bettering their chances of attracting customers. The newspaper cited brokers who act as intermediaries between employees and merchants, individuals who bought the services, and people familiar with the investigations.