Amazon CEO Bezos will tell antitrust committee that big isn't bad

Superstar tech CEOs to face grilling on antitrust issues

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos will tell the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee Wednesday that his tech enterprise is a classic American company with an “obsessive customer focus” that employs a million people, according to prepared remarks released by the company.

Bezos, the richest man in the world, will appear on Capitol Hill along with Facebook CEO  Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and the CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, Sundar Pichai.

With the focus of the hearing on whether any existing laws need to be changed to deal with competition issues in the wake of the explosion and reliance of the internet, Bezos, will make the case that Amazon’s massive size is a positive, rebuffing recent criticisms that the company is a monopoly.

JEFF BEZOS ADDS $13B TO NET WORTH, LARGEST SINGLE-DAY INCREASE

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“Just like the world needs small companies, it also needs large ones,” he will offer to the House members “There are things small companies simply can’t do. I don’t care how good an entrepreneur you are, you’re not going to build an all-fiber Boeing 787 in your garage.”

Bezos will also tout the third-party sellers who use Amazon’s marketplace to grow their businesses.

In his prepared remarks, Bezos will state, “There are now 1.7 million small and medium-sized businesses around the world selling in Amazon’s stores,” and that includes, “More than 200,000 entrepreneurs worldwide surpassed $100,000 in sales in our stores in 2019.”

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The way that Amazon treats these third-party sellers will likely be a hot button issue during the hearing. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that Amazon uses data from third-party sellers to develop its own Amazon-brand products. This is contrary to what Amazon told Congress last year, when Nate Sutton, Amazon’s Associate General Counsel, said they “do not use any seller data to compete with them.”

Some members of the House Judiciary Committee wrote in a letter to Bezos in May that “statements Amazon made to the Committee about the company’s business practices appear to be misleading, and possibly criminally false or perjurious.”

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Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, (D-Wa.), who counts many Amazon workers among her constituents, wrote to Bezos separately in April and criticized the company for how it has handled warehouse workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bezos will close out his prepared remarks by touting Amazon as a classic American company.

"It’s not a coincidence that Amazon was born in this country. More than any other place on Earth, new companies can start, grow, and thrive here in the U.S. Our country embraces resourcefulness and self-reliance, and it embraces builders who start from scratch," Bezos plans to say.

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