Does Amazon steal product ideas from third-party retailers?

Employees have accused the company of using third-party data to sell competing products: Report

Amazon has repeatedly said in statements and in congressional testimony that it does not steal data from the third-party sellers it hosts on its website and doing so would violate its own policies.

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Employees, however, disagree.

The tech giant came under scrutiny after The Wall Street Journal published a report in April after interviewing more than 20 employees working for Amazon's private label and reviewing internal documents that revealed the company had used third-party data to help determine the design and price of certain products.

Workers walk past boxes to be shipped inside of an Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville, New Jersey, U.S., November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

An Amazon spokesperson told FOX Business at the time that using third-party data for its own products is against company policy, and it was launching an internal investigation into the issue.

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"Like other retailers, we look at sales and store data to provide our customers with the best possible experience," the spokesperson said. "However, we strictly prohibit our employees from using non-public, seller-specific data to determine which private label products to launch."

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The tech giant offers more than 45 different Amazon brands with 243,000 products from household items to food to electronics sold alongside third-party brands. Amazon said its brand products only counts for 1 percent of its sales, although employees told the Journal that Amazon has said its brands make up 10 percent of its total sales.

Amazon brands / FOXBusiness.com

Employees studied third-party sales reports on products like a car-trunk organizer and seat cushion before Amazon brands launched similar competing products, the Journal reported.

The European Union is planning to press formal antitrust charges against Amazon for its treatment of third-party sellers after a nearly two-year-long probe, the Journal reported on June 11.

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California investigators are also examining the company's treatment of third-party sellers, according to a June 12 Journal report.

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