Amazon says CEO Bezos willing to testify before U.S. Congress

Amazon.com Inc said on Monday its founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos was willing to testify to a congressional panel investigating potential violations of U.S. antitrust law by big technology companies.
The company’s attorney sent a letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee, saying Amazon had cooperated with the probe. “This includes making Jeff Bezos available to testify at a hearing with the other CEOs this summer,” said the letter from Robert Kelner of Covington and Burling LLP.
The big four tech platforms - Alphabet Inc’s Google, Apple Inc, Amazon, and Facebook Inc - are under investigation by a House Judiciary Committee panel and the U.S. Justice Department. The Federal Trade Commission is probing Facebook and Amazon and U.S. state attorneys general are looking at Facebook and Google.
Representative David Cicilline, chair of the committee’s antitrust panel, said testimony from the CEOs was “essential to complete this bipartisan investigation into the state of competition in the digital marketplace.”
“The Antitrust Subcommittee will continue to use the tools at our disposal to ensure we gather whatever information is necessary,” he said in a statement.
Kelner’s letter said that Amazon and the committee would need to “resolve a number of questions regarding timing, format, and outstanding document production issues, all necessarily framed by the extraordinary demands of the global pandemic.”
This would be the first time that Bezos has appeared before Congress, according to a source familiar with the company.
In early May, the committee demanded Bezos’ testimony in the wake of a report that the online retailer uses data from third-party sellers to create competing products. Amazon’s associate general counsel, Nate Sutton, had denied under oath last July that Amazon used sensitive information from independent sellers to develop Amazon products.
The letter also noted that Amazon had given the committee’s antitrust panel more than 225,000 pages of documents and notes that the committee has not given a “binding commitment” that they would be confidential.
A group of former employees for eBay—including its former security director—were charged with allegedly concocting a stalking campaign against Massachusettes-based newsletter publishers that involved sending them a box of live cockroaches, among other disturbing acts.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts announced the changes on Monday. They allege that six former employees, including eBay’s former director of global resiliency and Director of safety and security, were part of a cyberstalking campaign that targeted the editor and publisher of an online newsletter that covered e-commerce companies.
Authorities allege that the newsletter wrote an article about litigation involving eBay in August 2019 and that in response, members of eBay’s executive leadership said it was time to “takedown” the newsletter’s editor.
In a statement, eBay said they were alerted by law enforcement in August 2019 about “suspicious actions” by the employees and launched an investigation. As a result of the investigation, all of the involved employees were fired a month later, the company said.
The group of six former employees began the campaign by sending the newsletter editor and publisher a bizarre list of items including a bloody pig Halloween mask, a funeral wreath, a book on how to cope with the loss of a spouse, and pornography. A preserved fetal pig was ordered but never delivered, according to CBS Boston.

They continued to send Twitter DMs and tweets threatening to visit the editor and publisher of the newsletter, and intended to have one of them reach out to them to try and help stop the harassment, authorities allege.
Finally, according to authorities, the group tried to surveil the editor and publisher—including driving to the victims’ house and intending to plant a GPS tracking device on their cars.
James Baugh, eBay’s former senior director of safety and security, was charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses. David Harville, the company’s former director of global resiliency, was handed the same charges.
Stephanie Popp, eBay’s former senior manager of global intelligence, Stephanie Stockwell, the former manager of eBay’s Global Intelligence Center, Veronica Zea, a former contractor, and Brian Gilbert, a former senior manager of special operations for eBay’s Global Security Team, were also charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.
eBay told the Verge that one of the executives in the “take her down” text exchange was former CEO Devin Wenig.