Report: Amazon Internal Documents Show Company Copied Popular Products, Rigged Search Results

Jeff Bezos holds up an Amazon device (David Ryder /Getty)
David Ryder /Getty

A recent report claims that internal Amazon documents show that the company created knockoff items and manipulated search results to promote its own product lines in India.

Reuters reports that according to internal documents, e-commerce giant Amazon has been developing knockoff products and manipulating search results to promote its own product lines. Reuters reports that the documents show that Amazon’s private-brands team in India exploited internal data obtained from its marketplace in the country to identify popular products sold by other companies and then create copies to compete against them.

Jeff Bezos India speech

Jeff Bezos India speech (Amazon/YouTube)

AURORA, CO - MAY 03: A worker moves packed boxes at the Amazon fullfillment center May 3, 2018 in Aurora, Colorado. The million square foot facility, employing 1,000 fulltime employees, has over 2 million products ready to ship to customers globally. (Photo by Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images)

AURORA, CO – MAY 03: A worker moves packed boxes at the Amazon fullfillment center May 3, 2018 in Aurora, Colorado. The million square foot facility, employing 1,000 fulltime employees, has over 2 million products ready to ship to customers globally. (Photo by Rick T. Wilking/Getty Images)

The private-brand team also reportedly altered Amazon’s search results so that Amazon-owned brands would appear “in the first 2 or three … search results” according to a strategy report from 2016. Some of the brands that were copied including the popular shirt brand John Miller, which is owned by a company whose CEO Kishore Biyani is known as India’s “retail king.”

Amazon reportedly chose to “follow the measurements” of John Miller shirts down to the exact neck circumference and sleeve length, essentially creating Amazon-branded copies.

Internal documents show that Amazon employees studied proprietary data from other brands on Amazon.in with the aim of identifying and targeting goods that could be used as a “reference” or “benchmark” products that Amazon could “replicate.”

This is far from the first time Amazon has been accused of similar practices. In 2020, Breitbart News reported that the e-commerce giant set up meetings with startup firms to discuss their products with the pretense of potentially investing in the companies, only later to launch competing products in similar markets.

In April of 2020 Amazon was accused of doing exactly what the latest documents from Reuters appear to show, that the company was using data and sales figures to target products sold by third parties and then creating their own versions.

Read more at Reuters here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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