Amazon reportedly favors its own brands in search results - CNET

4 days ago 9
Amazon Shopping James Martin/CNET

Amazon often places products from its ain brands higher successful hunt results than better-rated items from competitors, according to an investigation by The Markup published connected Thursday. The study alleges that Amazon brands and exclusive received an "outsized information of the apical spot connected hunt results," adjacent though they made up a tiny information of each products looked astatine successful the investigation. 

Amazon denied the report. "We bash not favour our store marque products done search," said an Amazon spokesperson successful an emailed connection connected Thursday. The institution said hunt results antithetic from listing that are "featured from our brands," which it calls "merchandising placements."

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"These placements are intelligibly labeled to separate them from hunt results," said the spokesperson. "The benignant and magnitude of merchandising shown to a lawsuit depends connected galore factors, including the customer's query, the merchandise the customer's buying for, and whether the lawsuit is buying connected desktop, mobile browser, oregon successful our app."

The Markup said its probe analyzed results from much than 3,400 fashionable merchandise searchers successful January 2021. The apical effect was an ad, with a "sponsored" label, 60% of the time. Of the rest, Amazon gave the apical spot to its brands and exclusives fractional of the time, according to The Markup. This apical spot was reportedly often fixed implicit competing products with higher ratings and much sales. The probe showed "Amazon was hogging the apical spot," according to The Markup. 

The probe comes arsenic Senators connected Thursday are reportedly acceptable to unveil bipartisan legislation that would barroom tech companies from favoring their ain products connected their platforms. It'll articulation the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, similar authorities that was projected successful June, that would prohibit online buying level from usage interior information from merchants to enactment its ain offerings connected a marketplace oregon to favor its ain products over those from different merchant competing connected the aforesaid platform. The measure has gone done markup successful the House Judiciary Committee but is not presently scheduled for a ballot from the afloat House of Representatives.

Amazon has previously denied accusations of utilizing information from third-party sellers to develop and merchantability its ain products, which were elaborate successful an April 2020 Wall Street Journal report. In July 2020, then-Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told Congress that the company prohibits utilizing seller-specific data to assistance its backstage statement business. 

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