Amazon reportedly favors its own brands in search results2021-10-15 19:17 by Daniela
Amazon.com Inc has been repeatedly accused of knocking off products it sells on its website and of exploiting its vast trove of internal data to promote its own merchandise at the expense of other sellers.
Thousands of pages of internal Amazon documents examined by the news agency Reuters - including emails, strategy papers and business plans - allegedly show the company ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own product lines in India, one of the company's largest growth markets.
The investigation analyzed results from more than 3,400 popular product searchers in January 2021. The top result was an ad, with a "sponsored" label, 60% of the time. Of the rest, Amazon gave the top spot to its brands and exclusives half of the time, according to The Markup. This top spot was reportedly often given to those instead of to competing products with higher ratings and more sales. The investigation showed "Amazon was hogging the top spot," according to The Markup.
Amazon denied the report's conclusions.
"We do not favor our store brand products through search," an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement. The company said search results are different from listings that are "featured from our brands," which it calls "merchandising placements."
"These placements are clearly labeled to distinguish them from search results," said the spokesperson. "The type and amount of merchandising shown to a customer depends on many factors, including the customer's query, the product the customer's shopping for, and whether the customer is shopping on desktop, mobile browser, or in our app."
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