Amazon’s policies forbid it from using sellers’ data to undermine their own products, but the practical reality might be very different. Wall Street Journal sources say Amazon employees have been using proprietary seller data to help design and price in-house products, including decisions to enter certain categories. To develop a car trunk organizer, as an example, the internet retailer reportedly studied a third-party’s sales, marketing spending and Amazon’s share of sales.
This also includes executives, according to the sources. While Amazon officially has measures to prevent its product higher-ups from accessing individual sellers’ data, those rules apparently haven’t been consistently enforced. Execs would use workarounds, such as having analysts create reports or obtaining supposedly aggregated data that was really collected from one seller.