Amazon staffers accused of selling data, personal customer info; investigation underway

Amazon is investigating reports that its employees are selling company data and reviewers' email addresses to help give independent retailers on the site an edge in the marketplace, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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The Journal story cited Amazon sellers who have been offered and bought the information, brokers and others familiar with the inquiry.

Workers for the e-commerce giant have used third parties, or brokers, to sell private information, such as internal sales metrics, to retailers who can in turn use the information to game the system, WSJ reported.

The WSJ story said the problem is especially bad in China where Amazon sellers are increasing and workers make less money.

CNN reported that Amazon has had trouble with its product reviews dating back years.

The company filed lawsuits against more than 1,000 people in 2015 because they were "misleading Amazon's customers" by selling fake product reviews, according to CNN, citing a complaint.

Amazon said it has a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to abuse of the system, The Register reported, and is "taking swift action," including terminating accounts, deleting reviews, withholding funds and legal action.

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