Amazon often ranks products from its own brands higher in search results than better-rated items from competitors, as a check by markup Published on Thursday. The report alleges that Amazon Brands and Exclusives received “a substantial portion of the top spot on search results,” even though they made up a small portion of all the products looked at in the investigation.
Amazon denied the report. “We do not endorse our store brand products through search,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement Thursday. The company said the search results “featured from our brands” differ from listings, which it calls “merchandising placements.”
“These placements are clearly labeled to differentiate them from search results,” the spokesperson said. “The type and amount of merchandising that is shown to a customer depends on several factors, including the customer’s query, the product the customer is purchasing, and whether the customer is making a purchase on a desktop, mobile browser, or in our app. “
Markup said its investigation analyzed results from more than 3,400 popular product searchers in January 2021. The top result was an ad labeled “Sponsored” 60% of the time. According to The Markup, out of the rest, Amazon topped its brands and exclusives half the time. This top spot was reportedly often bestowed on competing products with higher ratings and higher sales. According to The Markup, the investigation revealed that “Amazon was spinning the top spot”.
The inquiry comes as there are senators on Thursday Reportedly ready to unveil bipartisan law Which will prevent tech companies from favoring their products on their platforms. It will be included in the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, , which would restrict online shopping platforms from using merchants’ internal data to support their own offerings on a marketplace or to favor your products More than any other trader competing on the same platform. The bill has gone through markup in the House Judiciary Committee, but is not currently scheduled for a vote from the full House of Representatives.
Amazon has previously denied allegations of using data from third-party sellers to develop and sell its own products, which were detailed in an April 2020 Wall Street Journal report. In July 2020, Amazon’s then-CEO Jeff Bezos told Congress that the company prohibits using vendor-specific data to aid its private label business.