Watching Amazon — How a Hill Investigation Can Morph Into Criminal Inquiry

Bloomberg Law
4 minute read | June.19.2020

Amazon's regulatory headache became a migraine in May when the House Committee on the Judiciary notified Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that the company's statements to Congress about its business practices "appear to be misleading, and possibly criminally false or perjurious."

The committee called on Bezos to testify personally, threatening to subpoena him if he did not do so voluntarily.

The Judiciary's letter was an unambiguous reminder that a congressional investigation into business practices can quickly transform into a criminal inquiry if the government believes the company or its representatives lied or obstructed the investigation. Bezos is going to face tough decisions about his own potential testimony, if and when it occurs, and all of them carry significant risks.