Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Amazon Withheld Jeff Bezos Email Chain From U.K. Regulator

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Inc., speaks during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. Bezos spoke about Amazons sustainability efforts a day before workers around the world, including more than 1,000 of his own employees, are scheduled to walk out to spotlight climate change. Inc. failed to meet British regulators’ deadlines to hand over emails between senior bosses, including Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, during a probe of the retail giant’s investment into Deliveroo.

The U.K.’s antitrust watchdog fined Amazon 55,000 pounds ($72,000) for being late in providing internal documents crucial to the investigation. A total of 189 documents were provided between a few days and more than two months after deadlines, and only after repeated follow-ups by the regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority said in a report published Monday.

Amazon was required to produce all emails sent or received in the last two years by an unnamed senior executive and key custodian of the company, which included any of a specified list of terms provided by the watchdog.

The missing communications included an email chain between Bezos and other senior executives that ended April 2, 2019. The report didn’t reveal what was discussed in the messages.

Amazon handed over the email chain nearly two months after the deadline set by the regulator.

“We are committed to supporting regulatory bodies in their work,” an Amazon spokesperson said by email. “We cooperated fully with the CMA’s inquiry and worked hard to provide large volumes of information in a timely manner. All requested documents were provided to the CMA.”

Amazon’s minority investment in the food delivery service was approved by the CMA last month after a roller-coaster investigation. The CMA concluded that the 16% stake won’t substantially lessen competition — but warned of a potential further probe if Amazon went on to acquire a greater level of control over Deliveroo.

Amazon won’t appeal the decision and will pay the fine. It’s required to do so within 28 days from the date of notice.


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