Antitrust probes, fake reviews, worker ire: What's in store for Amazon's new CEO Andy Jassy?

Written By: Deeksha Teri WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Jul 06, 2021, 06:39 PM(IST)

Amazon.com Inc incoming Chief Executive Andy Jassy (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Andy Jassy, 53, has been a loyal subordinate of Bezos since 1997 and understands the good and bad the company is dealing with at the moment

As Andy Jassy gears up to step in as the new CEO of Amazon after Jeff Bezos, the 53-year-old will also be subjected to several regulatory battles.

The famous Amazon founder is set to fly off to space in a rocket built by his spaceship company. As he heads for space, he has decided to hand over the reins of the e-commerce empire to Andy Jassy.

Jassy, 53, has been a loyal subordinate of Bezos for the past 24 years (since 1997) and understands the good and badsthe company is dealing with at the moment.

Also read | Meet Andy Jassy, the man who takes over as Amazon's new CEO

While the customer base has been expanding every day, Jassy is also being warned to expect regulatory hurdles, workers' unions, the FTC, US Congress and more.

Antitrust probe

Jassy is stepping into the role a few months after the company surpassed $100 billion in quarterly sales for the first time. However, the shift in leadership also comes at a time when the e-commerce company is being probed by antitrust regulators in a few countries. With an increase in size and customer base, Amazon is now fending off antitrust complaints on issues such as taxation and data collection in the US and a few other countries abroad. These antitrust complaints are recent but pose a threat of big fines for the company.

One bill voted by the House Judiciary Committee will restrict companies from competing with any other sells in the marketplace. This will lead to a restriction on Amazon to sell its own products on the website. However, Amazon has denied using data from specific sellers for its own benefit.

Also read | Woman pilot Wally Funk, 82, to accompany Bezos in space

"Like all retailers, we are able to see what sells in our store, but we strictly prohibit employees from using nonpublic, seller-specific data to determine which private label products to launch," said Nell Rona, an Amazon spokesperson. Amazon-owned brands "make up a very small portion — around 1 per cent of sales in our store," Rona said.

This case is being handled by FTC’s new chairwoman, Lina Khan, who is an expert on Amazon’s dominance in the new markets. As Jassy heads into the brain of the case, Amazon has urged Khan to excuse herself from the case as they claim there are chances of pre-existing biases.

Fake reviews

Amazon has also been accused of inflating ratings by publishing fake reviews of its own products, which ends up inching customers towards buying Amazon products.

After the allegation, Amazon’s Vice President of customer trust said the company had removed nearly 200 fake reviews and ha assured to take "responsibility to monitor and enforce our policies seriously".

Poor working conditions

Jassy will also be dealing with controversies and complaints related to workforces and employee unions.

Amazon employees have recently started raising their voices against the long, gruelling working hours and unsafe labour conditions in warehouses. Under Bezos, Amazon successfully evaded the establishment of unions for a very long period. "We have always wanted to be Earth's most customer-centric company," Bezos had once said, adding, "we are going to be Earth's best employer and Earth's safest place to work."

However, the recent increase in complaints has attracted attention from human rights activists and several unions.

While Jassy is deemed to be the next best replacement of Jeff Bezos, people are hoping he handles the e-commerce empire differently than the previous chief.

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