FTC Accuses Amazon Executives, Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy, of Deleting Certain Text Messages

Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has lodged accusations against key figures at Amazon.com Inc., including founder Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassy, asserting that they deleted text messages potentially pivotal to the ongoing antitrust inquiry.

According to a court filing on Thursday, the FTC claimed that Bezos and Jassy utilized the encrypted messaging platform Signal for communication from April 2019 to May 2022. These messages, set to self-delete, allegedly eliminated crucial evidence for the FTC’s antitrust case against Amazon.

Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy

Among the executives purportedly using Signal were David Zapolsky, Amazon’s chief legal officer; Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s former retail chief until 2021; and Dave Clark, a logistics executive who departed in 2022 when Jassy took over from Bezos.

The FTC’s filing builds upon assertions outlined in its antitrust complaint against Amazon last autumn. This legal move seeks to uncover information about Amazon’s directives to employees concerning Signal’s usage and message retention practices.

Andy Jassy, Amazon CEO

Amazon’s spokesperson, Tim Doyle, rebuffed the FTC’s allegations, contending that the company had voluntarily disclosed its limited Signal usage to the FTC years ago. Furthermore, Amazon reportedly meticulously collected Signal conversations from employees’ devices.

Doyle stated, “The FTC’s contentions are baseless. Amazon voluntarily disclosed employees’ limited Signal use to the FTC years ago, thoroughly collected Signal conversations from its employees’ phones, and allowed agency staff to inspect those conversations even when they had nothing to do with the FTC’s investigation.”

Mason Williams
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