Amazon India own label search rigging

October 2021

Reuters has obtained thousands of pages of internal Amazon documents that appear to show the company in India has been running a systematic programme of copying other companies' products and promoting them by manipulating its own search results.

The documents indicate Amazon India employees have been using 'search seeding', 'search sparkles' and other techniques so that the company’s own label product lines, such as AmazonBasics and Solimo, would appear 'in the first 2 or three … search results' on Amazon.in.

Amazon associate general counsel Nate Sutton stated during a 2019 congressional hearing that Amazon algorithms 'are optimised to predict what customers want to buy regardless of the seller.'

Operator: Amazon
Developer: Amazon

Country: India

Sector: Technology

Purpose: Rank content/search results

Technology: Search engine algorithm

Issue: Ethics; Fairness; IP abuse
Opacity: Governance