Amazon has launched an investigation after reports emerged that its employees accepted bribes in exchange for confidential information.
According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal, employees at the tech giant accepted bribes from sellers in exchange for information that would give them a competitive advantage on its marketplace.
These included internal sales data, information on how to delete negative reviews and restore banned accounts alongside the email addresses of product reviewers.
The employees in question reportedly worked through brokers and communicated with buyers via the WeChat messaging app, charging between $80 and $2000 for the information.
It is understood that this is a particular problem in China, with Amazon having already launched an investigation in May into incidents within the region.
“We are conducting a thorough investigation of these claims,” a spokesperson said.
“We implement sophisticated systems to restrict and audit access to information. We hold our employees to a high ethical standard and anyone in violation of our Code faces discipline, including termination and potential legal and criminal penalties.
“In addition, we have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behaviour, we will take swift action against them, including terminating their selling accounts, deleting reviews, withholding funds, and taking legal action.”
More than half the items sold on Amazon were form third party sellers last year, however it has struggled to battle sellers attempting to influence its algorithms by purchasing fake reviews.