Amazon executive says company welcomes scrutiny of big tech

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - One of Inc’s top executives on Wednesday responded to reported information gathering by U.S. antitrust enforcers and to calls by some critics to break up the company with a simple message: we welcome any review.

“Substantial entities in the economy deserve scrutiny, and our job is to build the kind of company that passes that scrutiny,” Jeff Wilke, the CEO of Amazon’s consumer business, said at a press conference in Las Vegas.

A report by news site Vox on Tuesday said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission was questioning Amazon’s competitors about the company, an example of growing scrutiny of the technology sector in Washington.

According to the report, the questioning regarded Amazon’s fulfillment service pricing, competition with third-party merchants selling through its website and the bundling of services in Amazon’s Prime loyalty program.

The U.S. executive branch is gearing up for probes of Amazon, Apple Inc, Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, setting up what could be a wide-ranging and unprecedented investigation into some of the world’s most valuable companies, sources recently said.

Tech executives will be asked to testify as to whether their companies have misused their market power, too.

Amazon’s consumer CEO Wilke followed an approach to scrutiny taken by other executives. His boss, Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, has made similar comments, and Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said that huge companies deserved oversight, in an interview aired recently by CBS News.

“With size, I think scrutiny is fair. I think we should be scrutinized,” he said. But, he added, “I don’t think anybody reasonable is gonna come to the conclusion that Apple’s a monopoly.”

Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in Las Vegas; Additional reporting by Diane Bartz, Jan Wolfe, Susan Cornwell and Peter Henderson; Editing by Susan Thomas and Lisa Shumaker