The employees are allegedly leaking confidential sales information to independent merchants selling on the site that hope to glean ways to increase their sales, the Wall Street Journal reports. The practice is reportedly widespread in China where Amazon’s internal sales data can sell for anywhere from $80 to $2,000. For that money, sellers get data about internal sales metrics and reviewers’ email addresses. The employees leaking the data are also said to be offering to delete negative reviews and restore banned Amazon accounts.
Amazon’s internal investigation into the matter began after the company was tipped off in May about the practice. Since then the company has shifted around executive roles in China to try to root out the bribery. However, the practice is not just occurring in China. Employees in the U.S. are said to be involved, too.
Amazon confirmed its internal investigation to the WSJ, with a spokesperson saying:
“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. We have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behavior, we will take swift action against them.”