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Amazon is investigating whether employees are being bribed to leak company data to sellers, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

Employees have been allegedly handing over confidential information like search optimisation data to independent sellers, mostly via middlemen, to give them a leg up in the $1 trillion dollar company’s marketplace, reads the report.

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Also, they are allegedly offering sellers a way to delete negative products reviews, in return for a fee.

This comes according to both merchants who bought said information, and brokers who sold it, both of whom talked to the publisher, along with “people familiar with internal investigations.”

Amazon reportedly launched an investigation into the practice, which is apparently prevalent in China, back in May. Middlemen were said to be using the messaging service WeChat in China to make contact with Amazon employees.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed its investigation in a statement to the Journal:

“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,” the statement reads.

“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, including terminating their selling accounts, deleting reviews, withholding funds, and taking legal action.”