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Amazon spied on competition with secret operation 'Big River'

In a revelation that underscores Amazon's relentless pursuit of market dominance, a recent report unveils the tech giant's covert operation aimed at gathering intelligence on competitors like Walmart and eBay, codenamed "Big River Services International".

Initiated under the banner of "Project Curiosity" in 2015, Amazon's foray into undercover intelligence gathering involved the establishment of Big River Services International. The subsidiary operated discreetly, selling a range of products including apparel, footwear, and outdoor furniture on rival platforms such as Walmart and eBay.


The objective was clear: to gain insights into the operations of competing retailers, logistics firms, and related industries, thereby empowering Amazon to make informed strategic decisions. Employees of Big River went to great lengths to conceal their ties to Amazon, adopting measures to minimise electronic footprints and maintain secrecy within the company's ranks.

Reports suggest that Amazon executives were briefed on the findings of the Big River team, albeit through printed copies that were not retained. Furthermore, employees utilised separate email addresses and were coached on how to respond if their affiliation with Amazon was uncovered.

This revelation comes amidst ongoing scrutiny of Amazon's business practices, particularly its treatment of third-party sellers on its own platform. Previous investigations have highlighted concerns over data usage and alleged anti-competitive behaviour.


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