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Amazon’s top executives allegedly deleted Signal messages between 2019 and 2022 while a competition investigation was ongoing. The US regulator FTC has filed a complaint in a US court.

Between April 2019 and May 2022, founder Jeff Bezos, current CEO Andy Jassy, top lawyer David Zapolsky, former retail boss Jeff Wilke and Amazon’s former logistics director Dave Clark allegedly deleted important Signal messages or used a feature that prevented them from being retained. This reports Bloomberg.

The executives allegedly started using Signal as a messaging service in 2019 after Bezos reported that his phone had been hacked. In the process, a tabloid allegedly searched for personal photos and/or private messages.

Obstruction investigation

The FTC’s competition investigation against Amazon was ongoing in 2019. For this investigation, the regulator required Amazon to produce all documents. Using Signal as an encrypted messaging service would have hindered the FTC’s work to investigate the company’s business conduct and determine possible competition violations.

Amazon’s response

In a response, an Amazon spokesperson indicated that the online giant voluntarily revealed its limited use of Signal to the FTC years ago. It would also have meticulously collected Signal conversations from employees’ phones and allowed the regulator to see those conversations even if they had nothing to do with the investigation.

Moreover, the FTC would have received all the documents necessary for its investigation. This would include 1.7 million documents, including emails, internal messaging applications and more than 100 TB of laptop data.

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