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Amazon has fired an employee who disclosed customer email addresses to an outside seller in violation of the ecommerce company’s policies.

“The individual responsible for this incident has been terminated from their position, and we are supporting law enforcement in their prosecution,” the company said in a statement.

Amazon notified affected customers on Friday that their email addresses had been shared with the merchant, who had been blocked from selling on its platform. Amazon did not say how many customers were affected. No other customer information was shared, the company said.

The firing follows a report in The Wall Street Journal last month that Amazon employees, working through brokers, have sold internal sales data, the email addresses of product reviewers, and the ability to delete negative reviews and restore banned accounts to third-party merchants. Amazon has said it was investigating those claims. It was unclear whether the firing announced on Friday was related to that investigation.

Third-party sales have become an important part of Amazon’s growth in recent years, allowing it to greatly expand the breadth of its inventory and bringing in new revenue streams. The company takes about a 15 per cent cut of most third-party sales and sells merchants fulfilment and advertising services.

In 2017 more than half of items sold were from third-party sellers, Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chief executive, told shareholders this year. Amazon captures one in every two dollars spent on online retail in the US, according to research group eMarketer.

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