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Amazon is investigating claims that some of its staff sold confidential customer data to third party companies.

According to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, employees of the e-retailer are offering internal data and other confidential information to independent merchants who sell their goods on the US giant’s website.

The practice, which violates company policy, is said to be particularly pronounced in China.

In exchange for payments ranging from $80 (£60) to over $2,000 (£1,530), brokers for Amazon employees in the southeastern city of Shenzhen are offering internal sales metrics, reviewers’ email addresses, and the ability to delete negative reviews and restore banned accounts, the WSJ claims.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the company is “conducting a thorough investigation” of the allegations.

“We have zero tolerance for abuse of our systems and if we find bad actors who have engaged in this behaviour, we will take swift action against them, including terminating their selling accounts, deleting reviews, withholding funds, and taking legal action,” they said in a statement.

Amazon employs around 560,000 people worldwide

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