Online retail giant Amazon lobbied European Union parliamentarians and split support for stronger online privacy rules, leaked documents reveal.
The internal company document obtained by news website Politico showed the transnational firm boasting of its success in dividing support among MEPs for toughening up the proposed ePrivacy Regulation further than the European Council - a gathering of the governments of the 27 member states - was prepared to go.
"Our campaign has ensured that the ePrivacy proposal will not get broad support in the European Parliament. Our aim is to weaken the Parliament’s negotiation position with the Council, which is more sympathetic to industry concerns," the document reads.
It said the outcomes of votes in the European Parliament showed that harder position that "differs radically from views expressed in the Council" was gaining less traction.
The proposed ePrivacy Regulation is still under discussion but would supersede existing EU legislation if adopted. It would regulate how internet service providers and websites, including Amazon and social media such as Facebook and Twitter, collect and use their clients' data.
Those firms using electronic codes called trackers stored on users' computers and other internet devices to see what other sites they have visited - and use that to target them with content from paying advertisers.
The revelations came a day after French data protection watchdog CNIL fined Amazon €35 million (£32 million, $42.5 million) and search engine colossus Google €100 million (£91 million, $121 million) for breaking regulations around tracking cookies.