Indian Sellers Collective welcomes CCI's action against Amazon

by IANS |

New Delhi, Dec 20 (IANS) Indian Sellers collective, an umbrella body which brings together leading trade associations and representative bodies of sellers across the country, has welcomed the decision of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to suspend Amazons 2019 deal with the Future Group.

Observing that the ruling has exposed how Amazon has been operating with double standards – posing as a transaction platform while acting as a retailer in reality with the intent to control the country's retail market it urged regulators to expedite all other pending cases against the company and its related parties.

Offline and small traders in India have suffered massively over the year at the hands of MNC online marketplaces like Amazon.

These firms blatantly flout rules through front companies that indulge in predatory pricing and discounting thereby destroying the business of offline retailers. These online marketplaces track best-selling products on their platforms and copy their design to launch private brands with similar features and at a competitive price. Additionally, they run a systematic campaign to manipulate search results to divert sales of the bestselling products on its platform to its own product lines. Resultantly, no seller grows by doing business with the MNC e-commerce platforms.

Welcoming CCI's decision, Abhay Raj Mishra, Member & National Coordinator, Indian Sellers Collective, observed: "It is for the first time in the history that CCI has reversed an approval already granted based on prospective conduct. This reposes the faith in regulators against malpractices. Amazon's arrogance and posturing such as its officials walking out of CCI proceedings, giving public statements that CCI does not have the authority to reverse its own decision and approaching courts to stop CCI from acting, became the company's undoing. A responsible MNC would have cooperated with the regulators and supported a fair trial. The current ruling will give a boost to our nationwide campaign to shun products of foreign e-commerce companies and embrace products of Indian sellers. It will galvanise consumers, enforcement agencies, and lawmakers to take firm action against erring MNC e-tailers to change their tack."

Calling for further investigation against the business malpractices of marketplace e-commerce companies, the All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) said: "Marketplaces have been evading and twisting laws to stifle competition and capture Indian retail market. Amazon has earned a bad reputation for its anti-competitive practice worldwide and its dealings in India are in contravention to the spirit of India's sovereign laws. CCI's decision against Amazon has set the ball rolling. Now other investigative agencies like ED, should thoroughly review all other pending cases against Amazon, its related parties and other companies, including their round-about investments in various Indian retail companies, to take this matter to its logical conclusion."

Expressing satisfaction over this development, Arvinder Khurana, National President, All India Mobile Retailers Association (AIMRA) said: "CCI's decision to revoke its Amazon's 2019 deal with the Future Group could not have come at a more opportune time when small retailers are under tremendous pressure due to malpractices of the online marketplace. It will serve as a reminder call for administration, which has been ignoring the calls and requests of small retailers, to address concerns of offline retailers by acting decisively against erring MNC e-commerce companies."

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