CCI raids offices of top sellers on Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart

NEW DELHI: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has conducted raids at offices of top sellers on Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart over complaints of alleged anti-competitive practices on these e-commerce marketplaces, said people briefed on the matter.
The development comes even as Amazon is shutting down operations of its largest seller Cloudtail after acquiring Catamaran Ventures’ 76% stake in it.
While Amazon and Flipkart did not respond to TOI’s queries on the matter, Vinod Kumar, president at India SME Forum, said the raid by the CCI on sellers on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart will set a dangerous precedent and cause damage to the MSMEs wishing to go or already online.
“The regulators must desist from singling out online sellers in an arbitrary manner. Level playing field must be ensured between all retail players, offline as well as online,” said Kumar.
The ongoing investigations by the CCI come against the backdrop of complaints made in 2020 by local trader bodies, who had alleged that Amazon and Flipkart were engaging in deep discounting and preferential treatment of sellers.
“CAIT has been raising strong objections against malpractices of Amazon and Flipkart for three years and filed complaints with the CCI,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general at Confederation of All India Traders Association (CAIT).
In addition, Khandelwal said predatory pricing, deep discounting, loss funding, exclusive sale of branded products in collusion with respective corporate companies and owning inventory are some of the fundamental issues raised by the local traders associations and all these practices are prohibited under Press Note 2 of FDI policy of 2018.

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