Traders’ Body CAIT Welcomes CCI’s Recent Raid on Amazon Sellers

Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has lauded the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for conducting raids on the offices of Amazon sellers – Coudtail and Appario. Calling it a vindication of complaints filed by the traders’ body against e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart, CAIT’s Secretary-General Praveen Khandelwal welcomed CCI’s action.

CCI has reportedly conducted raids against two top sellers of Amazon in India over accusations of violating the competition laws of the country. While Amazon and Flipkart are yet to react to the reported raids, a source close to the development revealed that raids were carried out at the sellers’ locations in New Delhi and Bengaluru, in connection to an investigation ordered by the antitrust body.

The e-commerce giants face accusations of anti-competitive trader practices including promoting preferred sellers on websites and giving priority to listings by some sellers. The investigation is still underway in the case.

Reacting to CCI’s raids, CAIT issued a statement on Friday and said that it has been raising strong objections against the wrongdoings of Amazon and Flipkart for the past three years. Apart from filing several complaints with the CCI, the trader’s body claimed to have been ‘strongly’ fighting the delaying tactics used by both the e-commerce platforms in various courts.

Khandelwal also requested the investigating agency to probe the role of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy in the case. Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures has a 76 per cent stake in Prione, a joint venture with Amazon Asia. Prione is among the owners of Amazon domestic seller Cloudtail.

CAIT’s National President B C Bhartia, National Secretary Sumit Agarwal and Khandelwal demanded that all records in paper and computers of both the sellers pertaining to the complaints shall be confiscated to avoid tempering. Adding that seizure of records will substantiate its charges against Amazon and Appario, CAIT demanded other top 20 sellers of the American e-commerce giant should also be investigated.

The traders’ body claimed that the investigation will reveal that Amazon has been flouting foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in its attempt to create a monopolistic market in India. CAIT said that Amazon’s market practices have caused huge damage to small retailers in the country.

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