Indian trade body cheers European Union heat on Jeff Bezos’ Amazon

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Published: July 18, 2019 3:15 PM

The American e-commerce behemoth is being investigated by the EU on whether the company uses sales data to gain an advantage over other sellers on the marketplace platform.


Amazon Prime Day 2019, Inc. shoppers, amazon prime day sales,  Costco Wholesale Corp, Walmart Inc, EBay Inc(Image: Reuters)

While the European Union has started its antitrust investigation on Amazon, an Indian trade body is cheering the chaos in making for Jeff Bezos’s company. Calling it a welcome move, the trade body said “Opening investigation by EU amply endorse the complaints of CAIT which are being made against global e-commerce players conducting business activities in India,” Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) General Secretary Praveen Khandelwal said. The traders’ body has been vocal in the past as well, questioning Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart’s business model and alleging them of unfair trade practices. 

CAIT is receiving complaints from small traders alleging discrimination, unfair treatment and unjust policies, Khandelwal said. He added that the sellers have also brought up the issue of the e-commerce platforms’ relation with certain controlled sellers such as Cloudtail and Appario for Amazon and Retailnet and Omnitech for Flipkart. “These sellers have greatly vitiated the e-commerce market in India for a long time and authorities have not taken action,” Khandelwal said. Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal is now looking into the matter and has emphasized government’ intolerance towards predatory pricing and unfair practices, according to Khandelwal. The traders’ union also awaits the upcoming e-commerce policy which is expected to bring major reforms for the e-commerce industry in the country. 

Why is Amazon under the scanner?

The American e-commerce behemoth got under the radar of the European Union and the Union has started its formal investigation on whether the company uses sales data to gain an advantage over other sellers on the marketplace platform. The Union will also investigate whether the US e-commerce giant is abusing its dual role as a retailer of its own products and marketplace operator. 

Moreover, questions have also been raised over the Amazon policy of using data. This data is used to choose which retailer to link to using the “Buy Box” on its site, according to media reports. Amazon has meanwhile said that it will “cooperate fully with the European Commission and continue working hard to support businesses of all sizes and help them grow,” Jeff Bezos-owned The Washington Post reported. 

Meanwhile, Amazon is also drawing flak from its global workers over low wages and insecure employability conditions. The workers, from across Europe and America, suspended their shifts on Amazon’s crucial Prime Day sale.

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