An online sellers industry body today moved the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against Flipkart India Pvt Ltd, a wholesale company, for allegedly abusing its dominant position on Flipkart’s online marketplace. The All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA), which claims to represent over 3,500 sellers on various e-commerce platforms, in a statement alleged that Flipkart India Pvt Ltd, a dominant player, has abused its position.
“Flipkart India, the subsidiary of Flipkart Singapore, is a wholesale dealer which acquired goods from various persons and was immediately selling the goods to retail sellers like WS Retail Services and others at huge discounts, who subsequently would sell those goods at unmatched prices as sellers on internet platform under the name ‘Flipkart.com’,” AIOVA said in its statement.
Emails sent to Flipkart did not elicit a response. The representative body claimed that such a “preferential treatment and discriminatory conduct”, which is prohibited under the Competition Act, “is killing many independent sellers who depend on its platform for their livelihood”.
“The Commission should immediately prevent Flipkart from selling goods at a discounted price to certain sellers which are further sold on Flipkart.com. If not stopped immediately, many independent sellers would be forced to leave the market, resulting in concentration of the market,” it asserted.
The association urged that Flipkart India (wholesale arm) should immediately be asked to stop selling goods at discount. It also sought that Flipkart Internet, which runs the online marketplace, should immediately stop giving preferential treatment and discriminatory advantage to certain set of sellers in order to protect independent sellers.
Earlier this month, Flipkart struck about USD 16 billion deal with Walmart under which the US retail giant will pick up about 77 per cent stake in the company. Traders’ body CAIT has said it will move CCI to file objections on the proposed Walmart-Flipkart deal, claiming that the agreement would lead to an uneven playing field and massive job losses.