Amazon Faces Antitrust Allegations From Indian Online Sellers
The members of All India Online Vendors Association with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) have filed an antitrust case against Amazon in India. This group of around 2000 sellers is accusing the US Company of favoring some retailers whose online discounts drive independent vendors out of business.
As per the complaint, the group has alleged that Amazon uses its wholesale unit to buy goods in large quantities from manufacturers and then sells them at a loss to vendors such as Cloudtail India and Appario, who then offer the same products at gigantic discounts. The group has also raised concerns about Amazon’s use of its private label brands like Solimo and Presto to undercut sellers on the platform.
The accused vendors- Cloudtail and Appario are both partially owned by Amazon as India’s Foreign Investment Policy prevents the company to directly sell goods to customers in the country, forcing Amazon to operate in India as a marketplace.
Amazon has stated that it complies with all the laws and that its Indian website is purely third-party based. The wholesale unit provides businesses to buy products and anyone is free to register on it. Amazon also said that it currently provides an e-commerce platform in India to more than 650,000 sellers with the discretion to set up the product’s prices.
In January, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had also ordered an investigation against Walmart-owned Flipkart, over the alleged violations of competition laws and discounted prices. Currently, Amazon has also been facing antitrust issues in Canada over its treatment of independent sellers on its site.