CCI orders probe into deep-discounting by e-tailers
New Delhi, Jan 14 (KNN) Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered to probe e-tailers like Amazon and Flipkart over their discounting practices, exclusive brand launches on the platforms and the preferential treatment they have allegedly offered to certain mobile phones sellers.
While asking its director-general, to submit its report within 60 days, the CCI in its order on Monday, said, “it is of the opinion that there exists a prima facie case which requires an investigation”.
The order comes ahead of Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos’ visit to India this week, during which he is likely to meet key policymakers including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Reacting on the same, e-tailer Amazon assured of cooperation with the CCI. “We welcome the opportunity to address allegations made about Amazon; we are confident in our compliance, and will cooperate fully with CCI”, a spokesperson said.
On the other hand, Walmart-owned Flipkart said it was reviewing the order and that the company was fully compliant with all applicable laws. CCI’s order follows a complaint filed by the Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, who had alleged that some “preferred sellers” on the platforms were “in some way or other connected to Amazon and Flipkart through common investors, directors, shareholding, etc”.
It is alleged that there were exclusive arrangements between mobile phone brands and the e-commerce platforms, which provided deep discounts to a select preferred sellers. The CCI said the investigation must look into whether discount funding is an element of the exclusive tie-ups with the preferred sellers.