amazon: Amazon top sellers Cloudtail, Appario Retail face CCI raid | India News


NEW DELHI: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has conducted raids on premises of top sellers on Amazon, including Cloudtail and Appario Retail, over complaints of alleged anti-competitive practices on these online marketplaces, said three people briefed on the matter. CCI has also raided some sellers of Flipkart, sources said.
The investigations by the CCI come against the backdrop of complaints made in 2020 by local trader bodies. They had alleged that Amazon and Flipkart engaged in inventory-led business models, deep discounting and preferential treatment of sellers on their platforms – practices that are prohibited under India’s FDI rules for the e-commerce industry.
The development comes even as Amazon is shutting down operations of Cloudtail after acquiring Catamaran Ventures’s 76% stake. Cloudtail, a joint venture between the Seattle-headquartered e-tailer and Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, is expected to cease operations by May 19.
While Amazon and Flipkart did not respond to TOI’s queries on the matter, Vinod Kumar, president at India SME Forum, said the raid by CCI on sellers on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart will set a dangerous precedent and cause damage to MSMEs wishing to go online or already are.
“The regulators must desist from singling out online sellers in an arbitrary manner. Level playing field must be ensured among all retail players, offline as well as online,” said Kumar.
Amazon sellers Cloudtail and Appario Retail did not respond to queries from TOI. This, however, is not the first time the foreign e-tailers operating in India have come under the scanner.
In November last year, top Amazon executives were summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations in relation to the e-tailer’s investment in an unlisted Future Group company. Based on that deal, Amazon has been trying to block Kishore Biyani-led Future Retail’s Rs 24,700-crore asset sale to Reliance Retail and remains entangled in litigation with the debt-ridden Big Bazaar parent.





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