Amazon and Flipkart face an antitrust investigation in India

Andrew Cummings
January 15, 2020

Jeff Bezos, who is in New Delhi for the US-based e-commerce major's Smbhav summit, also said Amazon will use its "size, scope and scale" to export India-made goods worth $10 billion by 2025. He had previously met Modi at an event in Washington back in 2016, and later said the company would invest over $5 billion in India in the coming years.

Bezos is keen to get a first-hand view of India, given its strategic importance to Amazon's operations, one of the persons quoted above said. "Our hope is that this investment will bring millions more people into the future prosperity of India and at the same time expose the world to the "Make in India" products that represent India's rich, diverse culture", he added.

Indian brick-and-mortar traders allege Amazon and Flipkart violate the country's foreign investment rules and burn billions of dollars to offer steep discounts that hurt smaller traders. The top executive will also attend SMBhav an event focussing on small and medium businesses in India - that is slated for January 15-16 in the capital city.

The visit of Amazon head comes on the heels of the series of allegations raised by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) against e-commerce companies such as Amazon and its Indian competitor Flipkart.

With its 1.3 billion population and the world's second-biggest smartphone user base that relies on cheap data for social media and online shopping, India is a key market for US retailers Amazon and Walmart to grow their business.

Dozens of merchants gathered on Wednesday to protest against alleged predatory practices by Amazon. Last month, thousands of protestors expressed similar concerns against Amazon and Flipkart.

Over three days, Bezos will review and plan Amazon's operations in the country. Sumit Agarwal, National Secretary of CAIT, told TechCrunch in an interview that "deep discounting" on products on Amazon is impeding the growth of small merchants.

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