The Indian antitrust agency said in court on Friday that a report by Reuters showed that Amazon granted preferential treatment to a small number of sellers on its Indian platform, which confirmed the evidence it had received and triggered a response to this. An investigation by an American e-commerce giant.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) announced in January 2020 that it is investigating Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart after complaints from trader groups that they are promoting preferred sellers. However, as the two companies challenged the court, investigations into alleged competition law violations were put on hold.

Last Friday, when the dispute was relaunched, the Indian Deputy Attorney General Madhavi Goradia Divan, who represented CCI, read part of the Reuters report to the judge of the Karnataka High Court, saying that it “confirmed the claims in the original lawsuit.” . .

The Reuters story published last month is based on internal Amazon documents from 2012 to 2019. It reveals that Amazon has been helping a few sellers prosper on its platform for many years, providing them with favorable discounts and helping them cut a special deal. Large technology manufacturer.

Amazon did not immediately respond to the court’s request for comment on Diwan’s statement.

Amazon stated that it “does not give preferential treatment to any seller in the market” and “treats all sellers in a fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory manner.”

CCI’s argument in this case came after the regulator submitted media clippings, including Reuters reports, to the court this week.

Regarding the Amazon documents cited in the Reuters report, Diwan said that CCI’s Director General of Investigation may request the company to provide documents and conduct inspections.

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Indian retailers are an important part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Narendra Modi) support base, has long claimed that Amazon’s platform has benefited some big sellers to a large extent and that the e-commerce company is engaged in harming its business Predatory pricing. The company stated that it complies with all Indian laws.

Divan read the Reuters story to the court for about 15 minutes. Among them is a finding: At the beginning of 2019, about 35 of Amazon’s 400,000-plus sellers in India accounted for about two-thirds of its online sales.

She also mentioned the document cited in the story, which shows that Amazon has been deeply involved in the expansion of large sellers on its platform Cloudtail-the platform has indirect equity-although the company publicly stated that Cloudtail enjoys the same privileges as other vendors.

“Do you do this to all sellers,” Diwan said of Amazon. “These are questions that must be asked.”

According to a Reuters report last week, after the Reuters story was published, the Law Enforcement Agency, a financial crime fighting agency in India, asked Amazon to provide information and documents related to its operations in the country.

Thomson Reuters 2021 ©

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