An Indian federal financial anti-crime agency will review the findings in a Reuters report, which shows that Amazon has been giving preferential treatment to a small number of sellers on its Indian platform for many years and used them to circumvent foreign investment in the country rule. Told Reuters on Thursday.

This story was published on Wednesday and is based on internal Amazon documents between 2012 and 2019. The story provides an internal view of Amazon playing a cat and mouse game with the Indian government. Every time the government implements a New Deal, it adjusts its corporate structure to protect the restrictions of small businessmen.

On Thursday, a senior source from the Bureau of Enforcement told Reuters, “We will study the findings of this story.” The source said that the subject “is not entirely new to us.” The source asked not to be disclosed.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Amazon has been investigated by the Law Enforcement Agency of India for possible violations of foreign investment rules. In India, such investigations usually take several years, and in most cases, the details will not be made public. In a report released on Wednesday, when asked about Amazon’s investigation, Amazon expressed confidence in its compliance.

In a tweet released on Wednesday, Amazon criticized the Reuters report as “unfounded, incomplete, and actually incorrect”, but did not specify. The company said: “In the past few years, many changes have taken place in regulations; Amazon has taken swift action every time to ensure compliance.”

Amit Agarwal, head of Amazon India, told the story in an email to employees on Thursday, saying that he understood “this situation can be distracting.”

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He wrote in an e-mail that the company was on the “threshold of creating heritage”, which was reviewed by Reuters. “This will require major innovation, it will advance our capabilities, we will be misunderstood, but it will be realized.”

Indian retailers are an important part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support base and have long accused e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart of violating federal regulations and their Business practices hurt small traders. The two companies deny these allegations.

Documents reviewed by Reuters show that Amazon has helped a few sellers develop on its Indian platform, provided them with discounted prices, and helped them reach special deals with major technology manufacturers such as Apple. The documents show that the company also exercised significant control over the inventory of some of the largest sellers on Amazon.in, even though the company publicly stated that all sellers operate independently on its platform.

Government regulations announced in 2016 require e-commerce platforms not to “exercise ownership of the seller’s inventory”.

Gopal Krishna Agarwal, national spokesperson for Modi’s ruling party, said that the findings of the investigation reported by Reuters were “very serious” and that “the government will not tolerate any predatory policies and will offer substantial discounts. …The government will take a stand. That.”

He said that small businesses are “very important” to the party. “Their concerns will be resolved.”

In a written response to the report released on Wednesday, Amazon stated that it “has not given any preferential treatment to any sellers in the market” and “treats all sellers in a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory manner”.

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An Indian retailer leading group urged the government to ban Amazon’s local operations and said that after the report was released, it was considering legal action.

The All India Federation of Traders stated that it represented 80 million retail stores and stated that the “shocking revelation” was “enough to immediately ban Amazon from operating in India.”

Amazon did not respond to a request for comment on this Trader Group statement.

Thomson Reuters 2021 ©


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