Indian Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal (Piyush Goyal) has increased attention to American e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Wal-Mart, accusing them of arrogance, indulging in predatory pricing and ignoring local laws.
Goyal said that the company is using its scale and access to large amounts of low-cost funding to indulge in predatory pricing behavior, “thus harming the interests of mom-and-pop shops.”
“Many large e-commerce companies have entered India and blatantly flouted land laws in more than one way,” he said at a virtual event late Saturday.
“I have had several contacts with these big companies, especially big American companies, and I can see a little bit of arrogance,” he said.
Goyal did not directly name Amazon or Walmart’s Flipkart-India’s two major e-commerce companies-and did not specify which laws are being flouted. But when he made the above remarks, the voices of small Indian traders and retailers were getting louder, accusing American giants of evading Indian consumer protection and competition laws.
Amazon and Flipkart did not immediately respond to Goyal’s severe criticism requests for comment.
The two companies denied the allegations made by traders against them.
Goyal also criticized the company for indulging in “forum shopping” in court and failing to comply with investigations initiated by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
After the judge rejected the original requests of the two companies this month, Flipkart and Amazon have appealed CCI’s application to reopen an investigation into its business practices.
“In my opinion, if they have nothing to hide, if they are doing honest business, why don’t they respond to CCI?” Goyal said in a virtual event organized by the Stanford India Policy and Economic Club.
A few days ago, India announced a new set of e-commerce regulations that could weaken the ambitions of Amazon and Flipkart in India and force the two companies to review certain business structures.
In addition, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, the All India Federation of Traders accused e-commerce companies of treating India as a “banana republic” with weak laws.
Despite lobbying by the e-commerce giant, the agency urged the government to ensure that the proposed e-commerce rules are not diluted.
The US-India Business Council, a top US lobbying group, described India’s proposed new e-commerce rules as worrying in an internal memo this week.
© Thomson Reuters 2021