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Traders’ body CAIT to campaign against ‘malpractices’ of e-commerce firms Amazon, Flipkart, others

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: The Supreme Court of India had last month rejected the demands of Amazon and Flipkart to quash the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) probe against their alleged anti-competitive practices.

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) will hold a nationwide campaign beginning September 15 against “the malpractices of foreign-funded e-commerce companies” such as AmazonFlipkart, others in India. “Greatly peeved by the ongoing malpractices of foreign-funded e-commerce companies in India, the traders across the country have joined hands together to fight out major global e-commerce through an aggressive nationwide agitational campaign,” CAIT said in a statement. The Supreme Court of India had last month rejected the demands of Amazon and Flipkart to quash the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) probe against their alleged anti-competitive practices.

“Despite having so many established policies, laws and rules and a sound administrative system in place, it is highly regretted to note that no concrete action has been taken against big e-commerce companies who are still violating the concerned rules and laws,” CAIT National President B C Bhartia & Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said in the joint statement. The duo urged for quick implementation of the draft of e-commerce rules “without wasting any more time.”

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The body on Monday had also written to the commerce minister Piyush Goyal to enforce the draft rules immediately and had also “lambasted Niti Aayog and few others who are criticising the draft of e-commerce rules under the Consumer Protection Act.” Based on the information from the Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, the CCI had ordered a probe in January 2020. The order was challenged by Amazon and Flipkart before the Karnataka High Court but was rejected in June. According to a PTI report, Amazon and Flipkart had claimed compliance with the law and had said that they will extend full cooperation to the CCI probe.

In August, Amazon and the parent company of its seller firm Cloudtail had announced that the two will exit the joint venture after May 2022. Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures, which owned Cloudtail, and Amazon had formed the joint venture in 2014. The announcement was made hours after the Supreme Court had asked Amazon and Flipkart to volunteer for the CCI probe. The two companies are currently the largest e-commerce players in the country and have been vying for the top spot in the e-commerce market that is expected to reach $188 billion by 2025 with 974 million internet users and 220 million online shoppers by 2025 in the country, according to the data from Grant Thornton.