Economy

‘CCI looking into traders’ plaints against e-commerce firms, banks’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 12, 2021

No probe initiated on Flipkart-Aditya Birla Fashion deal

The Competition Commission of India is looking into complaints received from the Confederation of All India Traders, alleging biased practices by banks in providing cashbacks and discounts for purchases on e-commerce websites such as Amazon and Flipkart, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

The Minister also said that no investigation has been initiated by RBI or the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the allegation of violation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy and FEMA in the deal between Flipkart and Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail.

‘ED probe’

“The government is in receipt of the representations submitted by CAIT against e-commerce companies. Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, the investigative powers are vested with the Enforcement Directorate, and therein representations were duly forwarded to the ED, which has taken up the matter for investigation,” the Minister said.

CAIT had alleged adoption of predatory tactics like deep discounting, loss funding, inventory control, preferential-seller treatment and selling own brands through alpha sellers.

Policy clarification

Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal had recently said at a press conference that the Centre was considering certain clarification in the e-commerce policy to ensure that online players worked in true spirit of the law and as per rules that have been laid down.

He added that e-commerce was supposed to provide an agonstic platform, so that, buyers and sellers could trade with each other and that the platform should not become part of the trading transaction.

Published on February 12, 2021

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