Amazon chief Jeff Bezos lands in India, remembers Mahatma Gandhi

Jeff Bezos

Getty Images

The allegations also touched on deep discounting, preferential treatment through exclusive tie-ups etc.

Amazon has remained guarded about Bezos's visit to India where he is expected to meet senior government officials.

Big e-commerce firms should not offer steep discounts, must disclose discounting policies and ensure they do not drive brick-and-mortar rivals out of business, the CCI chairman Ashok Kumar Gupta has said.

"If you are absolutely clean, come out, put it (details) on your website".

"Otherwise there will be complaints, we will inquire - why do you want to subject yourself to this type of investigation if you are open about it".

"The Commission observes that the exclusive arrangements between smartphone/mobile phone brands and e-commerce platform/select sellers selling exclusively on either of the platforms, as demonstrated in the information, coupled with the allegation of linkages between these preferred sellers and OPs (opposite parties) alleged by the Informant merits an investigation", the CCI said in its order.

Bezos will likely participate in an Amazon event in New Delhi, sources have said.

CAIT has since 2015 waged a battle against online retailers Amazon and Walmart WMT.N -controlled Flipkart, accusing them of deep discounts and flouting India's foreign investment rules.

It further alleged that by having exclusive tie-ups in the relevant market with smartphone companies, the e-commerce firms provide exclusivity through discounting and preferential listings, thus distorting the competition. The companies deny the allegations.

Gupta said there was nothing wrong in giving discounts if you were an insignificant player, but "once you acquire market power, you can not continue with these practices because you will start hurting the incumbent players". "It is alleged that Amazon and Flipkart are able to cross-subsidise because of the huge amount of funding received from their investors, which has resulted in incentives that allow pricing below cost on their platforms, through their sellers, resulting in creation of high entry barriers and high capital costs for any new entrant in the market", the order said. It estimates the sector will generate revenues of $120 billion this year.

Last week the CCI, released a study on irregularities in business practices of e-commerce companies and called for self-regulation. The commission also directed the DG to complete the investigation and submit the investigation report within a period of 60 days from the receipt of the order.

Latest News