Praveen Khandelwal. (photo| YouTube screengrab)
Praveen Khandelwal. (photo| YouTube screengrab)

Surprise raids on Amazon, Flipkart anchor sellers

The raided firms include Cloudtail and Appario Retail, the former a joint venture between Amazon and N R Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran and the latter with Patni group.

MUMBAI: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has conducted raids on the premises of anchor sellers of Amazon and Flipkart across Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai to probe complaints of predatory pricing and deep discounting.

The raided firms include Cloudtail and Appario Retail, the former a joint venture between Amazon and N R Narayana Murthy’s Catamaran and the latter with Patni group. “There was an element of cluelessness and surprise among sellers as the CCI normally doesn’t conduct raids in such matters,” said a source.

“Probably, some clarity could emerge by Friday by when sellers can decide their course of action,” another source said. The CCI and Amazon did not immediately respond to TNIE queries on the raids while Flipkart could not be immediately contacted for comment.

Amazon and Flipkart also have stakes in some sellers who list on their platforms. This often leads to allegations of conflict of interest as such sellers, backed by the e-commerce giants’ deep pockets, resort to predatory pricing and deep discounting to attract customers.

Lauding the CCI for the action, Praveen Khandelwal, secretary-general of Confederation of All India Traders, said, “The CAIT has been raising strong objections against mal-practices of Amazon and Flipkart. He said Murthy’s role should also be investigated.

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