Coming down heavily on the Competition Commission of India for dropping investigation against Amazon for violations pertaining to selling private labels on it’s portal, the Confederation Of All India Traders (CAIT) termed the CCI as a spineless toothless body incapable of discharging duties as an Anti- Trust Regulator.
Issues kept pending for a longer and indefinite period and by that time, the gravity of the issue already caused damage to the affected party. The CAIT has demanded an in-depth study of working of the CCI and remedial measures to make it a more efficient and accountable regulator like TRAI, SEBI etc.
CAIT National President B.C.Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that it is highly unfortunate that the CCI has dropped such an important investigation against law offender Amazon after starting a suo- moto case based on a global news agency’s report which was published on 13th October, 2021 and CCI took Suo- Moto cognisance on 21st October passing an order seeking details from Amazon. They further added that the agency report was absolutely unambiguous and crystal clear highlighting how Amazon was pushing it’s own private label business when it is supposed to perform only as a Marketplace as per FDI norms. We believe that CCI did not ask the agency to substantiate its charges referred to in its published article and an ex parte order was passed by the CCI which violates the norms of principle of natural justice. “We are at a loss to understand why the Government and government agencies are keeping a complete silence on the daylight violations of policy, rules and laws by Amazon and others “-said both leaders.
Bhartia and Khandelwal said that the traders of India are extremely perturbed and shocked that time and again, the Indian retail ecosystem has been left vulnerable simply because anti trust regulator CCI has failed to discharge its duties. The CCI was supposed to ensure that interests of all stakeholders must be protected but over the last 5-7 years, foreign multinational giants have steamrolled their way through the Indian market, violating all laws in spirit and creating unhealthy business environment and CCI has been a mere spectator till date not able to rein in the foreign players. In nutshell, the CCI has utterly failed in discharging its obligations of fair judgement.
Both leaders said, it is the Government’s duty to ensure that 80 million traders of India do not perish against the onslaught of foreign etail players but so far absolutely no strong measure has been adopted despite several complaints and representations made to the Commerce Ministry at various levels. The DPIIT is primarily responsible to safeguard India’s internal trade but it is a matter of grave concern that Indian traders are fast losing faith in the efficacy of DPIIT as well as there is no sign of early roll out of long pending e-commerce policy.