The week gone by was a mixed one for Amazon. The volley of allegations over its anti-competitive practices continued, with Reliance wading into the debate and accusing the US-based ecommerce giant of capital dumping to engage in predatory pricing. In an internal note shared with the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham), Reliance claimed that Amazon’s modus operandi was leading to massive unemployment and financial distress among the country’s small merchants and kirana stores.
Dumping refers to a practice wherein a country exports a product at a price lower than the price in the exporter’s domestic market. Industry experts and sellers associations have alleged that Amazon and Flipkart indulge in preferential treatment for seller entities in which they hold an indirect stake, a prima facie anti-competitive practice.
However, later in the week, in a big win for Amazon, the Delhi High Court upheld the emergency award passed by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in October last year against the deal for the sale of Future Retail to Reliance Retail.
The court, while rejecting Future Group’s argument that SIAC’s decision was legally invalid, imposed a cost of INR 20 lakh on Future, to be deposited with the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
While pronouncing its verdict, the court observed that Future Retail, Future Coupons and Kishore Biyani had violated the emergency award, and issued a show-cause notice to Future Group founder Biyani and the company’s other promoters, also asking why they should not be detained in civil prison.
The next date of hearing in the matter is April 28, 2020.
- Rajya Sabha member Sushil Modi, belonging to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Wednesday, called for India to institute a law to ensure that news aggregators like Google and Facebook share their advertisement revenues with publishers and media houses for displaying their content, similar to the law in Australia.
- Gurugram-based foodtech unicorn Zomato, on Tuesday, announced its foray into health and dietary supplements through a ‘Made in India’ brand soon to be available on the Zomato platform. The launch date of the products is not yet known.
- Concerned about foreign ecommerce majors such as Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart dominating India’s ecommerce sector, domestic retailer associations such as the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and the Retailers Association of India (RAI) have sought a regulatory body for ecommerce similar to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) or the Securities and Exchange Board Of India (SEBI).
- Zerodha founders’ hedge fund True Beacon, private equity firm Kedaara Capital and fund accounting service provider Basiz have applied to set up alternative investment funds (AIFs) at the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at Gujarat’s GIFT (Gujarat International Finance Tec) City.
- The Bengaluru police have booked model and Instagram influencer Hitesha Chandranee for assault, based on a complaint filed by a Zomato delivery executive Kamaraj.
Stay tuned for next week’s News Roundup.