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CAIT says, copying products is grievous offense; demands CBI probe into Amazon's predatory acts

05:44 PM Oct 14, 2021 | Agencies

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said that copying products and rigging the search is a grevous offence with an ulterior design to kill the domestic small manufacturers and traders of India directly contravening Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'.

CAIT said the news story in question has corroborated the charges reiterated by CAIT from 2019 against Amazon and Flipkart. The news article has cited various internal documents of Amazon to substantiate its charges and therefore the credibility of the news story is beyond any doubts.

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The Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF) and the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) condemned Amazon's "predatory playbook" of allegedly copying, rigging, and killing Indian brands, urging the Centre for timely intervention on Thurday.

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On Wednesday, a Reuters report revealed that Amazon team in India "secretly exploited internal data from Amazon.in to copy products sold by other companies, and then offered them on its platform", and also "rigged Amazon's search results" so that the company's products would appear on top.

CAIT has demanded an immediate CBI investigation into the charges made in this story and an earlier story as also bribery to government officials through its legal counsels by Amazon, as claimed by news report of one another news channel. Meanwhile, all relevant material should be immediately confiscated by CBI in order to prevent any tampering with them.

The report alleged that among the victims of Amazon's anti-market practices was a popular shirt brand in India called John Miller that is owned by Kishore Biyani-founded Future Group, currently embroiled in a legal battle with Amazon. The CBI should also ask the global news to submit whatever evidence it has.

CAIT said India is not the only Country where Amazon is violating the law. In fact, it is penalised by several Countries for various offences prominently among them is imposition of a fine of $886.6 million by the European Union in July 2021, 35 million euros by France in 2020 and $134,523 by the US Treasury Department in 2020 which establishes that Amazon is a known global law offender.

It is most astonishing that despite having a tough Prime Minister like Modi, who is known for respecting the law, the concerned agencies and ministries have put a deal ear to all credible allegations made by CAIT and others from time to time.

The slow pace of investigation by the CBI or ED is more to put the burning issue in a cold room. Years long investigation will bring no results and testify the dictum Justice delayed is Justice denied. But in the meantime Amazon will uproot the livelihood of large numbers of small businesses in India, CAIT said.

A CAIT delegation will soon meet Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and press for its demand for an immediate CBI enquiry and other necessary actions immediately by the government.

Meanwhile, the CAIT is also convening an emergent meeting of its National Board comprising of prominent trade leaders of all States to decide future course of action on this issue.

(With inputs from IANS)

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