CCI chairman warns dominant e-comm platforms to be transparent


After asking e-commerce platforms to self regulate themselves a couple of days ago, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has warned dominant e-comm platforms to exercise more transparency in their work to avoid facing any consequences.

E-comm platforms have got to be more transparent in their working particularly on the search ranking, use of consumer data, rating of entities, said CCI Chairman Ashok Kumar Gupta.

He further emphasised that the competition watchdog can take up cases suo moto or on its own if the concerns related to the adverse impact of these practices on market competition are not addressed by e-commerce players voluntarily.

For the past several months, offline traders and mobile retailers have been protesting against exclusive sales tie-ups and availability of certain mobile phones online only.

“The Commission’s observations are not mere observations which can be ignored without consequence. But we have to give time to the industry to put their house in order. For each and every concern, we have given our observation (in the report). Those can get converted to a case,” said Gupta.

He was speaking at a law conference organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday.

CAIT secretary general Praveen Khandelwal, who was also present at the conference, questioned the regulator for not taking action against e-comm platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart.

“The fact that CCI has asked e-comm platforms to conduct self-regulation explains that these platforms are not following government regulation in place. Why CCI is asking them to self regulate when it has ample evidence against these e-comm firms who have been flouting FDI press note for years,” Khandelwal told Entrackr.

CCI in its market study released on Jan 8 had outlined that it can also initiate cases on its own against instances of unfair practice or abuse of dominance.

Entrackr had earlier reported quoting the CCI market study on e-comm that it can investigate unfair deep discounts and contract terms between e-commerce marketplaces and sellers.

The study had also recommended self-regulation and to have clear policies on discounts, explaining the basis of the discount rates funded by platforms and the implications of such schemes.

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