This week Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has visited India. At the same time, multiple protests against Amazon have spurred across a country, and an antitrust investigation was started against the tech giant.
Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), a trade group that represents more than 60 million merchants in the country, has organized multiple protests in 300 cities all across India. A representative of the trade group Praveen Khandelwal in the interview to Bloomberg has said: - "Bezos and Amazon have already destroyed many small businesses and are now trying to build a false narrative of empowering small retailers".
The inquiry was prompted by complaints from an association of small traders after several rounds of regulations failed to curb the market power of the two e-commerce platforms. Indian merchants have lobbied Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take tougher action against the companies. According to complaints Amazon unfairly gave preference to individual sellers, to influence who sells what and at what price.
Following those events and the general displeasure with the Amazon, India's Competition Commission opened an antitrust probe into Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart in order to determine whether those companies are utilizing the anticompetitive practices.
In a statement, Amazon said, "We welcome the opportunity to address allegations made about Amazon; we are confident in our compliance and will cooperate fully with C.C.I."