Cloudtail, a former leader among Amazon sellers, said that India's antitrust agency illegally detained Cloudtail employees during a raid in April, Reuters reported.
Cloudtail said that in late April, three of its employees from the senior management were detained for over 30 hours till com the completion of the search & seizure operation in the company's offices.
A senior source at the Competition Commission of India (CCI), which conducted the raid, rejected the allegations. He said he had obtained the requisite legal approvals and was in line with the watchdog's regulatory processes.
Cloudtail's filing marks an escalating tussle between India's increasingly assertive authorities and the foreign e-commerce players that, along with their affiliates, dominate the country's booming online retail sector.
For years, small traders - a key constituency for Prime Minister Narendra Modi - have alleged that foreign giants favour selected sellers online, in violation of Indian laws. The companies deny those allegations.
Amazon and Cloudtail announced last August that they would not extend the partnership beyond May 2022. The statement came after a Reuters investigation that showed that Amazon had given preferential treatment for years to Cloudtail and a small group of other sellers, which they used to bypass Indian laws.
Although Amazon publicly referred to Cloudtail as an independent seller, company documents revealed that the U.S. firm was deeply involved in expanding it. Amazon has stated that it does not give preferential treatment to any seller and that it complies with the law.