‘RBI, ED need to look into charges against e-tailers’

‘RBI, ED need to look into charges against e-tailers’ thumbnail
NEW DELHI:The Ministry of Commerce & Industry has asked the RBI and the Enforcement Directorate to look into allegations by the Indian Cellular Association that Amazon and Flipkart are violating foreign direct investment norms by offering direct and indirect discounts on mobile handsets and other items on their marketplaces.

The ministry, which forwarded ICA’s letter to the RBI and ED late last month, asked them to take necessary action, according to a person familiar with the matter. The lobby group, which represents Apple, Micromax, Nokia, Vivo, Lava and Lenovo/Motorola, had written to commerce minister Suresh Prabhu on March 5 seeking action against Amazon and Flipkart for their “predatory business model” and “rampant violation” of investment norms.

The group said such alleged practices have resulted in the closure of a large number of mobile phone retailers and lakhs of job losses.

“Strong Indian brands can withstand competition and not wilt but predatory competition is impossible to meet. So, all global and Indian brands have got impacted,” Pankaj Mohindroo, president, ICA, said on Thursday.

Flipkart and Amazon said they abide by the laws. “We conduct our business with highest standards of integrity and in compliance with applicable laws,” a Flipkart spokesperson said in an emailed response.

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