Sunday, 17 February, 2019

E-commerce norms to hurt consumers, pricing: Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky

New FDI Rules For E-Commerce Amazon Flipkart Eyeing To Push February 1 Deadline Extension- Report E-commerce- Representation Image
Laurie Berry | 01 February, 2019, 19:13

Would-be buyers of Echo speakers on Amazon India saw a message reading: "We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock".

This means that Amazon can no longer sell on Amazon.in through Cloudtail India, which is/was one of the largest sellers on the platform. At the time of writing this article, these devices were available with a waiting period of 15-30 days, a far cry from the usual 1-2 day deliveries.

"All Amazon devices are now available on Amazon.in", the company said in a statement. "Private labels are not a panacea to their current problems since their unique selling point is that they are a single stop for all products and brands", Singhal said. Smaller e-commerce firms like Snapdeal and ShopClues as well as offline retailers have also written to Commerce Ministry, urging the government to not give into pressure from U.S. companies and authorities.

Traders and rivals say companies such as Amazon and Flipkart have been violating the spirit of these rules by creating proxy sellers or vendors in which they have direct or indirect stakes, allowing firms to give deep discounts that upset off-line trade. This is because Cloudtail India itself is a joint venture company between Amazon.com and Catamaran Ventures, and the new rules prohibit vendor entities with equity interests from participating in sale activities. "We don't think the changes help in those dimensions for both the customers in India and also the sellers". Amazon's range of Echo smart speakers, meanwhile, are only available through third-party sellers on the site, and majority are scheduled to ship weeks from now. However, it is to be seen what the impact on price and express shipping on these products will be, as numerous discounts and Prime ratings were controlled by the two in-house sellers.

Under regulatory uncertainties, analysts caution that expansion could cool down a bit. "We're still evaluating the situation in India, (but) we still feel very good about the long term prospects".

Amazon and Flipkart themselves remain tight-lipped about the expected impact. The company had a few years ago made a conscious decision to move away from driving sales through its in-house retailer WS Retail.

Liverpool vs. Man City: Which one will top the Premier League?
A penalty is a penalty, there was no blood involved again today but it's a penalty because one of our players is in the box. The Reds return to Premier League action with a hard trip to West Ham United on Monday night.

They had also flagged concerns around some provisions, including one that states that the inventory of a vendor will be seen as controlled by a marketplace, if over 25 per cent of the vendor's purchases are from the marketplace entity, including the latter's wholesale unit.

Both Amazon and Flipkart sought more time to comply with the new rules.

The All India Online Vendors Association, a group of about 3,500 online sellers, has accused both Flipkart and Amazon of using their dominant position to favour selected sellers.

In response to questions, an Amazon spokeswoman said via email: "All sellers make their own independent decisions of what to list and when and we can not comment on that".

"Despite the significant work that is required to change our supply chains and systems, we are also confident that we will continue to serve our customers and sellers to the standards we and they are used to", said Rajneesh Kumar, senior Vice-President and chief of Corporate Affairs, Flipkart Group.

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