Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has said that the government is probing WalMart-owned Flipkart and Amazon over the alleged predatory pricing. Speaking to reporters in Mumbai, Mr. Goyal said detailed questionnaires have been sent to these companies and their response is awaited.
Stating that e-commerce companies have no right to sell products at discounts that will result in retail sector incurring major loss, Mr Goyal said these platforms are only allowed to connect potential sellers and buyers. The Minister said stringent action will be taken, if there is violation of any law in letter or in spirit.
The matter comes after the Confederation of All India Traders had written to the Ministry seeking an audit into the business model of all e-commerce firms and the foreign-owned Amazon and Flipkart in particular. The letter had asked the government to verify Amazon and Flipkart’s claims that individual brands are offering discounts and not them.
Mr. Goyal, who also holds the Railways portfolio, refuted rumours that the Railways might exit its ticketing arm IRCTC which had a stellar stock market debut earlier this week following a hugely successful IPO. Mr. Goyal said the government has no plan to fully sell IRCTC.