India’s antitrust body launched raids early on Thursday against two top domestic sellers of online retail giant Amazon, and some on Walmart’s Flipkart, following accusations of competition law violations, sources told Reuters.
Indian retailers, key supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have long contended that Amazon and Flipkart platforms benefit a few big sellers, via predatory pricing, though the companies say they comply with all Indian laws.
The two Amazon sellers figuring in Thursday’s raids were Cloudtail and Appario, two sources said on condition of anonymity, as the details were not public.
Two other sources said some sellers on Walmart’s Flipkart platform were also being raided by officers of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), but there were no immediate details.
“This is a significant development as generally CCI doesn’t do searches in non-cartel cases,” a former official of the competition regulator told Reuters.
“Doing dawn raids to unearth complex economic activities is a new domain for the regulator.”
Amazon, which has an indirect equity stake in both the sellers raided, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Flipkart.