Indian Merchants Fight Back Against Amazon With Protest Event 

Small businesses in India are fighting back against Amazon and other big foreign sellers in a move to actively protest what they see as an unfair competitive advantage for US technology platforms, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, April 14.

Scores of smaller businesses are setting the stage for a protest event on Thursday, April 15, which coincides with Amazon’s yearly jamboree for its sellers in India. Retailers in the country are escalating the fight for a piece of India’s potential market of 1.3 billion shoppers. The group is also protesting against Walmart’s Flipkart.

“Over half a million sellers and leading small trader groups are participating in the Asmbhav event, which will focus on ruined livelihoods because of the bullying and partisanship by eCommerce marketplaces,” Abhay Raj Mishra, head of the nonprofit Public Response Against Helplessness and Action for Redressal (PRAHAR), told Bloomberg.

Asmbhav — which means “impossible” in Hindi — is just one of the many protests being led by a collective of Indian sellers to tackle the “unfair practices” brought about by foreign eCommerce businesses, per the article. 

Local traders in India have not been shy about pointing to Amazon and Flipkart as being detrimental to a competitive selling landscape in the country. Merchants have long accused both eCommerce powerhouses of stifling competition and the associated livelihoods of the businesses and people who work and live in the country.

The government’s move would also enforce existing rules that prohibit eCommerce platforms from “owning or controlling” companies that sell on their websites, from making exclusive deals with manufacturers of products, and from offering discounts on goods.

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