India’s minister of commerce, Piyush Goyal, is accusing leading United States e-commerce companies operating in India of flouting the country’s laws. The e-commerce companies in this context include Amazon Inc. (AMZN) and Walmart Inc. (WMT).
According to the minister, these companies have been arrogant and continuously flouting local laws by engaging in predatory pricing practices.
The Minister says the companies have been using their scale and access to large pools of low cost capital to engage in predatory pricing practices to the detriment of mom-and-pop stores.
“A number of these large ecommerce companies have come into India and very blatantly flouted the laws of the land in more ways than one. I’ve had several engagements with these large companies, particularly the American ones, and I can see a little bit of arrogance” said the minister while on a virtual interview.
He did not directly call out Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart on the interview however, these two are the only two dominant U.S affiliated online retailers in India. Goyal also failed to reveal which laws had been flouted by the companies.
The minister further accused the companies of in forum shopping in courts and failing to comply with an investigation launched by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
“To my mind, if they have nothing to hide, if they are doing honest business practices, why don’t they respond to the CCI?” asked the Minister.
This accusation from the minister comes at a time when local small scale India traders and retailers have been accusing U.S online retailers of abusing their dominance and capacity to circumvent consumer protection laws and competition laws.