Smartphone companies Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo have assured offline retailers that they will maintain parity on pricing, discounts, and models with online marketplaces, reports The Economic Times. This development comes after offline retailers have accused online marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart of indulging in deep discounting practices and undercutting brick and mortar retailers.

Context: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has claimed that it would take up the issue with the Prime Minister’s office and the Competition Commission of India, as per the report. At a Competition Commission of India workshop in September 2019, the trade had blamed Amazon and Flipkart of predatory pricing and undercutting. CAIT also wrote to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, in September this year, seeking a blanket ban on festival sales offered by e-commerce companies.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has reportedly asked Amazon and Flipkart to disclose names of top 5 sellers on their platform, price of goods sold by preferred vendors and support to sellers. They have also been asked to share their capital structure, inventory management system and business.

The Commerce Ministry is also going to probe e-commerce firms for alleged unfair practices, Goyal said.

What smartphone brands said they’ll do to ensure this

Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo have issued advisories to establish parity, between online and online retailers, in pricing, discounts, and models.

  • Vivo and Xiaomi said they would ensure that all products have the same price and offer across online and offline channels, the report said. Vivo has promised to make some variants of future online products available offline and Xiaomi has pledged to offer faster offline launches from next year.
  • Oppo said it will offer ‘consumer offer and dealer profits’ only for offline purchases this year. Samsung said it had matched the prices of its models S9, S9+ and Note 9 smartphones, however, the company has sought some time for issuing the trade advisories.
  • Realme has also assured retailers of parity in discounts and promotions for online and offline trade last week.