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Indian govt reprimands Amazon for showing its private labels on top of search results: Report

Online sellers & trade bodies have long alleged that Amazon engages in discriminatory conduct by prioritising its own private label products

Logo of Amazon Basics, one of the private labels

The Indian government reprimands Amazon for how its private labels, and the brands the company has invested in, appear on top of search results, MoneyControl reported on February 20. "I am just coming from a meeting where we told Amazon that your algorithms and the way you throw results at people have to be fair. You can’t have your own labels and companies in which you have invested appear on top of search results. That is not fair," Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh remarked at a technology conclave held in Delhi, MoneyControl reported. "You might be the world’s largest company, but the balance between the seller and the consumer needs to be maintained. [...] We gave them a piece of our mind,” Singh added. Why does this matter: Online sellers and trade bodies have long alleged that Amazon engages in unfair and discriminatory conduct by prioritising its own private label products like AmazonBasics and preferred sellers like Cloudtail and Appario in search results to the detriment of third-party sellers. They have repeatedly asked the Indian government to do something about it. The comments by the Consumer Affairs Secretary suggest that the government isn't just sitting back and watching. What's the status of the CCI investigation: Based on allegations of discriminatory conduct and deep discounting, as well as other complaints, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) launched an investigation into Amazon and Flipkart in January 2020. The investigation was initially paused due to legal challenges but resumed in July 2021. The latest…

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