“A number of these large e-commerce companies have come into India and very blatantly flouted the laws of the land in more ways than one,” Mr Goyal said.
Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has hit out at US e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart, while accusing them of arrogance and of flouting Indian laws by indulging in predatory pricing practices.
Companies were using their scale and access to large pools of low-cost capital to indulge in predatory pricing practices “to the detriment of mom-and-pop stores”, Mr Goyal stressed.
“A number of these large e-commerce companies have come into India and very blatantly flouted the laws of the land in more ways than one,” he said while speaking at s virtual event on Saturday.
“I’ve had several engagements with these large companies, particularly the American ones, and I can see a little bit of arrogance,” he said.
Though Mr Goyal did not name Amazon or Walmart nor did he mention the laws that were broken. However, this comments from the commerce minister come at a time when India’s small traders and retailers have accused the US giants of circumventing the country’s consumer protection laws and competition laws.
The union minister also criticised companies for indulging in “forum shopping” in courts and failing to comply with an investigation launched by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
After a judge this month dismissed the companies’ original pleas, Flipkart and Amazon have appealed against the CCI’s bid to restart an investigation into their business practices.
At the virtual event organised by the Stanford India Policy and Economics Club, Mr Goyal said: “To my mind, if they have nothing to hide, if they are doing honest business practices, why don’t they respond to the CCI.”