Amazon.com Inc will invest $1 billion in digitizing small- and medium-businesses in India and expects to export $10 billion worth of India-made goods by 2025, its founder Jeff Bezos said on Wednesday. Speaking at a company event in New Delhi, Bezos also said he feels the 21st century is “going to be the Indian century.” He also confirmed the company will export $10 billion worth of Make in India goods by 2025.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) January 15, 2020
“The dynamism, the energy ... the growth. This country has something special and it’s a democracy,” Bezos said. Amazon has committed $5.5 billion in India investments and sees the country as a key growth market. Bezos’ visit, however, is likely to be marred by protests across India from small business owners who allege Amazon is driving them out of business by offering sharply discounted products and favoring select big sellers on its platform. The company denies the allegations.
Bezos is in India for a two-day event being organised by Amazon for small and medium businesses. The event kicked-off in Delhi today and where he is expected to meet key leaders and policymakers, as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is said that Bezos could be scrutinized by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) which recently initiated an investigation on the basis of alleged competition law violations by Amazon as well as Flipkart.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) launched the investigation to find out if the exclusive arrangements, deep discounting and preferential listing by e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart for mobile phones are causing an adverse effect on competition. The CCI on Monday passed directions for investigation under Section 26(1) of the Competition Act, 2002.
In an 11 page order, the CCI observed that the exclusive arrangements between smartphone/mobile phone brands and e-commerce platform/select sellers selling exclusively on either of the platforms, coupled with the allegation of linkages between these preferred sellers and e-commerce companies merits an investigation. The CCI noted that though these platforms are used for selling various categories of products, for some categories the online channel constitutes a predominant channel of distribution. Smartphones is one such category of product. The Informant has claimed that Amazon and Flipkart had 36 percent and 53 percent market share, respectively, in the market for smartphones sold on online marketplaces in India in the first quarter of the year 2019.
(With inputs from Reuters)