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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

CCI concludes Amazon is not dominant in online fashion, dismisses antitrust complaints

The Netherlands-based Lifestyle Equities had alleged that Amazon had leveraged its dominance in favour of its own labels and preferred sellers by giving them higher search ranking and positive customer reviews to the disadvantage of other sellers.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | September 13, 2020 12:40:59 am
Amazon store, online fashion, Competition Commission of India, Indian economy, Indian express newsThe Competition Commission of India (CCI), however, concluded that Amazon did not have a dominant position in the relevant market.

The competition regulator has dismissed allegations of abuse of dominance against Amazon in the online fashion retail space, finding that the company is not dominant in the relevant market.

The Netherlands-based Lifestyle Equities had alleged that Amazon had leveraged its dominance in favour of its own labels and preferred sellers by giving them higher search ranking and positive customer reviews to the disadvantage of other sellers.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI), however, concluded that Amazon did not have a dominant position in the relevant market, noting that vertical online fashion retail players such as Myntra, Ajio, Koovs etc held a market share of around 50 per cent, while the combined share of horizontal online marketplaces Amazon and Flipkart was around 35 per cent, citing a Redseer report from 2019.

“Looking at the present market construct, it does not appear that any one platform is occupying a dominant position in the relevant market,” the CCI said in its order.

LIfestyle equities had also alleged that Amazon had caused reputational damage to the former’s Beverly Hills Polo Club (BHPC) brand by selling counterfeit/unlicensed products of the brand at a lower price compared to genuine products.

The CCI noted that while the online sale of counterfeit goods was a legitimate concern for brands, it needed to be taken up with other regulatory authorities and not the the CCI.

“Though it is understood that online sale of counterfeits could be a matter of concern for brands and consumers alike, given that OP-1 (Amazon) is not dominant in the relevant market, the issue does not lend itself to antitrust scrutiny,” theCommission concluded.

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