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Senator Warren urges Amazon breakup, India retailers want probe after Reuters story


NEW DELHI, Oct 14 (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren known as for breaking up Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Indian retailers demanded a authorities probe of the corporate after a Reuters investigation confirmed the e-commerce big had copied merchandise and rigged search ends in India.

The Reuters report, reviewing 1000’s of inner Amazon paperwork, discovered that the U.S. firm ran a scientific marketing campaign of making knockoffs and manipulating search outcomes to spice up its personal personal manufacturers in India, one of many firm’s largest development markets.

Wednesday’s report confirmed for the primary time that, no less than in India, manipulating search outcomes to favour Amazon’s personal merchandise, in addition to copying different sellers’ items, have been a part of a proper technique at Amazon – and that no less than two senior executives had reviewed it.

Linking to the story on Twitter, Warren, a long-time critic of Amazon, mentioned “these documents show what we feared about Amazon’s monopoly power — that the company is willing and able to rig its platform to benefit its bottom line while stiffing small businesses and entrepreneurs.”

“This is one of the many reasons we need to break it up,” she mentioned.

A bunch representing thousands and thousands of India’s brick-and-mortar retailers mentioned on Thursday the nation’s authorities should launch an investigation into Amazon.

“Amazon is causing a great disadvantage to the small manufacturers. They are eating the cake that is not meant for them,” Praveen Khandelwal of the Confederation of All India Traders advised Reuters. The group says it represents 80 million retail shops within the nation.

Indian retailers say international e-commerce companies like Amazon and Walmart Inc’s (WMT.N) Flipkart bask in unfair enterprise practices that damage smaller corporations, allegations the businesses deny.

Amazon didn’t reply to a request for touch upon reactions to the report.

In response to questions for Wednesday’s report, Amazon mentioned, “We believe these claims are factually incorrect and unsubstantiated”. The firm didn’t elaborate. It added that Amazon shows “search results based on relevance to the customer’s search query, irrespective of whether such products have private brands offered by sellers or not.”

Warren, a outstanding Democrat, advocated the breakup of Amazon and different tech giants in 2019 when she was working for president. Since then, as a senator from Massachusetts, she has continued to use stress on firms like Amazon.

In sworn testimony earlier than Congress final yr, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos mentioned the corporate prohibits its workers from utilizing knowledge on particular person sellers to assist its private-label enterprise. And, in 2019, one other Amazon govt testified that the corporate doesn’t use such knowledge to create its personal private-label merchandise or alter its search outcomes to favour them.

The Amazon paperwork reviewed by Reuters confirmed how the corporate’s private-brands group in India secretly exploited inner knowledge from its India unit to repeat merchandise bought by different firms, then provided them on its platform.

The firm promoted gross sales of its personal manufacturers like AmazonFundamentals by rigging search outcomes on its platform in India in order that its merchandise would seem, as one 2016 technique report put it, “in the first 2 or three … search results.”

The Alliance of Digital India Foundation, a non-profit representing a few of India’s greatest startups, mentioned the practices detailed within the Reuters report have been “highly deplorable”, calling into query “the credibility of Amazon as a good faith operator in the Indian startup ecosystem”.

In a blog post, the group urged the Indian authorities to take motion in opposition to “Amazon’s predatory playbook of copying, rigging and killing Indian brands”.

A high official within the financial wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological father or mother of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling occasion, urged customers to shun the corporate on Thursday.

“I name upon individuals of this nation to #boycottAmazon,” Ashwani Mahajan, co-convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, mentioned on Twitter.

Reporting by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi; Editing by William Mallard

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A man inspects trucks before they enter an Amazon storage facility on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, October 1, 2021. Picture taken October 1, 2021. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questions Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Federal Reserve Chairman Powell during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the CARES Act, at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, U.S., September 28, 2021. Kevin Dietsch/Pool via REUTERS//File Photo

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