Friday, 15 October 2021 09:51

Amazon accused of copying products, rigging search results in India Featured

By
Amazon accused of copying products, rigging search results in India Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Online retail giant Amazon has been accused of copying Indian products and manipulating search results to favour its own products over private Indian brands, according to a Reuters investigation. Amazon has denied the claims.

The report, on Wednesday, by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi and Steve Secklow in London, examined thousands of internal documents from the Jeff Bezos-owned company. It said the copying and rigging of search results was systematic and part of a formal strategy employed by the company.

"...thousands of pages of internal Amazon documents examined by Reuters — including emails, strategy papers and business plans — show the company ran a systematic campaign of creating knockoffs and manipulating search results to boost its own product lines in India, one of the company’s largest growth markets," Kalra and Secklow wrote.

"The documents reveal how Amazon’s private-brands team in India secretly exploited internal data from Amazon.in to copy products sold by other companies, and then offered them on its platform.

"The employees also stoked sales of Amazon private-brand products by rigging Amazon’s search results so that the company’s products would appear, as one 2016 strategy report for India put it, 'in the first 2 or three … search results' when customers were shopping on Amazon.in."

On learning of this, American senator Elizabeth Warren, a member of the Democratic Party from Massachusetts and a long-time critic of Amazon, called for breaking up Amazon while Indian retailers urged their own government to conduct an investigation.

Warren linked to the Reuters story on Twitter and said: "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."

The Confederation of All India Traders that claims to represent 80 million retails stores, said, through its spokesman Praveen Khandelwal,: "Amazon is causing a great disadvantage to the small manufacturers. They are eating the cake that is not meant for them."

Indian retailers have also accused Walmart's Flipkart of indulging in unfair business practices that hurt small Indian companies.

Amazon denied it had done anything wrong, saying: "We believe these claims are factually incorrect and unsubstantiated."

The Alliance of Digital India Foundation, a non-profit which represents some of India's bigger start-ups, said the practices that had been detailed were highly deplorable.

"The Reuters investigation brings to light Amazon’s blatant disregard for competition laws, intellectual property rights and disgraceful predatory practices," it said in a blog post.

"The manner in which the e-commerce giant has targeted the Indian market and leading brands in the country is highly deplorable and brings into question the credibility of Amazon as a good faith operator in the Indian startup ecosystem.

"These findings go on to validate the allegations and fears of various stakeholders and serve as incriminating evidence. It’s worth noting that Amazon has on multiple occasions, including during formal hearings, denied any wrongdoing that involves making use of consumer data to drive advantage for its own brands and products."

The Reuters report said: "In sworn testimony before the US Congress in 2020, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos explained that the e-commerce giant prohibits its employees from using the data on individual sellers to help its private-label business.

"And, in 2019, another Amazon executive testified that the company does not use such data to create its own private-label products or alter its search results to favour them."


Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here
BACK TO LATEST NEWS here

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments