comscore Flipkart, Amazon do not violate e-commerce guidelines by advertising discounts: DIPP

Flipkart, Amazon do not violate e-commerce guidelines by advertising discounts: DIPP

DIPP sources said that advertisements for discounts by Amazon, Flipkart are part of the business and do not violate e-commerce guidelines.

  • Updated: October 4, 2016 7:05 PM IST

Online retailers like Flipkart and Amazon India have been courting controversies in regards to advertisements for discounts. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) however says that advertisements for discounts are a part of the business and not in violation of e-commerce guidelines. Offline players, including traders body CAIT, have been raising concerns over these advertisements alleging that they infringe the guidelines. Sources said that sellers and brands registered on the e-marketplace platforms can communicate to the buyers only through these advertisements and the guidelines does not restrict them from offering advertisements for discounts. Also Read - Amazon announces Prime Friday sale: Check top offers here

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“There is no problem in giving advertisements. It is part of the business. They are also putting disclaimers that these discounts are extended by vendors,” sources in the DIPP say. According to an expert, e-commerce marketplace firms cannot offer discounts on their own as it would result in predatory pricing but they can pass on the discounts provided by the vendors and sellers registered with the platforms. On the other hand, National Secretary General of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Praveen Khandelwal said, “This is a clear violation of the guidelines. The problem with the guidelines is that these do not contain any penal provisions. We will soon be writing to the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister on the issue.” Also Read - Flipkart delivers iPhone 14 to a customer instead of iPhone 13; netizens react

As per DIPP guidelines, the e-commerce players providing marketplace will not directly or indirectly influence the sale price of goods or services and shall maintain level playing field. Seeking to take advantage of the ongoing festival season, e-retailers like Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal have announced mega media blitz to attract consumers. Snapdeal has said that the company witnessed a nine-fold increase in sales volume during the Unbox Diwali discount offer, with 37 sellers on its platform crossing Rs 1-crore turnover mark each on the first day itself.

  • Published Date: October 4, 2016 7:00 PM IST
  • Updated Date: October 4, 2016 7:05 PM IST
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