Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon Inc and the owner of Washington Post is in India for a tour even as several small traders are planning to stage protests against the retail giant for distorting the local market. India’s antitrust chief Ashok Kumar Gupta told Reuters on Tuesday that big e-commerce companies in India should not offer deep discounts which can potentially hurt and small-scale brick and mortar retailers in India. Amidst the ruckus, Union Minister Piyush Goyal had decided not to meet the WaPo owner Jeff Bezos during his three-day India visit. Now, sources have confirmed to OpIndia that Prime Minister Modi too will not be meeting Jeff Bezos personally.
The e-commerce player has come under investigations on multiple counts, including deep discounts and exclusive tie-up with preferred sellers, in India. On Monday, in a major setback ahead of Bezos’ India visit, fair market watchdog, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered an enquiry into the operations of both Amazon and Flipkart on multiple counts, including deep discounts and exclusive tie-up with preferred sellers.
Finding merit in the allegations levelled by traders” body Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, the Commission asked its Director General (DG) to complete the investigation in 60 days from the receipt of the order.
However, other than Amazon’s market practices, there could be another crucial feature that has got Minister Piyush Goyal refusing a meeting with Bezos. In 2013, Jeff Bezos had purchased the Washington Post. Recently, Washington Post, owned by Bezos has launched a vicious campaign against India and its internal matters, whether it is the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir or even the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Washington Post harbours a deep-seated and mindless hatred for the Indian Prime Minister and has, on several occasions, written lie-ridden, baseless article to malign India and its ruling, democratically elected dispensation.
Washington Post has increasing been peddling an anti-India narrative with a special target painted by them on the back of Hindus.
When OpIndia reached out to sources about Minister Piyush Goyal not meeting Jeff Bezos, they confirmed that other than the unfair trade practices of Amazon, Washington Post’s sans-fact rhetoric against India is also one of the factors that have gone into the decision of not meeting Jeff Bezos.
With Prime Minister Modi and Minister Piyush Goyal declining to meet Jeff Bezos, India seems to be sending a strong message to international media and businesses. India is concerned about protecting its interests and global players need to be mindful to not indulge in attempts to hurt domestic interests by indulging in petty propaganda or unfair trade practices.