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BENGALURU : More than 2,000 online sellers have filed an antitrust case with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against Amazon India, reviving allegations of anti-competitive practices by the e-commerce giant.

The allegations add to existing regulatory concerns against the firm and are primarily against Amazon India favouring some sellers by giving deep discounts, which impacts independent sellers.

The online sellers alleged that Amazon Wholesale India Pvt. Ltd (AWIPL) buys goods in bulk from manufacturers and sells them to sellers such as Cloudtail at a loss, which are then listed on Amazon.in at deep discounts.

AWIPL operates a B2B marketplace (amazondistribution.in) where 350,000 small and medium offline sellers buy different categories of products for resale to customers or for institutional consumption.

“Amazon gives preferential treatment to its own entities like Cloudtail and independent sellers are unable to compete. Deep discounts are facilitated through its own sellers on their marketplace as well as private labels," said a person familiar with the matter, on condition of anonymity.

In January, CCI, India’s antitrust watchdog, had announced that it would investigate the two largest e-commerce firms—Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart—following allegations by a trader body that they were engaged in anti-competitive practices in the smartphone category.

In the latest instance, the All India Online Vendors Association, which sells products on e-commerce platforms, alleged that Amazon engages in unfair business practices.

“This anti-competitive arrangement ... is causing foreclosure of competition by driving independent sellers out of the market," said a filing made on 10 August with the CCI.

Chanakya Basa, a lawyer for the sellers’ group, said the case was filed earlier this month, but declined to elaborate.

An Amazon India spokesperson said Amazon.in is a pure third-party marketplace.

“Sellers on Amazon.in have the absolute discretion to decide what products to sell and their prices. Amazon is compliant to all relevant laws of the land and operates the marketplace with high degree of transparency and uniformity," the spokesperson said.

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