Amazon India said it was removing listings and suspending accounts of sellers on its platform pricing their products above the maximum retail price (MRP) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is no place for price gouging on Amazon and in line with our policy we continue to actively monitor our marketplace and take necessary action including removal of listings and suspension of accounts against sellers who are selling products above the MRP, which is in violation of Indian laws,” reads a statement from Amazon India, an e-commerce giant in the country.
In February, Amazon had warned third-party sellers on its marketplace to refrain from charging exorbitant prices for face masks amid the global outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The company had found the cost of the facemasks was non-compliant with its pricing mechanism.
In March 2020, Amazon had also removed hundreds of thousands of “high-priced offers” and suspended accounts of thousands of sellers who were found involved in price gouging. The company was reported to have removed as many as 530,000 products from its marketplace and suspended 2,500 seller accounts.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the apex body of traders in the country, on April 26 accused e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart of delivering non-essential items flouting the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by different states.
In its letter to Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, the CAIT alleged that Amazon and Flipkart were taking undue advantage of the pandemic by making illegitimate financial gains by delivering non-essential items.
“In furtherance of the illegal activities being carried out by Amazon and Flipkart, they have started taking undue advantage of the pandemic by making illegitimate financial gains by supplying non-essential items which have been strictly prohibited by many state administrations due to ongoing lockdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic,” the traders’ body stated in its letter. CNBC-TV18