Aug 10, 2021, 10:03AM ISTSource: TOI.in

Amazon India and the parent company of Cloudtail, the largest seller on the Amazon.in platform, will not continue with their seven-year-old joint venture when it comes up for renewal in May next year. The announcement by the US e-commerce giant came hours after the Supreme Court on Monday refused to halt antitrust probes against the country’s largest e-commerce players, Amazon and Flipkart. Cloudtail’s parent, Prione Business Services, is jointly owned by Catamaran, led by Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy and Amazon. Catamaran, which originally held 51% in the JV, raised its stake to 76% in 2019 following the government’s Press Note 2 notification a year earlier. The provisions in the note prohibited online marketplaces such as Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon from allowing their group companies to sell on the platforms. “The two partners today announced they have mutually decided to not continue their joint venture beyond the end of its current term,” Amazon and Catamaran said in a joint statement. Press Note 2 followed allegations by local trade bodies that large company-owned sellers on the ecommerce platforms – such as Cloudtail on Amazon and WS Retail on Flipkart – indulged in deep discounting and did a lion’s share of the business, while smaller sellers were becoming the victims of such anti-competitive practices. Last year, the country’s antitrust watchdog, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), also ordered a probe against Amazon and Flipkart, acting on complaints by Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, a body representing small sellers. The companies moved the Supreme Court against the CCI probe, denying any wrongdoing.

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