Competition Commission starts study of ecommerce market
Fair trade watchdog CCI has started a study of ecommerce market, including business practices and identify any possible impediments to competition in the fast-growing sector.
The Competition Commission of India's (CCI) move also comes at a time when there are concerns about alleged unfair business practices by online players and other entities.
A study of the ecommerce market in India is being conducted in view of the rapid growth and the rising importance of online trade in a large number of goods and services in the country, an official release said on Tuesday.
The study will look at market trends with a particular focus on emerging distribution methods and strategies in response to ecommerce to understand business practices and contractual provisions, their underlying rationale and implications for competition.
It would also seek to identify impediments to competition, if any, relating to ecommerce to ascertain enforcement and advocacy priorities for the watchdog in the sector.
"The study intends to cover such products where the growth of online commerce has been the most significant, including both goods (such as electronics, mobiles, lifestyle etc) and services (travel and hospitality, food delivery)," the release said.
The preliminary findings of the study will be presented at a workshop to be held in August.
The final study report is expected to be published in the third quarter of 2019-20, the release said.
The ecommerce study does not form part of any investigation and/or inquiry in any of the proceedings pending before the CCI.
"The study of ecommerce is necessary given the novel issues and challenges that digital markets bring forth for competition regulation," it said.
According to the release, market studies contribute significantly to the capacity of competition authorities in appreciating competitive dynamics in markets and can also form a useful basis for competition advocacy.
The study would allow the regulator to develop a better understanding of the functioning of ecommerce in the country and its implications for markets and competition, it added.
"The enterprises concerned include ecommerce platforms, manufacturers, wholesalers/ retailers, hotels, restaurants and payment systems," the release said.
The study will be a combination of desk research, market survey and stakeholder consultation. Qualitative and quantitative information is being collected from secondary and primary sources.
Designed by a market study team at the CCI, it is being implemented by an external agency that has been engaged for the purpose, the release said.