Bezos Gets an Earful on Brief Visit to India

Government officials and small business blast Amazon and Post
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2020 6:45 PM CST
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez arrives for a blue carpet event organized by Amazon Prime Video in Mumbai, India, on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

(Newser) – Jeff Bezos' surprise trip to India may not have gone quite the way he expected. He arrived to government criticism of Washington Post coverage, the launching of an antitrust investigation of Amazon, and protests from small-business owners—despite his announcement that his company was investing $1 billion to help neighborhood stores. Among the issues he ran into on his three-day visit were:

  • The announcement of a government probe into Amazon and Flipkart, an online retailer in India mostly owned by Walmart. Small traders had called for the investigation after regulations to limit the company's market power—especially concerning online sales of cellphones—didn't work, the New York Times reports. To protect Indian retailers and distributors, the law mandates that foreign-owned e-commerce firms be neutral marketplaces, like eBay, and only feature products from independent sellers—rather than buy, say, televisions wholesale and resell them to consumers.

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