Amazon’s $ 1 billion investment in India is not a big favor: minister

FILE PHOTO: Amazon boxes are stacked for delivery in the Manhattan district of New York on January 29, 2016. REUTERS / Mike Segar / File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Amazon (AMZN.O) it has not done India a great favor by investing $ 1 billion in the country, its trade minister said Thursday, revealing tensions with the US online retail giant. UU. during a visit from its CEO Jeff Bezos.

Amazon and Walmart (WMT.N) Flipkart faces the growing criticism of brick and mortar retailers in India, who accuse American giants of violating Indian law by accumulating billions of dollars in losses to finance large discounts and discriminate against small sellers. Companies deny the accusations.

“They may have contributed a billion dollars, but then, if they lose a billion dollars every year, they have to finance those billion dollars,” said Indian trade minister Piyush Goyal at a security conference in New Delhi.

“So it’s not like they are doing India a great favor when they invest a billion dollars.”

Bezos, currently in India, said Wednesday that Amazon would invest $ 1 billion to bring small businesses online in the country, seen as part of the company’s efforts to dispel criticism.

Before the visit of Bezos, the Competition Commission of India launched an investigation into Amazon and Flipkart to analyze the charges of large discounts and whether companies discriminate against small sellers.

Goyal said the accusations were “an area of ​​concern for all Indians.”

Aditya Kalra report; Edition of Sanjeev Miglani; Edition by Mark Potter

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