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Jeff Bezos’s $1 Billion MSME Push Welcomed With Protests By Local Traders

Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos plans to invest around $ 1 billion to help small businesses online in India and also plans to use Amazon’s size, scope, and scale to export $10 billion of Indian goods by 2025. On the other hand, angry Indian vendors plan protests against Jeff Bezos as the authorities have launched an anti-trust investigation into e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Wallmart owned Flipkart.

Jeff Bezos came down to India for a business meeting focused on the maiden edition of Amazon’s micro, small and medium enterprises(MSME). This comes in at the moment when the Competition Commission of India(CCI) on Monday announced an investigation into Amazon and Flipkart on several complaints that claim that there have been tie-ups and deep discounting practices with preferred sellers which have probably killed small businesses.

Bezos donned the traditional Indian attire to showcase his company’s commitment to be a long-term partner of India. The firm proposed investment to assist and digitize around 10 million MSMEs by providing training and enrolling MSMEs into Amazon’s programs. Along with this, Amazon will assist them to be able to work on cloud technology through specialized offers at low costs from Amazon Web Services.

Amazon also confirmed it would fully cooperate with the investigation and was confident that its operations were legal. But traders across the country planned protests during the visit demanding the government to take action against Amazon. Several merchants have accused these e-commerce giants of breaking and disregarding foreign investment rules while giving billions of dollars into discounts that have forced many traditional traders to lose their businesses.

Amazon in the past five years has invested around $5 billion in India. They even also announced to expand it’s Amazon Easy Programme and ‘I Have Space’ Programme to support local neighborhood shops as well as Kiranas. This will look into helping shops and kiranas to set up kiosks to provide guidance to customers helping them choose the right products, place orders and earn commission on sales.

These protests were actively planned in 300 cities by The Confederation of All Indian Traders that represents around 70 million small businesses. Though the CCI said that it would report within 60 days, inquiries might take much longer time as usual. Last year, Google was fined $21 million USD by CCI for abusing Google’s dominant position for creating a search bias.

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