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'Flipkart's Big Billion Day sale not being probed'


New Delhi: Union Commerce and Industries Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said there was no inquiry into complaints against e-commerce giant Flipkart of predatory pricing of goods and unfair trade practices during its recent 'Big Billion Day' sale.

"I would like to state that no enquiry has been planned or proposed on the e-retailer on the concerns raised by customers on the big billion day sale," she told reporters.

On October 8, Ms Sitharaman had said that the Centre would look into complaints of predatory prices on goods sold by Flipkart after allegations of unfair trade practices were levelled against it during the discount sale on October 6.

"We have received many inputs. Lot of concerns have been expressed. We will look into it," she had said.

But the minister said her earlier remarks had been misinterpreted.

"My earlier three-sentence remarks were interpreted in three million ways on the Flipkart issue," she said.

Ms Sitharaman also declined to comment on tax issues involving another e-retailer, Amazon.

The Karnataka tax department had sent notices to third party merchants working with Amazon India, directing them to stop storing their products in Amazon's Bangalore fulfilment centre.

Tax authorities reportedly claimed that Amazon should pay sales tax for all the orders through its fulfillment service since they believe that Amazon owns these goods for all "practical" purposes.

Amazon, however, claimed that it is just a service provider and doesn't own the goods at any point of sale and hence, is not liable to pay the tax.

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