Amazon and Flipkart face an antitrust investigation in India

Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos

Amazon.com Inc will invest $1 billion in digitizing small- and medium-businesses in India and expects to export $10 billion worth of India-made goods by 2025, its founder Jeff Bezos said on Wednesday.

As many as 3,000 small and medium businesses (SMBs), startups, and technology solution companies thronged the venue in Delhi from across the country to attend the two-day event, cheering Bezos as he spelt out his vision for India. "This country has something special, democracy", he said.

Amazon, which launched operations in India in 2013, had committed an investment of $5 billion in India in June 2016, an amount which it has already surpassed.

During his visit, Bezos will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Confederation of All India Traders, an association of about seven crore brick-and-mortar retailers, has said it will protest across 300 cities during his visit.

Merchants display placards during a sit-in protest at Sadar Bazaar in New Delhi on November 20, 2019.

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"Please think of differentiation, and that differentiation is going to come from innovation, and innovation comes from the power of the human mind".

In a post on Instagram on Saturday evening, Bezos announced that Australia would make a donation worth $ 1 million (about $ 690,000) to Amazon, which Australia has established to assist in the recovery process following fires. India's e-commerce market revenues are expected to reach $120 billion in 2020, having grown 51% annually from 2017 to 2020 according to a study by the CCI.

Earlier this month a conglomerate run by Asia's richest man has started a service that aims to compete with Amazon in India.

Amazon Web Services will help provide technical support for numerous government agencies dealing with the response and recovery efforts. Amazon, for its part, opened a huge office complex in the southern city of Hyderabad in September, underscoring its commitment to the country. Commentators slammed the fact that Bezos funneled a "tiny fraction" of what he earns, reported Business Insider.

CAIT and several offline traders have been locking horns with Amazon and Flipkart alleging that these e-commerce players were violating FDI norms, indulging in deep discounting and predatory pricing by favouring their own sellers over others. Following this, Amazon restructured its joint ventures to ensure compliance. It will expand its Amazon Easy programme.

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