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Competition Commission of India watching e-commerce

The public watchdog is 'assessing the changes' happening to the domestic retail with the expansion of e-commerce

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  Lucknow 

Riding fast on the e-way

Competition Commission of India (CCI) is keeping a close watch on e-commerce as the latter continues to permeate newer aspects of retail in the country.

The public watchdog is "assessing the changes" happening to the domestic retail with the expansion of e-commerce.

"E-commerce is one of the disruptive technologies we are looking at as it brings structural changes to trade and economy," CCI Advisor (Financial Analysis) Renuka Jain Gupta told Business Standard on the sidelines of a workshop at Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow (IIM-L).

"Disruptive" referred to technological innovation, she explained, which would play out its own market dynamics in retail space.

"E-commerce is a new way of retail trade even as the brick-and-mortar format would also exist. The interplay between the traditional and e-commerce will create new dynamics and dimensions in the market and economy. We are in the process of assessing its likely effects on trade and consumers," she informed.

The workshop on 'Competition Law and Public Procurement' was organised recently by IIM-L in association with CCI, Work Bank Group India and Public Procurement Observatory for UP.

She underlined that CCI strived to safeguarding the interests of trade, commerce and general consumers, while ensuring a level playing field existed for the entry of new players.

Gupta said CCI conducted internal studies, market studies and collected information from different sources for opinion forming, advisories, competition assessment and settling trade disputes.

"Such studies and data collection helps CCI in estimating a likely picture developing in the realm of trade and economy, so that adequate measures in the form of advocacies or advisories could be taken," Gupta underlined.

While, CCI gets about 1,000 complaints every month, there are instances when the macro watchdog takes suo motu cognizance of cases, although such cases are much smaller in number.

Replying to a question, she said most cases coming to CCI by way of complaints pertained to real estate sector, followed by pharmaceutical and cement sector.

Earlier, the workshop was inaugurated by CCI chairman Ashok Chawla in the attendance of around 70 delegates from UNICEF, World Bank, CCI, UP government and public sector undertakings (PSU).

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First Published: Mon, November 30 2015. 17:00 IST