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After sinking billions, Walmart, Amazon haven't learnt their place in India

India is effectively muzzling the two leading US players. and it's tilting balance in favor of offline commerce, away from digital startups that are India's best bet for rebuilding the economy.

Photo: Bloomberg
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Amazon and Walmart are dominant, but in a tiny corner, as they occupy only 4% of India’s $800 billion retail market. Photo: Bloomberg

Andy Mukherjee | Bloomberg
The list of what e-commerce platforms aren’t allowed to do in India has been growing for some time, but the latest prohibition on flash sales has simply gone too far. If the rules get implemented, the entire business model of Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc. could come unstuck before their investments in a market of 1.4 billion people can grow to a rewarding size. 

While a lofty public purpose can always be tacked on as an afterthought to the most draconian of regulations, in this case the fig leaf is thinner than usual. It’s hard to see how “significantly reduced

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First Published: Jun 30 2021 | 7:14 AM IST

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