E-commerce firms may soon have to disclose who is funding their discounts, reported Business Standard, citing sources, adding that the move is to ensure companies are not indulging in predatory pricing.
According to the sources mentioned in the report, under the upcoming e-commerce policy, e-commerce platforms will have to give proof with every product that the slash in prices is funded by the seller or brand rather than the platform itself.
“Under the e-commerce policy guidelines, platforms might have to give a detailed break-up of the discount in the pricing details to ensure e-commerce portals are not the ones financing it. Companies would even need to get yearly audits of discounts done mandatorily by independent auditors to ensure there has been no predatory pricing,” a commerce ministry official was quoted as saying in the report.
According to the report, the move is being initiated by the government to negate the undue advantage online platforms have and instead provide offline stores with the level playing field.
The new policy, the report added, will also include provisions around data localisation, and a regulatory authority to monitor the e-commerce business. In addition, the report said, the government might also heavily regulate cash-backs given on various platforms to ensure discounts are not given via the cash-back routes.