Anupam Manur was quoted in Mint on the antitrust case filed against Amazon and Flipkart:
“To say that an exclusive arrangement between an e-commerce company and a smartphone brand on one or some products is having an adverse impact on competition in the entire sector is a stretch,” said Anupam Manur, assistant professor at think tank Takshashila Institution and an antitrust regulation researcher. “There is no reason given as to why competition is being hurt. There are other smartphone models sold on other sites and in offline stores.”
CCI’s own orders in the past have avoided considering specific product categories as “relevant markets”, said Manur. “When you’re going against the principles that you’ve expressed in previous orders, you need compelling evidence. That isn’t there over here,” said Manur.
One area in e-commerce where there is a clear-cut potential for antitrust abuse is the private label businesses of Amazon and Flipkart. Both companies have access to data on shopping patterns and preferences of customers, and can use this to offer their labels that are priced lower than other brands. Private label products have higher margins.
“This business can have detrimental effects on other sellers in the market. If, in the search listings, private labels are being promoted ahead of others, that’s a problem. It’s a violation of platform neutrality that needs to be investigated,” said Manur of Takshashila Institution.
The full article can be read here