In the present case, product listings on the site seem to have been manipulated by circumventing the automated system that Amazon has in place.

Amazon India employees allegedly shared internal data with merchants probe on
Atom Data Breach Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 17:45

Amazon and issues related to sellers on its platform cannot be kept away for long. Now the latest issue relates to some rogue sellers on its sites in India and US indulging in manipulation of the system to eliminate certain other sellers and some Amazon employees appear to have colluded in this activity. The matter is currently being investigated by the company and already several of its employees in both India and the US have been ‘dismissed’.

Interestingly, a report on this has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and it goes on to say the Indian arm of Amazon has been found to be responsible for data misuse internally by employees. In the present case, they seem to have manipulated the product listings on the site through circumvention of the automated system that Amazon has in place. This leads to the affected sellers getting negative scores and their accounts being deleted from the platform.

The sellers don’t seem to have approached their trade body, the All India Online Vendors Association, but the association has responded to the news report by acknowledging that black sheep do exist among their trading community. However, they want that online platforms like Amazon should not have unilateral powers to block funds or impose penalties on traders, but follow some regulation which allows for the affected trader to challenge the actions.

One delisted trader has issued a statement that he was handed out delisting in an unfair manner.

Amazon India is yet to respond to the situation but the company definitely has a monumental task at hand cleaning up its stable. The issue of counterfeit products being sold on its platform and possibly the other ecommerce sites as well, has been reported by the Indian media earlier also.

There is an internal brand registry in Amazon India in which some 5,000 brands have signed up. Amazon is trying to ensure that only genuine products listed in the catalogues are displayed and sold on its platform.   

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