Government officials keep distance from Bezos

New Delhi/Bangalore: the growing concerns of small merchants led government officials to visit Amazon boss Jeff Bezos a lady

Although Bezos, who is among the richest men, landed in the capital on Tuesday and spent most of Wednesday in Delhi, he limited the scope of his second trip to India after more than five years to meet with businessmen, merchants and the film industry. .

Government sources said the ministers in the Narendra Modi The cabinet did not show much inclination in the meeting Bezos given the recent anti-trust probe announced into Amazon India as well as allegations of the company not complying with foreign investment rules in letter and spirit.

With the Delhi elections less than a month away, the BJP government may have chosen to avoid the retail giant, which is often accused of destroying small businesses.

While an Amazon spokesperson did not respond to TOI’s queries, sources close to Amazon India played down the issue, saying Bezos did not ask for meetings with government officials even though various reports earlier this month said he may meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit. Bezos had met Modi during his last official visit in October 2014 and then in June 2016 when Modi visited the US, when Amazon announced plans to increase India investments from $2 billion to $5 billion.

His visit comes as the Competition Commission of India (CCI) is probing Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart over exclusive arrangements, giving preference to a few sellers, promoting private labels and deep discounts.

During the Delhi leg of his trip, Bezos addressed small businesses, flew a kite with kids to celebrate Makar Sankranti and then also chaired a review of the India business.

On Thursday, he is expected to be in Mumbai, where he will attend a Prime Video event with Bollywood celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan and A R Rahman, besides visiting some Amazon sellers and partners in the city.

On Friday, he is expected to meet with corporate leaders, including Mukesh Ambani from Reliance Industries, which recently launched a competitive JioMart market, in addition to Kishore Biyani from Future Group and others.