Law & Trade
In yet another stand-off between e-commerce companies and state authorities, Kerala's commercial taxes department has slapped a fine on Flipkart, Jabong, Vector E-commerce Pvt Ltd (which holds a stake in Myntra) and Robemall Apparels Pvt Ltd (which operates zovi.com). The fine, Rs 54 crore (USD8.7 million) overall, has been levied for evasion of sales tax in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
The government is exploring ways to allow more companies, including South Korea-based Lotte Group, to operate duty-free services at airports and downtown areas.
Currently, King Power, the country's largest duty-free company, is the sole concessionaire operating duty-free shops at Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and Phuket airports overseen by the Airports of Thailand (AoT).
Under pressure from the US, the government might again be compelled to review the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in multi-brand retail trading (MBRT). At the forefront is American retail giant Walmart, demonstrating a renewed interest in entering India’s fast growing retail market, estimated at USD600 billion. Currently, Walmart operates 20 cash-and-carry or wholesale stores in the country, for which there’s no foreign investment cap.
Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo came under fire yesterday for buying supplies from Chinese factories accused of putting workers at risk in unsafe conditions, with sewage on the floor, extremely high temperatures and poor ventilation.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will block US sales of children’s products that have been deemed unsafe or illegal by American regulators.
To view the full article (note: you must be a Wall Street Journal Online subscriber), visit The Wall Street Journal Online.
The year gone by could easily be termed as the year when e-commerce in India took its giant leap with millions of consumers logging in to the e-route for their purchases - from the usual favourites like apparel, electronics and books to even houses and cars. This was preceded by a series of blockbuster funding and acquisitions, mostly by big boys of the rising industry in India.
Australian supermarket giant Coles has been ordered to pay AUD10 million (USD8.1m) in penalties for "serious, deliberate and repeated" misconduct towards suppliers that were in some cases in financial trouble.
The Federal Court ruled in favour of a settlement between the retailer and the consumer watchdog, agreed by the parties last week.
Justice Michelle Gordon said the behaviour by Coles was orchestrated and relentless and involved threatening harm to suppliers by unlawfully withholding funds or demanding payments.
Woolworths buyers have told suppliers their products could be pulled from shelves just days before Christmas if they refuse to fund the supermarket giant's new Cheap Cheap advertising campaign.
"I was asked for a contribution of almost $1 million, and when I refused to pay I was told a 'range review' was under way and I would be informed of the outcome early next week," said the sales manager of one of Australia's leading health product companies. "The implied threat is that some of my products will no longer be stocked if I don't pay up."
In a major backflip, Australian supermarket chain Coles has offered to refund certain payments to suppliers after admitting that it engaged in unconscionable conduct.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission confirmed on Monday that it was seeking orders from the Federal Court in Melbourne – including declarations and fines – after reaching agreement with Coles to settle two separate legal proceedings involving unconscionable conduct.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Thursday said it discovered discrepancies in pricing and inventory at its China operations in 2011 and has since reinforced its compliance policies in the country.
The issues were not material to the company's operations, Wal-Mart China spokesman Raymond Bracy said.
Wal-Mart implemented a "prescriptive action plan" after an extensive investigation involving external legal and accounting firms. Leadership changes were made and disciplinary action taken, Bracy said in a statement.