Amazon pares global losses but says India's e-commerce norms created uncertainty

Amazon pares global losses but says India's e-commerce norms created uncertainty
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: VCCircle
26 Apr, 2019

US e-tailing giant Amazon is compliant with all Indian e-commerce regulations, a top company executive told investors during its quarterly earnings call, adding that the Press Note 2 guidelines on e-commerce companies have heralded uncertainty.

The company has also managed to reduce its losses from international operations, which includes the India business, to $90 million during the first quarter of 2019 from over $622 million it had registered during the same quarter of 2018. 

The Seattle-based e-commerce firm's chief financial officer Brian Olsavasky said that the company was very happy with the progress it was making in India despite the disruption of business for a few days.

“We are just heading into an uncertain period with the PN2 ruling. We did make some changes to our structure to stay in compliance with all regulations. There were a few days of downtime for some of our selection. But for the full quarter, the impact was minimal. And we're in compliance and very, very happy with the progress of the business in India,” Olsavsky said.

Amazon's business was hit when the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) released the Press Note 2 guidelines late last year, barring marketplaces from selling products through companies in which they own stakes. Amazon had stakes in two of its largest sellers on the marketplace platform.

Olsavsky said that the company had a good quarter in the country despite the change in e-commerce regulations in the country and the larger customer base during the last two quarters. “We had some noise in Q3 and Q4, if you'll remember with the timing of the Diwali holiday. But we feel pretty good about the Q1 growth there, even despite some downtime in India,” he added.

Amazon is locked in an intense competition with homegrown e-commerce rival Flipkart, which was acquired by US-based retailer Walmart last year.