Amazon Current Affairs - 2019

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Govt releases Draft e-Commerce Guidelines for Consumer Protection 2019

Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (Department of Consumer Affairs) has published draft e-Commerce Guidelines for consumer protection 2019. These guidelines will be applicable on all business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce platforms.

Draft e-Commerce Guidelines for Consumer Protection 2019

  • It aims to make e-commerce platforms and their sellers more transparent and accountable to consumers. It also seeks to curb sale of counterfeit products online and unfair trade practices by e-commerce companies
  • It proposes series of consumer safeguards that forbid e-commerce companies from influencing pricing, adopting unfair promotion methods or misrepresenting the quality of goods and services.
  • It also mandates e-commerce companies to protect personally-identifiable information of customers. In this case, data collection and storage and use should comply with provisions of Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008.
  • It mandates e-commerce firms to self-declare compliance and also provide way for customers to contact them directly.
  • It proposes to make mandatory for e-commerce entities to accept returns in event products delivered are defective, wrong or spurious or if they do not have characteristics or features advertised.
  • It also mandates every e-commerce entity has to publish contact details of its grievance officer, who would have to address complaints within one month from the date of receipt.
  • It makes mandatory for e-commerce platforms to declare all details about their sellers including address, website and email address.
  • It also mandates them to display terms of contract with the seller relating to return, refund, exchange, warranty, delivery and mode of payments.

Gafa Tax: France to levy 3% tax on Internet giants

The French parliament approved a law dubbed as Gafa Tax (an acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), the legislation will impose a 3% levy on sales generated in the country by non-tax paying online giants.

Key Highlights

Levying this 3% tax on total annual revenues of largest technology firms providing services to French consumers would make France 1st major economy to impose a tax on internet heavyweights.

Background: At present, digital companies pay nearly no tax in countries where they have large sales like France. The Bill was adopted by National Assembly last week has got its final approval from Senate.

Objective: To stop multinationals from avoiding taxes by setting up headquarters in low-tax European Union (EU) countries. At present, companies pay nearly no tax in countries where they have large sales such as France.

Applicable on: The tax would be applied only to companies with global revenues in excess of €500 million and revenue of at least €25 million from UK activities.

Implications:

As per France’s Finance Ministry estimations the Gafa tax will raise about €500 million ($566 million) in 2019 but that should increase “quickly.”

The tech industry has warned that it could lead to higher costs for consumers.

It could also affect US multinational companies such as Airbnb and Uber as well as those from China and Europe.

Way ahead: Although France failed to persuade European Union (EU) partners to impose a Europe-wide tax on online giants, but it is pushing for an international deal with member countries of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).