‘Opaque and unverified’ — Snapdeal lashes out at USTR that put the Indian e-tail major in the Notorious Markets list for having counterfeit sellers

‘Opaque and unverified’ — Snapdeal lashes out at USTR that put the Indian e-tail major in the Notorious Markets list for having counterfeit sellers
Snapdeal
  • Snapdeal and four Indian shopping complexes were listed in the latest 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy.
  • Snapdeal’s defense is that the Indian law recognises the difference between marketplace and seller, but the USTR report blurs this distinction to further a flawed point of view.
  • The Indian e-commerce firm was listed in the 2019 USTR report as well.
Indian e-commerce giant Snapdeal was in for a rude shock on Friday morning as the US Trade Representative (USTR) published a report that put the online retail firm and four Indian shopping complexes in the latest 2020 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy.

However, Snapdeal has rebuffed the report and said that this “reflects a poor understanding of the governing law in various jurisdictions, including India.”
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Snapdeal’s defense is that the Indian law recognises the difference between marketplace and seller, but the USTR report blurs this distinction to further a flawed point of view. “In doing so, it ignores clear and well-established regulatory and legal frameworks under which marketplaces operate,” said a company spokesperson.

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The USTR said Snapdeal remains a concern for right holders who report that the volume of counterfeit products on this platform has increased over the past year.

"According to a November 2018 survey, 37 per cent of purchasers reported that they had received a counterfeit product from Snapdeal. In July 2019, Snapdeal's founders were accused of criminal conduct in India for selling counterfeit products there. Right holders have also sued Snapdeal for selling counterfeit goods," it said.

In 2019, Snapdeal had been dragged to court as sellers on its platform was found to be selling counterfeit HUL (Hindustan Unilever) products.

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However, Snapdeal said that there had been no criminal accusations against the founders. “The process of collating inputs by USTR continues to be outdated, opaque and based on unverified inputs. We firmly disagree with the “findings” of the report, specifically in its observations relating to Snapdeal,” said the spokesperson.

This isn’t the first time that Snapdeal had to issue such a statement. In 2020, when it had featured in the list, the Kunal Bahl-led e-commerce company had strongly refuted the findings of the report and had said the process of collating the data was neither objective nor inclusive.

“The comments made with regard to Snapdeal are factually incorrect and repeat the falsehoods contained in the 2019 report, which Snapdeal had strongly rebutted. The lack of diligence is evident in including reference to related sites that have ceased to operate four years ago,” said the spokesperson.

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