CCP issues show cause notice to

Watchdog alleges deceptive marketing practices, thus violating Section 10 of Competition Act, 2010

Our Correspondent February 07, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The antitrust watchdog has initiated proceedings against - an online trading platform - on allegations of deceptive marketing practices, as its initial inquiry found that it was not meeting its obligations with regard to disputes between the seller and buyer.

The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has issued a show cause notice to, according to an official handout.

The CCP has alleged the trading platform indulged in deceptive marketing practices with regard to resolution of disputes between buyers and sellers, return policy, payment and shipping methods and vague terms and conditions thus deceiving consumers in violation of Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010.

Show-cause notice issued to over deceptive marketing practices sells consumer goods like electronics, shoes, clothes, jewellery and cameras. It is a venture of Rocket Internet in Pakistan along with Carmudi, Lamudi, EasyTaxi and FoodPanda.

Africa Internet Group (AIG) launched the website in December 2012, which is an e-commerce company in Africa. AIG is currently operating in 26 countries and is involved in creating 71 companies in 8 different verticals since its inception, which includes online retail, food ordering platform, online marketplace, real estate marketplace, vehicle marketplace, taxi hailing, online travel agency and peer to peer (P2P) lending marketplace.

The complaint

The CCP conducted an enquiry upon receiving a complaint from a Pakistani citizen alleging that is involved in deceptive marketing practices by committing different violations. The complainant had bought a wristwatch by using the platform.

“The case of the watch was torn and the watch itself was very different as compared to the one shown in the product description on the website,” according to the complainant.

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After analysing the facts, the enquiry report found of deceiving its customers via self-contradictory information provided on the website and by omission of fair warnings with regard to the seller’s return policy, said the CCP. response

At the inquiry stage, the website management replied, “It is neither the manufacturer/seller of the product nor does it have the responsibility of ensuring the quality of the product. The website’s obligation does not include distribution of the product, its development, designing, marketing or supplying.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2017.

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