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Dept of Consumer Affairs reprimands Amazon and Byju’s for unfair consumer practices: Report
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Dept of Consumer Affairs reprimands Amazon and Byju’s for unfair consumer practices: Report

| @indiablooms | 22 Feb 2023, 08:22 pm

New Delhi: The Department of Consumer Affairs has reprimanded the ed-tech company Byju’s and e-commerce giant Amazon for engaging in unfair consumer practices, media reports said.

According to a Financial Express report, Amazon’s algorithms show private labels and of the companies, it has investments in as top results for the searches while BYJU’s has been castigated for misleading advertisements.

"We have told Amazon that your algorithms and the way you throw results at people have to be fair. You can't have your own labels and companies in which you have invested appear on top of search results. This is not fair," Rohit Kumar Singh, secretary, department of consumer affairs, was quoted as saying at an industry seminar, in the FE report.

The balance between the sellers and the consumers shouldn’t be tipped, he stressed.

"We had called all the edtech companies and said don't put pressure on students. Don't have Shah Rukh Khan telling a mom that two tutors are better than one tutor, get two for the price of one," Singh said on Byjus's.

The Consumer Protection Act, 2019, empowers the department to take action against the companies for misleading advertisements and unfair trade practices.

It also gives power to the consumers to seek redressal against unfair trade practices, restrictive trade practices and exploitation of consumers.

The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) can take cognisance of such malpractices on its own or act upon the complaints by consumers.

"How is it that when I search Google for a shoe, the next thing on my Facebook feed is a shoe advertisement? Who is responsible for that? I know it is good for the sellers, but as a consumer, it is very painful and hurts my rights that information about me, my choices is being shared without my express consent," Singh added.

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