Amazon takes India

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US-based e-commerce giant Amazon has set its footprints on the shores of India, which is the tenth country where it is present so far.

While the launch is a significant feat, Amazon chose to remain low key. In fact, there were no official press releases in the company’s media centre, according to reports.

Nonetheless, the site Amazon.in is very much live. The site only sells DVDs and books for now, but the other products will be added in the future. Amazon is also not charging for shipping for a limited time in hopes of attracting customers.

The newly unveiled service allows independent retailers to sell their various products from third parties through the “marketplace” model, sidestepping a law that prohibits foreign companies from directly selling products online.

It took some time for Amazon to launch officially in the Asian country due to the controls on foreign direct investment (FDI) that were put in place by the government. In the interim, Amazon hosted Junglee, which collects deals from web retailers before sending them to other sites, in order to observe market trends and collect data.

Amazon Global Vice President Paul E. Misener held meetings with Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma to discuss the possibility of lifting restrictions to allow the full Amazon service to be launched in the country.

The launch of Amazon.in coincides with the announcement by main competitor eBay that it has invested in local e-commerce site Snapdeal. With these new developments, India can expect heated competition among e-commerce players, including Flipkart, Infibeam, Snapdeal and Amazon.

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