Consumer poised to take centre stage as government close to finalising new e-commerce norms
The government is close to finalising the contours of the new norms, which may also address issues such as predatory pricing and preferential treatment, according to sources.
The central government is planning certain revisions in the laws applicable to the e-commerce industries that may seek to increase focus on consumer care, promote a level playing field for the businesses, and define the scope of responsibilities for large platforms, sources told Zee Business.
The government is close to finalising the contours of the new norms, which may also address issues such as predatory pricing and preferential treatment, the sources said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi may soon hold a meeting with all stakeholders, including industry players and associations, they added.
Besides, Zee Business also learned that the new norms will include provisions to ensure:
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- That e-commerce platforms be restricted from promoting the brands of its holding or parent companies
- A level playing field for emerging platforms
- Only registered platforms are permitted to sell goods
- Platforms will cover aspects such as the quality of registered products and aftersales services
- Transparency in the cataloging of products on e-commerce sites
- Genuine and clear product reviews
- Ban on paid reviews to protect consumer interest
- That proper arrangements are in place to protect consumer rights
- Monitoring by way of AI-enabled technology
- Guidelines to counter the use of dark patterns
Earlier, the government urged the public to share comments by October 5 on its draft guidelines for the prevention and regulation of dark patterns in a bid to protect the interest of consumers, and listed a host of deceptive practices being adopted by online platforms in the nature of dark patterns, which are user interfaces specially crafted to trick users into performing unintended tasks such as making a purchase.
Under its draft guidelines, the Centre defined and illustrated with examples certain specified dark patterns in order to bring more clarity on the matter, and to identify and regulate the practices that tend to manipulate or alter consumer choices. Those guidelines will be issued under Section 18 (2) (l) of the Consumer Protection Act 2019.
07:05 PM IST