India will launch an open network for digital commerce (ONDC) on Friday to challenge foreign multinational giants, Amazon and Walmart’s monopoly in the fast-growing e-commerce sector, according to a government document.

The platform’s launch comes after India’s antitrust regulator investigated domestic sellers of Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart on Thursday, allegedly for breaking competition laws.

In addition, Indian retailers have repeatedly claimed in the past that both these marketplaces benefit only a few large sellers by way of predatory pricing, despite the companies’ claims that they follow all Indian regulations.

The Competition Act, 2002, in India contains statutes that protect consumers from predatory business practices. It also ensures that there is fair competition between players.

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So, what is ONDC?

The ONDC i.e. Open Network for Digital Commerce, which is spearheaded by the Commerce Ministry, claims that buyers and sellers would be able to trade goods and services both, as opposed to Amazon and Flipkart, that only sell products.

According to Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, “As UPI is to the digital payment in India, ONDC is to e-commerce in India.” The objective of this project is to homogenize the digital commerce playing field by transforming it from a platform-centric to an open-network structure.

This ambition is notably important in light of the official document’s findings that two multinational corporations dominated more than half of the country’s e-commerce activities, restricting market access, giving preferential treatment to specific vendors, and pinching supplier margins.

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ONDC is also set to incorporate open-source technology, with open specifications and open network protocols, and will be run completely independent of any platform. The trade ministry told Reuters that it will have a soft launch on Friday before being enhanced.

The document also states that there are plans to rope in 30 million online sellers and 10 million online merchants into the ONDC. By August, the goal is to have reached at least 100 cities and towns. It would focus on apps for both buyers and sellers in local languages, with a special priority towards small businesses and rural consumers.

Retailers and venture capital firms have already expressed their interest in ONDC, according to the government. Banks including the State Bank of India, ICICI Bank, and Bank of Baroda have already pledged a total of Rs. 2.55 billion to ONDC.

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In addition to India’s aim of becoming self-reliant, the development also comes as a result of a Reuters investigation that took place last year. The investigation centered around Amazon‘s internal documents which showcase that the corporation has bestowed preferential treatment upon a small group of sellers on its platform and used them to circumvent India’s regulations.