Reuters reported that the rules, which will come into force on 1 February, make it illegal for companies to hawk products through firms in which they have an equity interest. Additionally, companies will not be permitted to cut deals for any other seller to push products exclusively on their platforms.
The rules are of concern to Walmart, which invested US$16 billion in Indian e-commerce outfit Flipkart. It would also affect Amazon, forcing a change in business make-up resulting in a rise in operating expenditure.
Amazon has pledged to invest US$5.5 billion India and its owner, Jeff Bezos, has met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a number of times.
And in August 2018, it was reported that global payments firms MasterCard, Visa and American Express were lobbying the Indian Government to avoid having to store customer data locally by 15 October.
The push for the e-commerce rules to be adopted without any delay is coming from Modi as the rules will favour small businesses and could influence voting intentions in the forthcoming general election that has to be held by May.
The report said an US Government official had told some of his Indian counterparts to protect the investments made by Walmart and Flipkart in India.
The source who provided this morsel of information added that the American bureaucrat stressed the "good relations" between the two countries and hinted that US firms should be favoured to ensure better overall bilateral trade, but the Indians did not make any commitment.
Indian small businesses have been complaining for a long time that big e-commerce outfits are using predatory pricing to push them out of the market. The new rules would nip any such efforts in the bud.