• Snapdeal co stole biz data: Paytm

    A legal battle seems to be brewing between two leading Indian consumer internet firms. Online payments and commerce platform Paytm has filed a lawsuit against Snapdeal-owned Unicommerce, an e-commerce management software and fulfilment solutions provider, in the Delhi high court, sources aware of the development told TOI.

    Paytm, run by One97 Communication, has accused Unicommerce of accessing confidential business data on Paytm’s commerce platform via the sellers on this platform. Many sellers on Paytm’s platform use Unicommerce for managing orders and inventory across multiple marketplaces and carts. Paytm has also alleged that Unicommerce is using Paytm’s logo and name without any authorization.

    New Delhi-based online marketplace Snapdeal had acquired Unicommerce last year.

    When contacted, Paytm, Snapdeal and Unicommerce declined to comment saying the matter is sub judice. The hearing is expected to take place on Thursday.

    The development marks growing tensions between rival companies in the highly competitive consumer internet space. About a month ago, cab aggregator Uber had dragged rival Ola to court alleging that the latter was involved in false bookings and creating fake rider accounts on the former’s platform.

    Paytm and Snapdeal are rivals in two key business areas – payments and commerce marketplace. Snapdeal started as a marketplace and then acquired Freecharge for a play in the payments business. Paytm, backed by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, started as a digital payments platform and later entered the marketplace business.

    Marketplace players connect merchants to consumers through a digital platform. The information and data flowing through the platform is valuable and companies want to keep it private.

    “Data is of utmost importance as it provides valuable insights on consumer behaviour. Company-specific data getting into the hands of rivals can impact the business negatively,” said a legal expert tracking startups in India. 

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