This article investigates potential issues for anti-trust policy regarding e-pharmacies. These entities have gained prominence in many countries due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and seem to provide an alternative channel for consumers. However, the extent to which the promise of an added dimension of competition in the retailing of medicines is made possible by e-pharmacies needs deeper analysis. This article investigates the impact of operation of e-pharmacies along three dimensions: (i) on the offline drug retailers (ii) other e-pharmacies and (iii) consumers. The nature of ownership of e-pharmacies, particularly cross-ownership of e-pharmacies by the same owner, raises question of actual versus notional competition among online sellers. Bundling of diagnostic services with online medicine sales has potential anti-trust concerns, particularly for offline sellers. Most importantly, the lack of transparency with respect to online discounts are matters of concern for consumers, which is studied using a hedonic pricing model.

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