According to sources, online retailers Flipkart and Amazon India have filed separate petitions challenging against the resumption of an antitrust investigation into their business practices.
The petitions challenges the Karnataka high court division bench’s decision last week to allow the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to continue its investigation against them.
The CCI launched an investigation in January last year after a complaint accused Flipkart and Amazon of promoting select sellers on their ecommerce platforms and using deep discounts to stifle competition.
The companies have denied wrongdoing and near-immediate legal challenges from the pair stalled the investigation for more than a year until a court last week ruled it could resume, having dismissed arguments that the CCI lacked evidence. The fresh appeal from Flipkart filed on June 16, argues that decision by the Karnataka court to allow the probe to resume was erroneous and must be put on hold.
Both companies are expected to highlight the gaps in the original claim by Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh (DVM) and the subsequent investigation undertaken by CCI. Further, the companies believe that CCI has begun investigation on the matter before even reaching out to these platforms, which led them to file a writ petition with the Karnataka high court
Amazon has mounted a similar challenge, two sources familiar with the matter said. Both are likely to be heard by a two-judge panel this week. Sources told that the CCI planned to speed up the investigation as it increases its scrutiny of big-tech firms.
The CCI plans to demand information from Flipkart and Amazon on the accusations “as quickly as possible”, one source said. Such investigations usually run for several months.
Both Amazon and Flipkart are currently battling accusations from offline retailers that their complex business structures let them circumvent foreign investment rules for e-commerce.