Bengaluru, NFAPost: The Karnataka High Court on Friday ruled that the antitrust investigation by India’s competition watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) into Amazon and Flipkart will go on as it dismissed appeals filed by the two companies against a previous order by the court which had allowed the investigation to continue.
“In the concerned opinion of this court by no stretch of imagination the inquiry can be crushed at this stage,” a division bench of Justices Satish Chandra Sharma and Nataraj Rangaswamy ruled.
The much-discussed verdict came after Amazon and Flipkart filed separate appeals last month challenging an earlier order by a single judge bench of the Karnataka High Court which allowed the competition watchdog to continue its antitrust investigation into the two companies.
The bench held that the appeals filed by Amazon and Flipkart were devoid of merits and substance. “If the appellants are not involved in violation of any provisions of the Competition Act of 2002 they should not feel shy in facing inquiry by CCI,” the Karnataka High Court said.
The CCI’s probe into the two ecommerce majors dates back to 2019 following a complaint filed by the Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, a group of MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) smartphone traders. The move came as the ecommerce companies violation of FDI and anti competitive practices in business by giving massive discounts.
DVM had accused that Amazon and Flipkart had certain agreements with a group of select preferred sellers and that it gives these sellers unfair preferential treatment over others.
Welcoming the Karnataka High Court’s verdict, the Confederation of All India Traders said it fully vindicates the stand of CAIT that Amazon and Flipkart business model is entirely based on violating the FDI policy, rules and other laws, mischievous business practices, therefore, without wasting any more time, the CCI should immediately begin its probe.