CCI demands cancellation of stay on probe against Flipkart, Amazon

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approached the Karnataka High Court to cancel the stay of a probe into alleged anti-competitive practices and preferential treatment of sellers among other charges against online retailers Flipkart and Amazon. CCI approached the HC almost two months after the Supreme Court (SC) refused to entertain its plea. The Karnataka HC had stayed an investigation by CCI after Amazon filed a writ petition in February this year.

The Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh (DVM), a group representing small- and medium-sized businesses, had complained to the CCI alleging business malpractices by Amazon and Flipkart, which included preferential treatment to sellers affiliated with, or controlled by, the companies, predatory pricing and exclusive arrangements with mobile phone brands. In the court, Amazon argued that CCI’s order to investigate the former had been passed without application of mind and likened it to an open-ended fishing expedition as well as jurisdictional overreach.

As per Goldman Sachs, Flipkart and Amazon have the biggest share of India’s booming e-commerce market that is expected to reach $99 billion by 2024. The report titled 'Global Internet: e-commerce's steepening curve', states that India’s growth rate in the sector would outdo more developed economies. It further states that COVID-19 pandemic had helped double the penetration of e-commerce globally.

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