High Court (India)

February 11, 2020

Amazon Files Writ Plea In Karnataka HC Against CCI Probe

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


Electronic retailer Amazon has filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court seeking a stay on a probe initiated by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) into its alleged violations of competition laws.

In its plea, Amazon has sought “quashing and setting aside” of the CCI's probe order dated January 13, 2020, claiming that the fair competition watchdog passed orders against the company without applying its mind and caused serious loss to its reputation.

Amazon has pleaded for an interim stay on the proceedings as the balance of convenience for stay lies in favor of the petitioner as a bonafide company.

It may be recalled that in January 2020, the CCI ordered a probe into alleged malpractices and violations, involving Amazon and Flipkart for deep discounting, choosing preferred sellers and exclusive partnerships with smartphone brands.

Amazon and Flipkart have faced mounting criticism from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, who have accused the electronic retailers of violating Indian law by racking up billions of dollars of losses in order to finance deep discounts as well as discriminate against small sellers.

Incidentally, the CCI had ordered a probe after a New Delhi-based traders’ group called Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh complained that the e-commerce giants promote select sellers and in turn hurt business for other smaller players.

“The entire order passed by (the CCI) ... is bereft of any foundation,” Amazon had stated in a February 10, 2020 filing to a Bengaluru court, rejecting allegations leveled against it.

“(The investigation order) suffers from non-application of mind as it appears to contain no reference to the finding of an appreciable adverse effect on competition,” Amazon had stated.

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