CCI probe: Day after Flipkart, Amazon moves Supreme Court against Karnataka HC order

By: |
July 29, 2021 6:30 AM

Besides, the CCI had failed to undertake the mandatory analysis of the appreciable adverse effect on competition in terms of the factors enumerated under Section 19(3) prior to directing the Director-General to cause an investigation, Amazon stated.

Observing that the inquiry initiated by the CCI cannot be crushed at the initial stage, the HC on July 23 had described the approach of both the e-commerce firms as ‘an attempt to ensure that the inquiry does not attain finality’.Observing that the inquiry initiated by the CCI cannot be crushed at the initial stage, the HC on July 23 had described the approach of both the e-commerce firms as ‘an attempt to ensure that the inquiry does not attain finality’.

A day after Flipkart, Amazon on Wednesday also moved the Supreme Court challenging the Karnataka High Court’s last week’s order allowing the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to continue its probe against it for alleged violations.

In its appeal before the apex court, Amazon said the HC order “fails to appreciate that the prima facie order does not meet the jurisdictional prerequisites for a finding of contravention of Section 3(4) of the Competition Act, even at the prima facie stage” and is contrary to the principles laid down by the courts as the informants were unable to demonstrate any agreement of the nature as described in Section 3(4) of the Competition Act that can lead to any investigation.

Besides, the CCI had failed to undertake the mandatory analysis of the appreciable adverse effect on competition in terms of the factors enumerated under Section 19(3) prior to directing the Director-General to cause an investigation, Amazon stated.

A division bench of the HC had last week dismissed separate petitions on the matter by Amazon and Flipkart.

Observing that the inquiry initiated by the CCI cannot be crushed at the initial stage, the HC on July 23 had described the approach of both the e-commerce firms as ‘an attempt to ensure that the inquiry does not attain finality’.

The CCI had acted on a complaint by Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh (DVM) and Confederation of India Traders allegations that the e-commerce firms were abusing their market dominance and giving preference to select sellers and offering deep discounts after entering into anti-competitive agreements. Based on the 2019 complaint, the Commission had last year in January asked its director general to launch a probe into the alleged violation of Section 3 of the Competition Act.

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