Amazon files petition against investigation into alleged business malpractices; hits back at CCI ruling

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Updated: Feb 10, 2020 4:37 PM

Amazon in its petition has said that the findings of the CCI order are “perverse, arbitrary, and untenable in law.

Amazon, e-commerce major, India data services arm, Amazon India, Amazon Pay, India marketplace, Amazon Seller ServicesE-commerce company Amazon India on Monday filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court.

E-commerce company Amazon India on Monday filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court seeking a stay on the last month order of Competition Commission of India for an investigation into the alleged business malpractices by Amazon and Flipkart. Amazon in its petition has said that the findings of the CCI order are “perverse, arbitrary, untenable in law,” and that the “present Impugned order has been passed without prima facie application of mind” and that “irreparable loss and injury would be caused to the petitioner and its reputation/goodwill.” The copy of the petition was seen by Financial Express Online.

Amazon has requested the court for “quashing and setting aside the Impugned order dated January 13, 2020” and “direct the stay” of the order “till the disposal of the writ petition.” “Amazon is not very comfortable about the investigation of CCI because we believe that the probe will certainly reveal their business module which is in utter violation of FDI policy and law of the land. Hence, they are trying to stop the investigation by filing a stay application in the court,” Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary-General, CAIT told Financial Express Online. The case is likely to listed tomorrow or on Wednesday, he said.

“The matter is sub-judice and hence we cannot offer any comments,” Amazon told Financial Express Online.

Also read: Despite $8.5 billion loss in 2019, Uber sees profit by end of 2020; claims market leadership in India

CCI had last month issued a probe following a complaint by the Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh against Amazon and Flipkart over alleged deep discount of prices and partnering with select sellers and had directed the DG office for completing the investigation in 60 days. However, the two companies had already denied the allegations mentioned in the CCI order. According to the order, exclusive arrangements between mobile companies and the two e-commerce companies along with allegations of preferential treatment being given to certain sellers by Amazon and Flipkart “merits an investigation.”

Traders body CAIT has waged an all-out war on the two platforms since past many months as the alleged deep discounting by Amazon and Flipkart and preferential treatment to select sellers is causing an uneven playing field in the e-commerce market that is likely to be worth $200 billion by 2026 from $38.5 billion in 2017, as per IBEF data. “They should spell out how they are able to give huge discounts on their portals and in spite of huge losses every year how they are continuing with carrying business operations. It’s nothing but jugglery of figures and manipulative business model which has greatly destroyed and devastated the retail trade of India that resulted in the closure of thousands of mobile and other shops all over the country,” Khandelwal had said earlier.

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