Amazon tells court CCI order lacks ‘factual backing’; claims no preferential treatment to sellers

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Updated: February 12, 2020 7:13:00 PM

Amazon’s lawyer Subramanian said the petitioner (Amazon) has no control over the functioning of the sellers on the platform as they are separate entities.

The case was listed for hearing on Wednesday.

Two-days after the e-commerce company Amazon filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court seeking a stay on the CCI’s probe order into the alleged business malpractices by Amazon and Flipkart, its lawyer Gopal Subramaniam said that there is no agreement between the company and its sellers. The lawyer said that there is no concept of preferred sellers, traders’ body CAIT said quoting the lawyer. The case was listed for hearing on Wednesday during which Subramaniam sought an interim stay on the CCI order. Against the case, CAIT has moved an application for impleadment.

Amazon’s lawyer Subramanian said that the petitioner (Amazon) has no control over the functioning of the sellers on the platform as they are separate entities in which Amazon holds only a small portion of the total shareholding. He added that the current CCI order is “only an inference without any factual backing,” even as he “stressed that the commission ought to have called the concerned parties for a conference prior to passing the order,” CAIT’s Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said in a statement.

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

The case is listed for Thursday hearing again while the court stated that it shall hear the concerned parties before passing any orders, according to Khandelwal. “They (Amazon) also tried their best to misdirect the court by saying that it is a witch-hunt led by CAIT to malign Amazon,” he said questioning “why Amazon is fearing investigation if they are doing ethical business?”

“The matter is sub-judice and hence we cannot offer any comments,” Amazon had told Financial Express Online on Monday in response to seeking comments on the petition filed in the court. The company its petition had claimed the CCI order to be “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.”

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