HC Dismisses Plea of Flipkart, Amazon to stop CCI Probe

A division bench of the Karnataka High Court on Friday dismissed an appeal by Flipkart and Amazon India to halt a probe by the country’s competition watchdog, dealing a significant setback to the two ecommerce platforms.

The order by the bench, comprising Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy, come after Walmart-owned Flipkart and Amazon India had appealed to the bench to overturn an earlier ruling that had paved the way for the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to probe both the online market-places.

Terming the appeals by Flipkart and Amazon India as “Devoid of any substance.” The bench said the ecommerce firms should not feel shy of the probe if they haven’t violated any antitrust laws.

Flipkart and Amazon India had filed separate appeals that were clubbed and heard together by the division bench.

Following the court order, people aware of the companies thinking told ET that both Flipkart and Amazon India are likely to approach the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the latest ruling. “It is safe to think the matter will now get challenged in the Supreme Court,” said a person aware of the development.

A representative for Amazon India said, “We respect the Judgement passed by the honorable high court and we will review it in detail to determine next steps.”

Flipkart said it was yet to receive a copy of the order and will review it as soon as it gets the order.

“We have a very robust compliance and government process and remain in full compliance with India laws. We will do everything to be always compliant,” a spokesperson for the Flipkart Group said.

CCI had ordered the probe against the two ecommerce market-places in January 2020, saying it had “prima facie” found evidence to being an investigation under Section 26 (1) of the Competition Act,2020. S-ET

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