No relief to Flipkart & Amazon, Supreme Court asks to volunteer for CCI probe

The court has given Flipkart and Amazon companies four weeks to join the investigation.

Published on: 9 Aug 2021 9:40 AM GMT
No relief to Flipkart & Amazon, Supreme Court asks to volunteer for CCI probe

Supreme Court of India (PC: Social Media)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has refused to interfere with the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) investigation against online shopping companies Flipkart and Amazon. The court has given these companies four weeks to join the investigation.

Investigation on the violation of competition laws:

The CCI is probing these companies for alleged violation of competition laws. In 2020, the Competition Commission of India had ordered an inquiry against companies for allegedly promoting select sellers on their e-commerce platforms and using business practices that suppress competition.

Supreme Court on Flipkart:

The companies, however, have denied violating any such rule and have sought stay of the investigation in lower courts and the Supreme Court, saying that the CCI does not have enough evidence to pursue the case. At the same time, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court said that companies like Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart should act voluntarily for such investigations.

Chief Justice NV Ramana said, "We expect large organizations like Amazon and Flipkart to volunteer for investigation and transparency." The decision comes as a major setback for both Amazon and Flipkart as the Supreme Court appeal was seen as the last legal remedy to stall the CCI probe. Not only that, the companies are also grappling with tougher e-commerce regulations and prospects of investigation by the country's financial-crime agency for alleged violations of foreign investment laws.

In the matter, senior advocate AM Singhvi, appearing for Flipkart, said that the time to respond to the CCI is expiring on August 9 itself. The bench extended this deadline by four weeks. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing CCI, objected to this.

The bench also includes Justice Vineet Saran and Justice Surya Kant. Earlier on July 23, the Karnataka High Court had dismissed the petitions of Amazon and Flipkart against the CCI probe for violation of competition law.

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