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AMAZON AVOIDING CCI INVESTIGATION BY PUSHING FOR STAY IN KARNATAKA HIGH COURT

In a petition filed by Amazon in the Karnataka High Court seeking a stay on the investigation ordered by Competition Commission of India which was listed today for hearing, Amazon represented by Senior Advocate Mr Gopal Subramaniam pushed vehemently for an interim stay order to stop the CCI investigations. Amazon has made Competition Commission of India, Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh & Flipkart Internet Services ( P) Ltd as respondents. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has moved an application for impleadment in the case.

Mr. Subramanian submitted that no agreement exists and that there is no concept of preferred sellers. He further submitted that the petitioner has no control over the functioning of the sellers on the platform as they are separate entities in which Amazon holds only small portion of the total shareholding. He further submitted that the present order is only an inference without any factual backing. He also stressed in the Court that the commission ought to have called the concerned parties for a conference prior to passing the order.

Arguments have concluded for the day. The matter has been listed for tomorrow for further hearing. The court has stated that it shall hear the concerned parties before passing any orders.

Mr Praveen Khandelwal, Secretary General, CAIT has stated that, Not only did Amazon make frivolous claims of not engaging in business malpractices and FDI violations by stating that they do not enter into any Preferential Seller agreements and do not control any inventory but they also tried their best to misdirect the Court by saying that it is a witch-hunt led by CAIT to malign Amazon. Mr Khandelwal lambasted Amazon for stating such baseless lies in the Court of Law when it’s quite evident and clear that Amazon has violated and flouted India’s FDI and anti- competitive laws openly by indulging in predatory pricing and deep discounting. He asked why Amazon is fearing investigation if they are doing ethical business? When they have openly been saying that they are fully compliant to all laws, let there be an investigation. The very effort to stop the investigation is a testimony to their unethical practices. Mr Khandelwal further added that we have full faith in the Judiciary of India and are hopeful that the Karnataka High Court will ensure that the Competition Commission of India conducts a free and fair investigation that will expose the wrongdoings of these companies.

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