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SC grants relief to Amazon, Flipkart on CCI’s appeal against stay order on probe

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of Competition Commission of India against Karnataka High Court’s stay order on probe against Flipkart and Amazon, according to a Moneycontrol report.

The CCI had filed an appeal in September against Karnataka High Court’s stay order on probe against Amazon and Flipkart over allegations of anti-competitive practices. The High Court had provided an interim stay on the probe early this year following which the competition watchdog filed a special leave petition at the apex court.

The probe was started by CCI in January this year when it said that there was a prima facie case based on a complaint by the Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh under anti-competitive or section 3 of the Competition Act. The association also alleged the two e-commerce marketplace of having exclusive arrangements with smartphone manufacturers, cherry-picking sellers and deep discounting.

The CCI took around eighty months to file the appeal against the High Court order and according to the report, this went against CCI. Now the case has been transferred back to the Karnataka HC and has been asked to decide on the issue within six weeks.

Flipkart and Amazon did not respond to queries sent by Entrackr. We’ll update the story as and when they respond.

CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal while commenting upon the apex Court order said that the CAIT appreciate the order since it has fixed a timeline of 6 weeks for the Karnataka High Court to decide on the issue which is a strong direction to Karnataka High Court since the issue is hanging fire since 13th January when CCI initiated investigation proceedings against Amazon & Flipkart.

CAIT claims to represent 7 crore traders and 40,000 trade associations.

” We are consulting our lawyers on the implications of the order of the Supreme Court and also about the appeal pending before the two judge Bench. We shall act as per the legal advice of our lawyers but in any case we will not spare any tool for Amazon & Flipkart to go scot free,” said Khandelwal.

In its earlier order, the Karnataka HC had already said that CCI probe order lacked material evidence against the duo to prove that they entered into exclusive deals with smartphone manufacturers.

During their writ petition against the CCI’s probe, Amazon’s counsel had called it perverse, arbitrary, untenable in law while Flipkart alleged that the order was based on no evidence against the platform.

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