Decks cleared for probe against Amazon, Flipkart; experts discuss what this means for e-commerce giants

Decks cleared for probe against Amazon, Flipkart; experts discuss what this means for e-commerce giants

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American e-commerce giant Amazon is bracing for a tough time in India. Last week, the Karnataka High Court rejected Amazon and Flipkart’s plea to quash the anti-trust probe against them.

Earlier, in January 2020, the competition watchdog had announced that it was launching an investigation against Amazon and Flipkart on the basis of a complaint filed by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).

CAIT had alleged that these e-commerce companies were indulging in anti-competitive practices by doling out preferential treatment to select sellers and indulging in predatory pricing. Both Amazon and Flipkart had then knocked on the court’s door to secure a stay.

But, with the high court quashing the plea, the decks are cleared for the competition watchdog to initiate a probe against Amazon and Flipkart for allegedly abusing their dominant positions.

In a letter to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, CAIT has urged the competition watchdog to immediately initiate the investigation and has compared Amazon to the British East India Company.

Reports also suggest that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) may expedite the anti-trust probe. Amazon, in particular, has fallen afoul of regulators not only in India, but across major geographies like the UK, European Union (EU), and the US.

To discuss what this means for e-commerce giants, CNBC-TV18’s Ashmit Kumar spoke to Vaibhav Gaggar of Gaggar and Partners who is an expert in competition law; Manoj Kumar, Founder and Managing Partner of Hammurabi and Solomon Partners; R Prasad, Former Member of the CCI; and Praveen Khandelwal, the National Secretary General of CAIT.

For the entire discussion, watch the video.



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