Supreme Court rejects Flipkart and Amazon’s plea to halt CCI investigation

On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon’s plea to halt the antitrust investigation into the companies’ business practices.

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On Monday, the Supreme Court of India rejected e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon’s plea to halt the antitrust investigation into the companies’ business practices, Reuters reported. 

Competition Commission of India (CCI) had ordered the investigation in 2020. The bench comprising of  Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Vineet Saran, and Surya Kant refused to interfere with the agency’s investigation. 

“We see no reason to interfere in order. Seeing that time granted is expiring on 9 August, we extend it by 4 weeks”, the bench said.

On June 11, a single bench of Justice PS Dinesh Kumar dismissed the writ petitions filed by Amazon and Flipkart against the CCI order, saying, “it would be unwise to prejudge the issues raised by the petitioners in these writ petitions at this stage and scuttle the investigation”, reported LiveLaw.

A division bench comprising Justice Satishchandra Sharma and Justice Nataraj Rangaswamy said,  “in the concerned opinion of this court by no stretch of the imagination the inquiry can be crushed at this stage. If the appellants are not involved in violation of any provisions of the Act of 2002 they should not feel shy in facing an inquiry by CCI.”

As reported by LiveLaw, the investigation was initiated after receiving a complaint from  Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh (an organization of retailers), who alleged that Amazon and Flipkart were giving preferential treatment to a select set of vendors by having indirect control over their operations, especially the launch of smartphones. 

The companies deny any wrongdoing and have repeatedly tried to mount legal challenges against the investigation, reported Reuters.