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Flipkart moves Supreme Court against CCI Investigation on Market Abuse

India’s home grown e-commerce major Flipkart has moved to the Supreme Court (SC) against NCLT order directing Competition Commission of India (CCI) to investigate Flipkart’s alleged market abuse, according to the reports. Reports claim that the Walmart owned company had filed the case in SC in March itself but the case got officially registered only in July. The case essentially pertains to the allegations leveled by All India Online Vendor Association (AIOVA) – a lobby group of small online sellers – that Flipkart gives preferential treatment to its in-house selling companies on its platform.

The Bengaluru e-commerce major has so far not given any official comment on this news.

NCLT earlier this year had set aside the CCI order of 2018 that gave clean chit to the Walmart owned company over AIOVA’s complaint of Flipkart abusing the market domination. While setting aside the CCI order, NCLT asked the antitrust body to investigate the Bengaluru based e-commerce major over alleged market abuse.

Anticipating that Flipkart will move to SC against NCLT order, AIOVA has reportedly already filed a caveat in the SC. In fact, Supreme Court’s official website shows that caveat has also been filed in Flipkart Vs. Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh case. This case is been currently fought in the Karnataka high court.

Flipkart and Amazon have been fighting the allegation of market abuse for many years now, with small traders alleging that both big players give preferential treatment to its in-house/subsidiary selling companies on its platform. Indian government did frame new FDI rules to curb Flipkart and Amazon’s alleged practices of market abuse.

As per the newly framed FDI rules, any seller will be considered as ‘controlled’ by the online marketplace operator if the latter sources more than 25% of merchandise from the seller.

In the past, handful of preferred sellers like Cloud Retail, Appario and WS Retail alone accounted for almost three-fourths of all the merchandise sold on Flipkart and Amazon. These sellers were apparently wholly owned subsidiary companies of Flipkart and Amazon. Following the new FDI rules, these subsidiary companies have reportedly stopped selling the products on Amazon and Flipkart.

 

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