Smart wearables startup GOQii on Monday got a major reprieve from Mumbai civil court in its ongoing tussle with Flipkart over the issue of predatory pricing. The court passed an interim order to prevent Flipkart from selling GOQii’s products on its online shopping platform. GOQii founder Vishal Gondal took to twitter to make public announcement about the court’s interim order.
GOQii and Flipkart’s tenson started last week after the former accused the Walmart owned company of selling its wearable fitness products at unfair discounted rates. Several corporate clients canceled their orders due to Flipkart’s deep discounting and thereby causing enormous commercial loss, Gondal’s company claimed. The company has also stated that some of its offline distributors like Croma have expressed their displeasure over Flipkart’s alleged predatory pricing.
Apart from Judicial redress, GOQii has also taken this matter to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Competition Commission of India (CCI). Gondal said that his company has never faced such problems with Amazon.
Flipkart, on other hand, has completely denied the accusations of predatory pricing. Replying to DPIIT and CCI, it claimed that any product’s resale value is determined by the online resellers and not Flipkart management per say.
This is not the first time that Flipkart and Amazon are facing hate over its alleged bias against small sellers and startups. In 2017, All India Online Vendors’ Association (AIOVA) reached out to CCI to register compliant against two of India’s most dominant e-commerce players. CCI had accused both companies of eliminating the level playing field by resorting to unfair tactics like predatory pricing and promotional strategies that are unduly biased towards in-house resellers and big companies.
Indian government’s new e-commerce policy that came into effect from February was supposed to restore the level playing field. But the recent GOQii fiasco strongly indicates that small startups and sellers’ problems are still far from over.