SC quashes Amazon, Flipkart’s plea against CCI probe

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Monday junked a plea filed by Amazon and Flipkart that sought to halt the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) inquiry into their business practices, dealing a major setback to the US firms.

Amazon and Flipkart approached the apex court after losing their appeals in lower courts against the CCI probe, which ordered an investigation into the firms for their business practices that allegedly giving preference to select sellers and offering deep discounts after entering into anti-competitive agreements.

A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana refused to interfere with the Karnataka High Court’s decision in the matter.

“We do not see any reason to interfere with the order of the High Court. As the time granted is expiring on 9 August, we extend it by four weeks. We expect big companies like Amazon and Flipkart to voluntarily join the investigation,” the bench also comprising Justices Vineet Saran and Surya Kant said.

Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium, representing Amazon, and Flipkart’s counsel Dr Singhvi, argued that the CCI ordered the inquiry without any application of mind.

Amazon and Flipkart face several allegations for creating complex business structures circumventing the Indian laws.

Flipkart, in its statement, had said that it was fully compliant with “all applicable laws and foreign direct investment regulations” and that it was focusing on making quality and affordable goods available through its “transparent and efficient marketplace”.