India’s antitrust watchdog plans to launch a re-investigation into Amazon and Walmart’s allegations of anti-competitive behavior on Flipkart, as it intensifies investigations into the big-tech firms, two people close to the matter said.
The comments come as major US technology firms including Twitter and Facebook There are loggerheads with the government over issues such as data privacy bills and policies some industry executives have called protectionist.
Competition Commission of India (CCI) had initiated investigation in January last year on the basis of a complaint heroine and Flipkart Promoted select sellers on its e-commerce platform and that deep discount slashed the competition.
The companies have denied wrongdoing.
Almost immediate legal challenges from the pair stalled the investigation for more than a year until a court allowed it to resume last week, rejecting the argument that the CCI lacked evidence. is.
While Amazon and Flipkart are likely to appeal, the CCI plans to seek information related to the allegations “as soon as possible” from them, said one of the people, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.
“The investigation will be expedited”, the person said. In India, such investigations usually take months to complete.
Amazon declined to comment. Flipkart and CCI did not respond to requests for comment.
The CCI is expediting all cases involving large technology firms, including deploying additional officers for some cases and working on more stringent internal deadlines, said two people familiar with Sentinel’s thinking.
“The matters relating to digital firms are getting priority in the CCI as they can have a significant impact on the economy and Indian startups,” said one of the people.
Last year, the CCI began a review of the allegations. Google abuse of position Android operating systems in the smart TV market, and a comprehensive antitrust investigation is likely to be ordered soon, the people said.
Google declined to comment.
Such an investigation would be the third against Google, in which Alphabet The entity is already grappling with matters related to Android as well as its payments app.
The investigation into Amazon and Flipkart comes at a time when both are battling allegations from offline retailers that their complex business structure allows them to circumvent foreign investment rules for e-commerce.
In February, a Reuters investigation Based on Amazon docs showed that for years the e-tailer preferred a small group of sellers on its Indian platform. Arguing for the resumption of the investigation, CCI told a Karnataka court Let us tell you that the Reuters report has corroborated the evidence.
amazon, who said It “does not give preference to any seller”, told the court that it disagreed with the Reuters report.
One of the people said the antitrust body would investigate the Reuters report and could use it as part of its investigation.
An Indian antitrust lawyer representing tech firms said, “The CCI’s plan to move quickly on such cases is in line with other antitrust regulators globally that are investigating digital markets such as e-commerce and online search, which are dynamic and rapidly developing.”
© Thomson Reuters 2021