© Reuters. File photo: A mobile phone displaying an image of Indian online retailer Flipkart can be seen in front of the Wal-Mart Company logo in this illustrated picture taken on July 14, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration
By Aditya Kalra and Abhirup Roy
New Delhi (Reuters)-In an antitrust investigation in India, Walmart (NYSE:)’s Flipkart should not be treated the same as its competitor Amazon (NASDAQ:) because it targets these two companies. The evidence was “different in quality,” Flipkart argued in court for documents seen by Reuters.
Both Amazon and Flipkart challenged the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in court because they sought to revoke the permission made by the Indian court in June https://www.reuters.com/world/india/india-court-dismisses-pleas -by-amazon-flipkart-quash-antitrust-probe-lawyer-2021-06-11 Continue to conduct antitrust investigations against them. These companies denied any wrongdoing.
The Indian government called U.S. companies arrogant https://www.reuters.com/world/india/indian-commerce-minister-arrogant-us-ecommerce-giants-flout-our-laws-2021-06-27 and accused them of using legal Ways to delay the investigation.
In its final submission to the Karnataka court in southern India, the Wal-Mart department argued that the CCI and the court “mixed the facts” between the Amazon and Flipkart cases and ignored them as “fierce competitors”.
In support of its argument, it stated that the commercial agreement reviewed by CCI before it ordered an investigation was conducted only between Amazon and its sellers, and there was no such evidence against the Wal-Mart department.
“CCI’s allegations and evidence against the appellant are different in nature from those related to Amazon… CCI should independently review cases against each of these two platforms,” Flipkart said on page 46. The submission stated that this is not public.
Indian courts are likely to pass a written order on appeal in the next few days.
Flipkart and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment. CCI did not respond outside normal business hours on Sunday.
Over the years, Amazon and Flipkart have denied allegations of brick-and-mortar retailers that they have established complex business structures to circumvent Indian laws.
Secretary of Trade Piyush Goyal slammed the U.S. e-commerce giant for submitting legal challenges and failing to comply with the CCI investigation last month, saying “If they have nothing to hide… why don’t they respond to CCI?”
In February of this year, a survey conducted by Reuters based on internal Amazon documents https://reut.rs/2OCOT2W showed that the American company has helped a small number of sellers prosper on its Indian platform for many years, using these sellers to bypass foreign investment. legal. According to Reuters, Amazon also indirectly holds equity in its two major online sellers, Cloudtail and Appario, and they receive “subsidized fees.”
The Wal-Mart department argued in its submission that “unlike Amazon’s situation”, Flipkart has no structural connection between Flipkart and its sellers of any kind.
Flipkart “should be treated differently from Amazon,” it said.
Amazon and Flipkart are the leaders in the Indian electronic retail market, and it is predicted that by 2026, their value will reach 200 billion U.S. dollars.
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