SC denies to halt CCI probe against Amazon, Flipkart

Supreme Court denies to halt CCI probe against Amazon, Flipkart

The apex court extended time for the companies to join investigation by four weeks

The investigation is for alleged competition law violations. Credit: Reuters Illustration

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to halt an investigation against e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart, saying big organisations like them must voluntarily come forward for inquiry by the Competition Commission of India.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice N V Ramana declined to interfere with the orders of the Karnataka High Court, which had refused to interfere with the preliminary enquiry ordered by the CCI into their alleged anti-competitive practices.

The court stressed that the CCI inquiry must go on. 

However, the court allowed a plea by senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi for extending the time for the companies to reply to CCI by four weeks. 

The e-commerce companies questioned the validity of the Karnataka High Court, allowing the CCI probe.     

 

The bench said, "We saw no reason to interfere with the High Court order."

On July 23, the Karnataka High Court dismissed a plea by Amazon and Flipkart against a probe initiated by CCI for the alleged violation of competition law.  

Amazon had approached the Karnataka High Court against the CCI order which had called for a director-general (DG) investigation into allegations of anti-competitive conduct in the online sale of smartphones on its platform. 

Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh (DVM), the informant before the CCI, had alleged predatory pricing, deep discounting, preferential seller listing, and exclusive partnerships, among others, against Amazon and Flipkart.