CAIT welcomes K’taka HC order dismissing Amazon, Flipkart’s plea

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Friday welcomed the judgement of the Karnataka High Court dismissing the petition of Amazon and Flipkart for granting a stay on an investigation by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against the two companies’ e-commerce business model in India.

“It fully vindicates the stand of CAIT that the business model of Amazon and Flipkart is entirely based on violating the FDI policy, rules and other laws, and involves mischievous business practices. Therefore, without wasting any more time, the CCI should immediately begin its probe,” CAIT said.

The CCI found a prima facie case for investigation against Amazon and Flipkart for violating competition law and distorting the level playing field in January 2020. Amazon and Flipkart had approached the Karnataka High Court in February 2020 and obtained a stay on the probe.

The CCI then approached the Supreme Court which directed the Karnataka High Court to hear the matter.

Thereafter, the matter was heard for nearly 40 days by a single judge bench of Karnataka High Court, quashing the plea of Amazon and Flipkart which was challenged by both the e-tailers in the high court and the order was reserved, which was pronounced on Friday.

CAIT, while welcoming the court order, said that with the pronouncement of judgement, there is no bar for conducting investigations into the business model of Amazon and Flipkart and therefore, the CCI should immediately take necessary steps to probe Amazon and Flipkart’s business practices and their business models in India, through which they are continuing with mal-practices and dodging the law, rules and policies of the country.

Further, it is for both the Central and state governments to bring to book the people who are continuously violating the law and rules and speedy actions should be immediately taken against Amazon, Flipkart and others, CAIT said.

It also said that foreign companies, particularly in the e-commerce space, have been taking India as a banana republic where laws, policies and rules have no sanctity.

Unfortunately, the e-tailers have been successfully violating the law and the polices, bringing much disadvantage to the small traders of the country, CAIT said.

Therefore, the dictum “actions speak louder than the words” needs to be put into practical operation by the Union government, it added.