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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Flipkart says Indian probe should not treat it the same as Amazon

A man prepares his bag for delivery of parcels and packages in Flipkart’s headquarters in New Delhi. — Reuters
A man prepares his bag for delivery of parcels and packages in Flipkart’s headquarters in New Delhi. — Reuters

NEW DELHI: Walmart’s Flipkart should not be treated the same as rival Amazon in an Indian antitrust probe as the evidence against the two firms was “qualitatively different”, Flipkart argued in a court filing.


Both Amazon and Flipkart have challenged the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in court as they seek revocation of an Indian court’s June decision to allow an antitrust probe against them to continue. The companies deny any wrongdoing.


India’s government has called the US firms arrogant and accused them of using legal routes to stall the investigation.


In final submissions made to a court in southern India’s Karnataka state, the Walmart unit argued that CCI and the court “confuse the facts” between the case of Amazon and Flipkart, and overlooked that they were “fierce competitors”.


To back its arguments, it said that a business agreement examined by the CCI before ordering its probe was only between Amazon and its sellers, and there was no such evidence against the Walmart unit.


“The allegations and the evidence before the CCI against the Appellant were qualitatively different from those relating to Amazon. The CCI should have independently examined the case against each of the two platforms,” Flipkart said in its 46-page submission, which was not public.


The Indian court is likely to pass a written order on the appeals in coming days.


For years, Amazon and Flipkart have denied allegations from brick-and-mortar retailers about circumventing Indian law by creating complex business structures.


Trade minister Piyush Goyal last month lashed out on US e-commerce giants for filing legal challenges and failing to comply with the CCI’s probe, saying “if they have nothing to hide ... why don’t they respond to the CCI.” — Reuters


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