CCI scrutiny on competition law violations: Karnataka High Court 

On friday, the Karnataka High Court reserved its judgment in a batch of appeals moved by e-commerce giants, Amazon and Flipkart challenging order made on June 11, dismissing their pleas on investigation Competition Commission of India (CCI) for alleged competition law violations.

The division bench asked the parties to file their written submission by 2nd July.

The petition was filed by the Amazon against a CCI order which had ordered the Director General to perform an investigation into the claims made w.r.t anti-competitive conduct in the online sale of smartphones on its platform.

The claims were noted on the grounds of predatory pricing, deep discounting, preferential seller listing, and exclusive partnerships, among others, against Amazon and Flipkart.

The DVM claimed that Amazon and Flipkart favour certain sellers due to which they are active participants in the process.
Thus it will be wrong to say that they are not part of the production chain which involves supply, distribution etc.

It was mentioned to the court that the basic idea of the Competition Act is to eliminate anti competitive elements and to make sure that everybody is on a level playing field.

Further Amazon contended that the single-judge failed to acknowledge the fact that an online marketplace is itself an instrument to promote competition. Thus it cannot be treated as anti-competitive unless there was clear and compelling evidence.

Amazon has mentioned that there are agreements which they sign with smartphone manufacturers in their writ petition , which itself revealed that there they have arrangements with the sellers and such agreements needs to be investigated.

By relying on Snapdeal casw , Flipkart stated that CCI has observed the agreement between marketplace and sellers are vertical agreements and hence part of value chain.

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