Walmart’s Flipkart says Indian probe shouldn’t treat it the same as Amazon

NEW DELHI: In an Indian cartel investigation, Walmart’s Flipkart should not be treated in the same way as rival Amazon, as the evidence against the two companies is “qualitatively different,” argued Flipkart in a court file viewed by Reuters.
Both Amazon and Flipkart have challenged the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in court for seeking the overturning of an Indian court’s June ruling to continue an antitrust investigation against them. The companies deny any wrongdoing.
The Indian government has labeled US companies arrogant and accused them of using legal channels to stop the investigation.
In closing submissions to a Karnataka court, the Walmart unit argued that CCI and the court had “confused the facts” and overlooked that they were “bitter competitors” between the Amazon and Flipkart cases.
To back up her arguments, she said that a business agreement reviewed by the CCI prior to ordering her investigation existed only between Amazon and its sellers and there was no such evidence against the Walmart entity.
“The allegations and evidence before the IHK against the complainant differed qualitatively from those in relation to Amazon … The IHK should have examined the case against each of the two platforms independently,” said Flipkart in his 46-page submission, which was not made public .
The court is expected to make a written decision on the appeals in the next few days.
Flipkart and Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The IHK did not respond on Sunday outside of regular business hours.
For years, Amazon and Flipkart have rejected allegations by brick-and-mortar retailers of circumventing laws by creating complex business structures.
Trade Secretary Piyush Goyal last month attacked US e-commerce giants for filing legal challenges and failing to comply with the CCI’s investigation, saying, “If they have nothing to hide … why aren’t they responding to the CCI ? ”
In February, a Reuters investigation based on internal Amazon documents showed that for years the US firm had helped a small number of sellers thrive on its platform in India by using it to circumvent foreign investment laws. Amazon also has indirect stakes in two of its major online sellers, Cloudtail and Appario, which receive “subsidized fees,” Reuters reported.
The Walmart unit argued in its statement that “unlike Amazon” there are no structural links between Flipkart and its sellers.
Flipkart “should have been treated differently from Amazon,” it said.
Amazon and Flipkart are leading players in an e-retail market where India is forecast to be worth $ 200 billion by 2026.

Previous articleCall for Urban Design of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Innovation Cooperation Demonstration Zone
Next articleIndia’s epidemic is rampant. Where is the aid from the United States ?