New Delhi: E-commerce giant Amazon has filed a writ petition in Karnataka High Court, in Bengaluru seeking a stay on the probe ordered by Competition Commission of India (CCI) against the company for alleged business malpractices. Amazon, in its plea, has said that the CCI order has been passed “without application of mind” and would cause irreparable loss/injury to the goodwill/reputation of the company if an investigation is allowed.
Amazon said in its plea, “…An interim stay on the proceedings must be granted as the balance of convenience for stay lies in favour of the petitioner as a bonafide company.” The company said that the CCI order will cause “serious prejudice” against Amazon that CCI’s findings are “perverse, arbitrary, untenable in law”.
“The entire order passed by (the CCI) … is bereft of any foundation,” Amazon said in the court filing, rejecting the allegations levelled against the company. “The (CCI) investigation also has reputational consequences for the petitioner, being a global company and a part of the internationally reputed Amazon Group,” the e-commerce giant further said.
It is worth mentioning that Amazon’s petition comes after the CCI launched an investigation last month to find out if the exclusive arrangements, deep discounting and preferential listing by e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart for mobile phones are causing an adverse effect on competition. In an 11 page order, CCI observed that the exclusive arrangements between smartphone/mobile phone brands and e-commerce platforms selling exclusively on either of the platforms, coupled with the allegation of linkages between these preferred sellers and e-commerce companies merits an investigation.
Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the matter. The spokesperson told ET Now, “Matter is sub-judice, cannot offer any comments”. CCI had noted mainly four alleged practices by Amazon –
- Exclusive launch of mobile phones,
- Preferred sellers on the platform,
- Deep discounting and
- Promotion of private labels on platform
Amazon will not be able to get an immediate stay on the petition. According to a lawyer involved in the matter, the Bengaluru court is likely to hear Amazon’s petition later this week. The complainant trader group, Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, has been informed about it.