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Flipkart challenges Karnataka HC decision: Here’s a look at its key contentions – Moneycontrol.com

The Walmart-owned e-commerce firm has challenged the Karnataka High Court’s judgement which allowed the Competition Commission of India to continue its investigation against the firm. Flipkart’s argument is that the probe will cause irreparable injury to the company

Flipkart Headcount in India: 12,000 | Top India locations: Bengaluru Area, New Delhi Area, Mumbai Area | Most common skills: Supply Chain Management, Vendor Management, Operations Management | In-demand jobs: Business Development, Operations, Information Technology (Image: Reuters)

The Walmart-owned Flipkart has challenged Karnataka High Court’s judgement which allowed the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to continue its investigation against the e-commerce firm. Flipkart’s argument is that the probe will cause “irreparable injury” to the company.

Also read: Amazon, Flipkart face risk of being legally exposed in India

Here’s a look at some of the issues raised by Flipkart:

— The Karnataka High Court order has failed to consider that the CCI did not record any agreement that were in contravention of the provisions of the Act, and which caused an appreciable adverse effect on competition.

— While the CCI notes that there are “exclusive partnerships between smartphone manufacturers and e-commerce platforms”, no smartphone manufacturers are identified or directed to be investigated.

— So far no smartphone manufacturer has even complained about being coerced into selling on the appellant’s (Flipkart) e-commerce platform.

— There’s a reference to the fact that such mobile phones were sold primarily on digital platforms, along with the allegations of having “preferential sellers” and deep discounting. The allegations are made without even enquiring the period of such sale or the fact that the smartphones were also available on the manufacturer’s own website.

— The only allegation against the appellant (Flipkart) is that there is a strained link between WS Retail’s former director and Omnitech Retail’s director. The CCI is well aware that the structural links between the appellant and WS Retail, if any, existed only till 2012 and that no such link exists today.

— The CCI was also aware that WS Retail ceased to be a seller on the appellant’s e-commerce marketplace platform, post April 11, 2017. In fact, neither WS Retail nor Omnitech Retail are in any way directly or indirectly related to the appellant.

— Flipkart’s e-commerce marketplace operates in a fair and non-discriminatory manner for all sellers, and, therefore, the entire allegation and the CCI’s finding that it has “preferred sellers” is entirely misplaced.

Amazon’s counsel also asked for this matter to be tagged along with Flipkart’s appeal. The request has been accepted.

Filing the petition was important for the two companies. Otherwise, the CCI could have taken action against them. They need a stay order to halt the investigation. The request for the matter is to be heard tomorrow.

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Priyanka Sahay