Tuesday 18 February 2020

CAIT to appeal against order staying probe on Amazon, Flipkart

CAIT to appeal against order staying probe on Amazon, FlipkartNew Delhi: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has said it will file an appeal against Karnataka High Court's stay order on Competition Commission of India's (CCI) investigation against Amazon and Flipkart.

In a statement the traders' body said that the court has stayed the order for investigation passed by the CCI on the ground that the ED has already initiated investigation into Flipkart and Amazon's activities that are alleged to be in contravention of the FDI policy and so, CAIT would now urge the government and the ED to fastrack the probe.

"Both CAIT and Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh has decided to file an appeal against the order of the High Court very soon and both are consulting their respective lawyers. Meanwhile, the CAIT will push with the Union government to speed up the ED investigation. In this context a CAIT delegation will soon meet Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman," it said.

CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal termed the interim stay as "unfortunate and unexpected".

Khandelwal told IANS that the CAIT is having a discussion with its lawyers over the future legal course.

"However, the court did acknowledge that the Enforcement Directorate should continue it's probe against these companies for FDI Violations. The CAIT will now push the government to expedite the ED probe to expose the malpractices of these companies and will also file an appeal very soon in the matter," it added.

As the High Court on Friday directed a stay on the probe, it has also asked all the respondents in the matter including CCI, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh and Flipkart to file their responses within eight weeks.

Amazon had on Monday filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court seeking stay on the CCI probe order into its alleged violations of the competition laws. The anti-trust body had in January had ordered an enquiry into the operations of both Amazon and Flipkart on multiple counts, including deep discounts and exclusive tie-ups with preferred sellers.

In its plea, Amazon had sought "quashing and setting aside" of the CCI's probe order dated January 13, 2020, claiming that the fair competition watchdog passed orders against the company without applying mind and caused serious loss to its reputation.

In its order, the CCI had said that it needs to be investigated whether the alleged exclusive arrangements, deep discounting and preferential listing by Amazon and Flipkart are being used as an exclusionary tactic to foreclose competition.

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