By Aditya Kalra and Abhirup Roy
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that antitrust investigations into the business practices of Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 and Walmart’s Flipkart (NYSE 🙂 must continue, in a setback for the two giants of the market. e-commerce that had urged the court to put them on hold.
The Competition Commission of India (ITC) ordered the investigation against the companies last year for allegedly promoting select sellers on their e-commerce platforms and using business practices that stifle competition.
The companies deny wrongdoing and have filed legal challenges in lower courts and the Supreme Court against the investigation, saying the ICC did not have sufficient evidence to pursue the matter.
A three-judge Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice NV Ramana, said companies like Amazon and Flipkart should volunteer for such investigations.
“We hope that organizations like Amazon and Flipkart, big organizations, will have to volunteer for investigation and transparency. We hope that and you don’t even want (an) investigation,” Judge Ramana told the court.
“It must be sent and the investigation must be carried out.”
The decision is a major setback for both Amazon and Flipkart, as the Supreme Court appeal was seen as the last legal recourse to block the ICC from continuing its investigation.
The companies are also grappling with the possibility of the country’s financial crime agency establishing strict e-commerce regulations and investigations for alleged violation of foreign investment laws.
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