By Aditya Kalra and Abhirup Roy
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Walmart’s (NYSE 🙂 Flipkart should not be treated the same as its rival Amazon (NASDAQ 🙂 in an Indian antitrust investigation, as the evidence against the two companies was “qualitatively different,” Flipkart argued. in a court filing seen by Reuters.
Both Amazon and Flipkart have challenged the Competition Commission of India (ICC) in court as they seek reversal of an Indian court’s June decision to allow https://www.reuters.com/world/india/india -court-dismisses-pleas- by-amazon-flipkart-quash-antitrust-investigator-attorney-2021-06-11 an antitrust investigation against them to continue. The companies deny any wrongdoing.
The Indian government has called American companies arrogant https://www.reuters.com/world/india/indian-commerce-minister-arrogant-us-ecommerce-giants-flout-our-laws-2021-06- 27 and accused them of using legal routes to stop the investigation.
In final submissions made to a court in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, the Walmart unit argued that CCI and the court “confused the facts” between the Amazon and Flipkart case, ignoring that they were “fierce competitors”.
To back up his arguments, he said that a trade deal examined by the CCI before ordering its investigation was only between Amazon and its sellers, and there was no such evidence against the Walmart unit.
“The charges and the evidence before the ICC against the Appellant were qualitatively different from that related to Amazon … The ICC should have independently examined the case against each of the two platforms,” said Flipkart in its 46-page submission. . it was not public.
The Indian court is likely to approve a written order on appeals in the next few days.
Flipkart and Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The ITC did not respond outside of normal business hours on Sunday.
For years, Amazon and Flipkart have denied accusations by traditional retailers of circumventing Indian law by creating complex business structures.
Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal lashed out last month against US e-commerce giants for filing legal challenges and failing to comply with the ICC investigation, saying “if they have nothing to hide … why don’t they respond to the ICC? “
In February, an investigation by Reuters https://reut.rs/2OCOT2W based on internal Amazon documents showed that the American firm for years had helped a small number of sellers prosper on its platform in India, using them to circumvent laws. of foreign investment. Amazon also has indirect equity stakes in two of its big online sellers, Cloudtail and Appario, which get “subsidized rates,” Reuters reported.
The Walmart unit argued in its communication that “unlike the Amazon case,” there were no structural links of any kind between Flipkart and its sellers.
Flipkart “should have been treated differently than Amazon,” he said.
Amazon and Flipkart are leading players in an electronic retail market that India forecasts will be worth $ 200 billion by 2026.
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