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No immediate relief for Amazon, Flipkart against CCI probe

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After Karnataka High Court allowed CCI to continue with its antitrust probe against Amazon and Flipkart, the two e-commerce firms have again filed a writ petition against the HC order. The matter is likely to be heard on Friday.

Not giving immediate relief to e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon, a Karnataka high court division bench on Friday posted their appeals against a probe by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for a full hearing and the matter will be heard on Monday. The companies are seeking a stay on the court's order allowing a probe by the competition watchdog against them for alleged anti-competitive practices.
Earlier, Amazon and Flipkart had filed a writ appeal against the court's order last week dismissing the petitions by the companies that sought to quash a probe by the CCI against them over alleged competitive practices. The matter is likely to be heard on Friday.
Karnataka high court on June 11 dismissed the petitions by the e-commerce players, over a year-and-a-half after giving the companies an interim stay on the CCI probe.
The competition watchdog had, on January 13 2020, ordered a probe against Amazon, Flipkart on alleged anti-competitive practices on a case filed by the Delhi Vyaar Mahasangh under Section 3 of the Competition Act.
Section 3 of the Act deals with anti-competitive agreements, and the Delhi-based association had alleged that both Amazon and Flipkart were indulging in exclusive arrangements with smartphone makers, preferential treatment to some sellers, and deep discounting.
The CCI had said there was a prima facie case and had asked the director-general to investigate both the companies. The Karnataka High Court had in February last year granted an interim stay on the CCI order after both companies approached it.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) had defended its move to order a probe against Amazon and Flipkart over anti-trust behaviour, which includes allegations of exclusive agreements with smartphone makers, stating that such agreements are often ‘tacit’.