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    SC lets CCI continue probe against Amazon, Flipkart; cos get 4 more weeks to respond

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    SC lets CCI continue probe against Amazon, Flipkart; cos get 4 more weeks to respond

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    The Supreme Court on Monday gave four more weeks to Flipkart and Amazon to respond to questions by CCI. The CCI had ordered a probe against Amazon and Flipkart on January 13, 2020, on a case filed by the Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh under Section 3 of the Competition Act.

    Amazon and Flipkart will continue to face a probe by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over alleged anti-competitive practices, with the Supreme Court dismissing the pleas by the companies to quash the probe. The two e-commerce companies have been given a four-week extension from the initial deadline of August 9 to respond to questions by the competition watchdog.
    Flipkart and Amazon had moved the Supreme Court last month with an appeal against the July 23 order of the Karnataka High Court's division bench that had dismissed writ appeals by both e-commerce players, in which they had challenged a June 11 order by a single-judge bench that had allowed the Competition Commission of India to probe the companies over alleged anti-competitive practices.
    The Supreme Court decided not to interfere with the High Court order and added that the companies should voluntarily submit themselves to an investigation.
    "We expect big organisations that Amazon, Flipkart should volunteer for inquiry or investigation; you don't even want an inquiry?," the three-judge bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramana said.
    While the CCI had asked the Supreme Court to keep the extension for responding to their queries to only one week, the Supreme Court granted the petitioners four weeks to respond.
    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 Vyapar 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’.
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