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Walmart’s Flipkart says CCI probe should not equate it to Amazon

Walmart’s Flipkart should not be treated the same as rival Amazon in the Indian antitrust investigation because the evidence against the two firms was “qualitatively different”, Flipkart argued in a court filing seen by Reuters.

Amazon and Flipkart have both challenged the Competition Commission of India (CCI) in court as they sought to set aside the Indian court’s June decision to continue an antitrust probe against them. The companies deny any wrongdoing.

Indian government has called American firms arrogant and accused them of using legal means to stall the investigation.

In a final submission made to a court in the southern Indian state of Karnataka, the Walmart entity argued that the CCI and the court “misled the facts” between the case of Amazon and Flipkart, and ignored that they were “tough competitors”. ” Were.

To support its arguments, it said a trade agreement investigated by the CCI before ordering its investigation was only between Amazon and its sellers, and that there was no such evidence against the Walmart entity.

In its 46-page submission, Flipkart said, “The allegations and evidence before the CCI against the appellant were qualitatively different from those relating to Amazon… CCI should independently investigate the case against each of the two platforms.” was.” not public.

The Indian court is likely to pass a written order on the appeals in the coming days.

Flipkart and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The CCI did not respond outside regular business hours on Sunday.

For years, Amazon and Flipkart have denied allegations from brick-and-mortar retailers that bypassing Indian law by creating complex business structures.

Trade Minister Piyush Goyal last month slammed the US e-commerce giant for challenging the legalese and failing to comply with the CCI’s probe, saying, “If they have nothing to hide… they will respond to the CCI.” Why not give?”

in February, Reuters Investigation Amazon’s internal documents showed the US firm had helped a small number of sellers on its platform in India over the years circumvent foreign investment laws. Amazon has an indirect equity stake in its two big online sellers, Cloudtail and Appario, which receive “subsidized fees”, Reuters reported.

The Walmart unit argued in its submission that there was no structural relationship of any kind between Flipkart and its sellers, unlike “in the case of Amazon”.

Flipkart “should have been treated differently from Amazon,” it said.

Amazon and Flipkart are leading players in the e-retail market, India is forecast to be worth $200 billion by 2026.

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