India’s competition watchdog did not have any material on record to prove that ecommerce marketplaces Amazon and Flipkart entered into exclusive deals with smartphone manufacturers on their platforms, according to a detailed transcript of a court order.
The Karnataka High Court had on Friday stayed the Competition Commission of India’s January 13 directive ordering a probe into both companies following a plea by a Delhi-based traders’ body which had alleged that the ecommerce firms were working with preferred sellers, violating competition laws.
“The contention urged on behalf of the petitioner (Amazon) that CCI has imagined (the) existence of ‘some agreement’ merits consideration,” the Court order read.
ET has access to the court order.
“…it is recorded in paragraphs No.22 and 23 (of the CCI order) that there ‘appears’ to be exclusive partnership between smart phone manufacturers and e-commerce platforms. This finding is based on allegations made in the complaint,” the HC order said, granting both Amazon and Flipkart interim relief.
Amazon had filed a petition in the court last week arguing that the CCI order had been passed “without prima facie application of mind” and that its findings were “perverse, arbitrary and untenable in law”.
The court also granted eight weeks’ time for respondents — CCI, Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, the Confederation of All India Traders and Flipkart — to file their objections.