CCI orders probe against Flipkart, Amazon over heavy discounts and offers
New Delhi : India's competition watchdog CCI has ordered a probe against E-Retail stores like Flipkart and Amazon over their practice of providing heavy discounts and offers to their customers.
Releasing an order on Monday, the Competition Commission of India said it "is of the opinion that there exists a prime facie case which requires an investigation." The antitrust body has asked its director-general, who investigates such cases, to submit his report in the matter within 60 days.
The order comes ahead of Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos’ visit to India this week, during which he is likely to meet key policymakers including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Amazon, however, said that they will work closely with the CCI on the matter. "We welcome the opportunity to address allegations made about Amazon; we are confident in our compliance, and will cooperate fully with CCI", a spokesperson said.
Walmart-owned Flipkart has also said they are ready to co-operate with any kind of investigation and the company was fully compliant with all applicable laws.
In the 11-page order, the CCI said allegations that both platforms had asked sellers to incur a part of the discounts offered during big sale events like Flipkart’s Big Billion Days and Amazon’s Great Indian Festival merited an investigation.
“It needs to be investigated whether the alleged exclusive arrangements, deep-discounting and preferential listing by the OPs (opposite parties) are being used as an exclusionary tactic to foreclose competition and are resulting in an appreciable adverse effect on competition,” the CCI said.