• Thursday, August 18, 2022


India’s trade minister lauds court’s order on Amazon Flipkart probe

India’s commerce minister Piyush Goyal (Photo by Stefan Rousseau – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

By: Shilpa Sharma

INDIA’S commerce minister Piyush Goyal welcomed the supreme court’s decision that Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart should face investigations into alleged anti-competitive behavior.

On Monday (9), the supreme court pulled up the two companies for trying to stall investigations ordered in 2020 by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), saying big organisations like theirs should volunteer to assist in any inquiry.

Goyal welcomed the court’s decision while speaking in the parliament on Tuesday (10), where he invoked the “Quit India” campaign – a movement launched in 1942 by Mahatma Gandhi demanding an end to British rule.

“These companies used legal tactics to stall the investigation … I am happy to tell you that yesterday, on the day of the Quit India Movement, all the efforts of these companies failed,” Goyal said in the parliament.

“The top court decided that CCI should probe the allegations of fraudulent, unfair trade practices that they engage in,” he added.

Goyal told lawmakers the big e-commerce firms were supposed to connects buyers and sellers through their website, but it was found they “continuously used various legal tactics” that hurt small businesses.

“The government has taken stern steps,” he said.

The recent comments indicate the Indian government’s discontent with the two US e-commerce giants, which have already faced allegations of bypassing Indian laws to run their businesses and hurting smaller retailers.

Earlier this month, news agency Reuters reported that Enforcement Directorate has served a notice to Flipkart and its founders to explain why they shouldn’t face a penalty of $1.35 billion (£974 million) for alleged violation of foreign investment laws.

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