Amazon, which has been put into question by Competition Commission of India for business malpractices among other allegations, has defended its stand in Karantaka state high court by stating that CCI has no prima facie evidence against it. Amid the allegations in question is one wherein CCI has accused Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart of having exclusive tie-ups with smartphone makers.
Defending itself in court, Amazon questioned the evidence that CCI has come up with. For example, the CCI has used SMSes sent by brands to consumers as evidence. Amazon has countered it by saying that there is no formal agreement of sorts between the company and these brands. CCI failed to produce evidence to counter the same.
Deep discounting is another area wherein the company has faced the ire of Competition Commission and local trade unions. The company clarified, that these allegations are false and that the discount which Amazon provides is financed by marketplace fees waiver. However, considering that discounts on Amazon sometimes go as much as 50-60%, it is not clear whether this marketplace-fees counter from the company can hold up in court for long.
The CCI order against Amazon Seller Services and Flipkart Internet, which is filed under Section 26(1) which is non-appealable. Amazon presented the court with other judgements concerning Star India and Bharti Airtel where the CCI’s probes into those companies were quashed on similar grounds that it was arguing.
The entire case stems from protests being held by local retailers in India. These retailers have argued that Amazon offers deep discounts and uses predatory pricing to attract consumers to its ecommerce platform. Further, retailers suggest that eretailers like Amazon and Flipkart have exclusive tie-ups with smartphone and electronics brand which results in pricing difference between online and offline price.
Amazon has defied all these allegations.
The court was adjourned till today due to paucity of time and further proceedings shall take place on Thursday.