NEW DELHI, July 18 (Reuters) – Walmart’s Flipkart (WMT.N) should not be treated the same as its rival Amazon (AMZN.O) in an Indian antitrust investigation, as the evidence against the two companies was “Qualitatively different,” argued Flipkart. in a court file seen by Reuters.
Amazon and Flipkart have both taken the Indian Competition Commission (ICC) to court as they seek the overturn of an Indian court’s June ruling to allow an antitrust investigation against them to continue. The companies deny any wrongdoing. Read more
The Indian government has called American companies arrogant and accused them of using legal channels to block the investigation.
In closing arguments presented to a court in the state of Karnataka, southern India, the Walmart unit argued that CCI and the court were “confusing the facts” between the Amazon and Flipkart cases, and had ignored that they were “fierce competitors”.
To support her arguments, she said that a trade deal the ICC reviewed before ordering its investigation was only between Amazon and its sellers, and that there was no such evidence against the unit. Walmart.
“The allegations and evidence submitted to the ICC against the appellant were qualitatively different from those relating to Amazon … The ICC should have independently considered the case against each of the two platforms,” Flipkart said in its 46-page brief, which was not public.
The Indian court is expected to issue a written order on the appeals in the coming days.
Flipkart and Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The CCI did not respond outside of normal business hours on Sunday.
For years, Amazon and Flipkart have denied claims by traditional retailers of circumventing Indian law by creating complex business structures.
Last month, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal lashed out at U.S. e-commerce giants for filing legal appeals and failing to comply with the ICC investigation, saying “if they didn’t nothing to hide… why don’t they answer the ICC? “
In February, a Reuters investigation based on internal Amazon documents showed that the U.S. company had for years helped a small number of sellers thrive on its platform in India, using them to circumvent investment laws. foreigners. Amazon also has indirect stakes in two of its major online sellers, Cloudtail and Appario, which receive “subsidized fees,” Reuters reported.
The Walmart unit argued in its submission that “unlike Amazon’s case,” there was no structural link of any kind between Flipkart and its sellers.
Flipkart “should have been treated differently from Amazon,” he said.
Amazon and Flipkart are major players in an online retail market. India’s forecast will reach $ 200 billion by 2026.
Reporting by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi and Abhirup Roy in Mumbai;
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