India’s antitrust body, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), said today it had ordered an investigation into alleged breaches of fair competition laws by Amazon and Flipkart, the e-commerce platform owned by Wal-Mart. The Indian Competition Commission said exclusive agreements between mobile phone brands and e-commerce platforms, as well as allegations that e-commerce companies were preferential treatment of certain sellers, were the reasons for their antitrust investigations against Amazon and Flipkart.
The survey is also the latest setback for Amazon and Flipkart in India. Previously, Indian entity traders accused the two companies of violating the country’s foreign investment rules, but both Amazon and Flipkart denied this.
In May 2018, Wal-Mart announced a $16 billion acquisition of a 77 per cent stake in Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce platform, with the remainder continuing to be held by former investors, including Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, Tencent, Tiger Global and Microsoft.
Subsequently, the National Federation of Traders (CAIT) said it opposed Wal-Mart’s acquisition of Flipkart because it would create an unfair playing field that would prevent non-priority sellers from entering the market and affect small businesses on offline platforms. CAIT said in a statement at the time: “In response to this transaction, we have submitted a petition against this transaction to the Competition Commission of India. ”
Shortly after Wal-Mart announced its acquisition of Flipkart, it was reported that Amazon plans to invest an additional $2 billion in The Indian market to compete with Wal-Mart, bringing the total to about $7 billion. “Amazon bet on the Indian market, and that became clearer after Wal-Mart bought Flipkart, ” a person familiar with the matter said at the time. India is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, and Amazon certainly doesn’t fall behind. “