India’s commerce minister welcomed on Tuesday a Supreme Court docket determination that Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart ought to face investigations into alleged anti-competitive behaviour, saying their buying and selling practices can be seemed into.
Piyush Goyal’s feedback are the newest signal of New Delhi’s discontent with the 2 US e-commerce giants, which have for years confronted allegations of bypassing Indian legal guidelines to run their companies and hurting smaller retailers.
On Monday, the Supreme Court docket pulled up Amazon and Flipkart for attempting to stall investigations ordered in 2020 by the Competitors Fee of India (CCI), saying large organisations like theirs ought to volunteer to help in any inquiry.
Goyal welcomed the courtroom’s determination whereas talking within the Indian parliament, the place he invoked the “Give up India” marketing campaign – a motion launched in 1942 by India’s iconic freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi demanding an finish to British rule.
“These firms used authorized techniques to stall the investigation … I’m joyful to let you know that yesterday, on the day of the Give up India Motion, all of the efforts of those firms failed,” Goyal advised Indian lawmakers.
“The highest courtroom determined that CCI ought to probe the allegations of fraudulent, unfair commerce practices that they interact in,” Goyal added.
Amazon and Flipkart didn’t reply to a request for remark.
The 2 firms face an more and more robust regulatory surroundings in India, the place they’re additionally grappling with the prospect of more durable e-commerce guidelines and investigations by the nation’s monetary crime company for alleged violation of overseas funding legal guidelines.
In February, a Reuters investigation based mostly on Amazon paperwork confirmed it had given preferential therapy for years to a small group of sellers. Amazon denied any wrongdoing.
Goyal advised lawmakers the massive e-commerce corporations have been presupposed to function a market web site that connects patrons and sellers, however it was discovered they “repeatedly used numerous authorized techniques” that damage small companies.
“The federal government has taken stern steps,” he mentioned.
© Thomson Reuters 2021