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regular-article-logo Monday, 04 March 2024

CCI raids sellers on Amazon, Flipkart

The two sellers figuring in Thursday’s raids were Cloudtail and Appario, two sources said on condition of anonymity, as the details were not public

Reuters New Delhi/Mumbai Published 29.04.22, 03:32 AM
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Representational image File Photo

India’s antitrust body launched raids early on Thursday against two top domestic sellers of online retail giant Amazon.com Inc, and some on Walmart’s Flipkart, following accusations of competition law violations, sources told Reuters.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) — a body of retailers and key supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi — have long contended that Amazon and Flipkart’s platforms benefit a few big sellers, via predatory pricing, though the companies say they comply with all Indian laws.

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The two Amazon sellers figuring in Thursday’s raids were Cloudtail and Appario, two sources said on condition of anonymity, as the details were not public.

Two other sources said some sellers on Walmart’s Flipkart platform were also being raided by officers of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), but there were no immediate details.

“This is a significant development as generally CCI doesn’t do searches in non-cartel cases,” a former official of the competition regulator told Reuters.

“Doing dawn raids to unearth complex economic activities is a new domain for the regulator.”

Amazon, which has an indirect equity stake in both the sellers raided, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did Flipkart.

Cloudtail, Appario and the regulator also did not immediately respond to emailed queries.

One of the sources said the raids, carried out in New Delhi and Bangalore, were related to an investigation the CCI ordered in January 2020.

More time to FRL

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Thursday gave Future Retail Ltd (FRL) time till May 12 to submit its reply to the insolvency petition filed by Bank of India.

The bankruptcy court was hearing a petition filed by the PSU bank to admit FRL under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

On April 14, the crisis ridden FRL had informed the bourses that BoI is filing an application under Section 7 of the IBC, 2016 against the company for default on non-payment of dues. Last week, the lender had moved the tribunal seeking to initiate insolvency resolution proceedings against FRL.

FRL had defaulted on payment of Rs 5,322.32 crore to its lenders because of the current litigation with Amazon. BoI is the lead banker in the consortium of lenders of FRL.

During the hearing on Friday, Gaurav Joshi, representing FRL, requested the tribunal for more time to file the reply to the petition.

(With inputs from Mumbai bureau)

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