India's antitrust watchdog (CCI) to restart probe against Amazon and Flipkart

indias antitrust watchdog cci to restart probe against amazon and flipkart

India's antitrust watchdog, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), plans to restart its probe into anti-competitive behavior against Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart. The CCI is intensifying the scrutiny of big-tech firms, as some major US technology firms, including Twitter and Facebook,are going through a tussle with the Government over issues such as data privacy bills and policies. However,most of them, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter, have finally agreed to abide by the new IT laws framed by the Indian Government.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI)had first initiated a probe in January last year on a complaint against Amazon and Flipkart. The complaint alleged that the e-commerce giants promoted selected sellers, some even affiliated to them, to offer heavy discounts to cut down the competition in the long run. However, the companies have denied any such biased activities.

Amazon and Flipkart are likely to appeal against the allegations and the probe as soon as possible. Also on the other hand, the CCI is also speeding up all cases involving big technology firms to bring more stringent internal deadlines. "The CCI's plan to move faster on such cases is in line with other antitrust regulators globally that are investigating digital markets like e-commerce and online search, which are dynamic and evolving fast," said an Indian antitrust lawyer representing tech firms.

Last year, the CCI began reviewing allegations of Google abusing the position of its Android operating system in the smart TV market. The probe into Amazon and Flipkart is restarting at a time when both are battling accusations from offline retailers for their complex business structures and bypassing foreign investment rules for e-commerce.